King Charles’s coronation is scheduled for May 6th, his grandson Archie’s fourth birthday. Since QEII died, obviously the plans for the coronation have been underway, and Buckingham Palace has been briefing the royal rota throughout the process. For years, we were told that Charles’s coronation would be much different than his mother’s, that it would be shorter, breezier, less stuffy and, most importantly, it would be cheaper. Britain isn’t a global leader in anything other than shenanigans, so why burn millions of pounds on some fusty old coronation? Well, that’s exactly what they’re going to do.
The King has rejected the idea of a cut-price coronation and wishes to use the event to showcase “UK plc”, The Telegraph understands. The event will be a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle of “glorious” pomp and pageantry after Buckingham Palace and government aides took heed of the enormous international coverage generated in the aftermath of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
One of the “key learnings” from Operation London Bridge and Spring Tide – the period of mourning between the late Queen’s death and her funeral, along with the new monarch’s tour of the UK – was that it proved to be a great advertisement for Britain. While it was always expected to be an event of great national significance, the global effect had not been fully considered.
As such, organisers are determined to invest in the coronation, which will take place at Westminster Abbey on May 6, recognising that the rewards will be unrivalled.
The coronation is expected to be shorter than the late Queen’s, with fewer attendees, better reflecting the modern monarchy. Reports of a shorter, simpler service prompted fears of a “cut-price” ceremony that would send the wrong message to the world. However, aides insisted that the only elements to be removed from the ceremony would be those now considered outdated and cumbersome.
Palace insiders and politicians are said to agree that any attempt to reduce the occasion would be a missed opportunity to showcase “UK plc” on the global stage.
The King is deeply conscious of the cost of living crisis and there is clear acknowledgment that the ceremony will take place at a time of economic hardship, meaning that every penny must be accounted for and justified. However, through recent events, organisers have learnt that a grand royal spectacle is the most powerful way to promote Britain’s international standing.
I remember talking about the “budget coronation” with CB a few months ago, and pointing out that it’s actually cost-neutral for Charles to simply dust off all of the royal family’s gold carriages, stolen jewels, velvet robes and diamond-encrusted orbs. Like, that sh-t already exists and it’s just sitting there in storage. So yes, the coronation is the perfect excuse to get all of that out in public view. If the Queen’s funeral showed us anything, it’s that the only thing the Brits do well is fussy pomp, so sure, do the big parades and whatever else too. But also admit that throwing this big coronation party is a huge waste of everyone’s time and money. They’re going to blow tens of millions of pounds on an hour-long coronation, all for clout and status… and literally everything else in the UK is in crisis.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.