Sunday, April 21, 2024
10.1 C


My Account

- Advertisement -

At their stations for a coronation

Well, that’s about enough coronation coverage for me for the next 20 years or so.

I haven’t actually uttered the words “Long live the king”, and I’m not sure I will ever find a sufficiently good reason to do so, at least not out loud, but if King Charles III has the same longevity as his dear old mum, I won’t have to worry about coping with a month or more of buildup to giant-sized pomp and ceremony for many a year.

It seems a while ago, but I recall official communications from Buckingham Palace that, at the King’s request, the 2023 coronation would be a trimmed-down version of previous coronations. Thank heavens, because there was plenty of peripheral noise leading up to Saturday’s ceremony.

Who would be going? Or, more importantly for many, who would not be going? People were on the edge of their seats waiting on confirmation from the United States that Prince Harry would be at Westminster Abbey to support his dad. Of course he would be there. But there was hand-over-the mouth surprise for many keen observers on discovering that poor Prince Harry was not ‘invited’ to the most famous balcony in the world at the Palace to wave at the adoring crowds.

There was heightened interest in who was sitting with whom, and what they were wearing. Coronation fashion is quite different from wedding or funeral fashion. Who knew? All Blacks legend Richie McCaw, a recipient of the prestigious Order of New Zealand, came in for extra attention, but he was able to wind the clock back and use his game face to look the solemn part when it was needed. Full credit.

Unthinkably, someone upstaged our Richie.

Penny Mordaunt caused a flurry of activity on social media as she played a starring role – holding ceremonial swords for more than an hour. The Conservative MP won praise for her arm and shoulder strength as she carried the 17th-century Sword of State made for Charles II into Westminster Abbey, and exchanged it for the Jewelled Sword of Offering. I’m led to believe she may be the first woman to perform this role. So worth a mention, I suppose.

The whole thing came to a musical conclusion overnight with a concert featuring names you might not immediately associate with the British royal family. I’m always dubious when the term “showcase” is bandied about, but the Coronation Concert marketing team weren’t going to let that opportunity slip by.

The event, hosted by Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville, bought together some of the biggest names from the worlds of music, Hollywood and beyond. Because we all know how much Hollywood loves the Windsors, and it’s not because Hollywood has a deep and meaningful interest in constitutional monarchies.

The concert organisers have been at pains to promote how the big night will reflect Britain’s diverse cultural heritage in music, theatre, and dance.

Interesting then that Americans Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Tom Cruise, and Chinese pianist Lang Lang were part of the show on the grounds of Windsor Castle. Still, who would turn down the chance of a knees-up at a very rare coronation party?

Roger Parker
Roger Parker
Roger Parker is the Times-Age news director. In the Venn-diagram of his two great loves, news and sport, sports news is the sweet spot.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
broken clouds
10.1 ° C
11.1 °
10.1 °
98 %
64 %
12 °
17 °
18 °
18 °
18 °