Celebrating the King’s Coronation
On May 6th His Majesty King Charles III will be crowned king – for many of us this will be our first time witnessing such a momentous occasion, with the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth taking place 70 years ago in 1953. Coronations have remained mostly the same for the last 1000 years with the British ceremony being the only remaining event of its type in Europe, and though the king’s coronation will be on a smaller scale than Queen Elizabeth’s that’s not to say that it won’t be a celebration to remember!
Celebrations will be taking place across the country – you can expect to see organised events in towns, cities and villages, street parties being held by neighbourhoods of every size, and The Big Lunch: a community wide lunch that aims to share friendship, food and fun that you can get involved in here – not to mention the biggest celebrations of all over in London, including a concert being held at Windsor Castle!
The Redcar and Cleveland area will be celebrating the occasion with our own live screening of the event at Redcar High Street followed by some British Family Favourite films. We’re no stranger to visits from the royal family – a few recent occasions include King Charles’ visits to Redcar and Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart, Kirkleatham Museum, the Mayfair Centre and more!
Celebrations of the Past
The initial idea behind the coronation celebrations we’re familiar with today was to make it a spectacle for ordinary people to enjoy to gain support for the newly crowned monarch. The late Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was a huge event, costing around £41,710,000 and featuring 30,000 men from the Royal Navy, the Army, the Royal Air Force, soldiers from the Commonwealth and ‘Colonies’, reserve and administrative troops, and officers of the Royal military police – not to mention that it was the first major world event to be broadcast internationally on TV! The recording of the full coronation (save for the anointing ceremony at her majesty’s own request) showed the people that their new monarch was willing to move along with the times rather than remaining stuck in the past. This was in contrast to her father George VI’s coronation; it was the first coronation procession to be filmed and aired on TV s across the UK, however permission was not given for the ceremony in Westminster Abbey to be filmed.
George VI’s coronation procession was roughly 6 miles long with Elizabeth II’s following closely behind at 4.5 miles, giving them ample opportunity to see the thousands people who’d crowded the streets for the occasion. King Charles’ procession will be a much more modest 1.3 miles, the first half of which will not take place in the traditional Gold State Coach used for coronations since was commissioned in 1760. In addition to several new music arrangements that have been commissioned for King Charles’ coronation by talented musicians from all across the UK and the Commonwealth, traditional songs that have been featured in many past coronations such as the famous ‘Zadok the Priest’ by George Frideric Handel are sure to make an appearance too.
The coronation will be available to watch live on BBC One and BBC Radio – though if you can make it we do hope to see you at our own live screening!