Coronation Weekend

The Coronation Weekend closes with a bank holiday and the return of rain, but Sunday was sunny for community picnics.

Saturday, day of the coronation, it drizzled and rained in London, while here it poured with rain all morning; families planning to watch on big screens and have a picnic with their friends were disappointed. But apart from the weather, which had been forecast all along, the coronation went well. For those looking forward to the coronation it lived up to their expectations.

My invitation to The Abbey?

If you were inside Westminster Abbey, early as directed, there was music to entertain you in the long wait for the royal arrival. If you were watching on television and switched on early you would know that five thousand military personnel arrived at Waterloo Station by train and marched over Westminster Bridge to take part in the procession. There were plenty more interesting snippets from commentators about the day’s plan’s, from how the many troops would line up ready to march, to the names of all the horses ( well not all of them ). At the abbey entrance we could see who was arriving and have fun trying to identify them. As the King and Queen left Buckingham Palace and the mounted guards and bands led the procession up The Mall, there were intriguing comments from the commentator which set off my writer’s imagination. ‘Apollo’s playing up’ . Hmm story idea, what if Apollo suddenly decided, after all the parades he’s been in, to make a bid for freedom!

Apollo the Drum Horse will be ridden by Lance Corporal Chris Diggle from the Band of the Household Cavalry. The nine-year-old horse stands at over 17 hands (1.73 metres) tall and weighs in at nearly 800 kilograms. He is described as a “big friendly giant” who “loves attention”.

The coronation service was full of contrasts; the guests in the abbey representing all strands of modern society and every religion as promised, but they were there to witness an ancient ceremony with aspects going far back beyond our own history to King Solomon being anointed with oil by Zadok the Priest.

It was a long service with lots of symbolic items being handed around, people with strange titles in all sorts of outfits and new and traditional music. Whether you were in the abbey or watching on television the history, music and human interest made it a unique experience. King Charles was probably one of the few people who had actually been to a coronation before. Even for regular church goers there were odd aspects to grasp. The strange chanting of psalm 71 by the Greek Orthodox choir seemed to take us right back to the time of King David.

The even bigger procession back to the palace was a feat of precision. Earlier in the week on the news channel we had seen the late night full rehearsal, strangely ghost like; now it was in full colour. There were more interesting touches. I liked the fact that Princess Anne nipped off to get changed then leapt onto her horse to join in the procession.

‘She gave a rare interview to CBC news that aired on Monday, saying: “I have a role as the Colonel of the Blues and Royals in the Household Cavalry regiment as Gold Stick. And Gold Stick was the original close protection officer.’ 

The coronation was always going to be a contrast to most people’s lives. Most people don’t go to church and have little to do with the military, while the royals are steeped in the traditions of both. But does the fact that so many people turn out for every royal occasion and many at home love to watch, demonstrate we love that which is outside our every day lives and is part of our history and heritage?

For those who were not interested in the coronation or averse to royalty there is always somewhere peaceful to get away from it all.

Did you watch, did you enjoy the coronation?

38 thoughts on “Coronation Weekend

  1. Yes, I watched, out of the vague sense of it being a historic event, and the last one was three months before I was born. I thought Princess Anne’s appointed role was to wear that pantomime hat with silly feathers, then sit right in front of Prince Harry and completely obscure his view of proceedings 😉

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  2. I rarely watch TV and normally only turn it on as background around midnight, but for this special occasion it went on around 11 a.m. Although I expected the actual service to be traditional, I was a little surprised there were not a few more modern aspects. Some people apparently took their seats around 8 a.m. TMI but can you imagine making your way along the row saying ‘Excuse me, excuse me, when you gotta go, you gotta go.’ 😀
    Afterwards, and the parade and precision was fantastic. Loved every minute of that, such a shame the fly past was cut short because of the weather.
    Apollo, your story will be told!

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    1. Yes I was ‘relieved ‘ I wasn’t invited to the coronation, we were imagining the congregation collapsing with dehydration afterwards having not dared to drink any tea or coffee that morning! Glad you enjoyed the rare outing for your TV set!

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      1. It was Janet we always had horses before we retired and I love watching them…I was also happy to see Princess Anne riding with her regiment I am a fan of hers she would make a great Queen if that was ever an option –unlikely although it is …

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      2. Oh that must have bee good having horses, I love watching them. Princess Anne is the hardest working royal apparently and she would have made a great queen.


  3. I managed to avoid it, save for the snippets on the main news later. My wife watched it all, but my blood pressure would have gone through the roof if I had joined her.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. I was doing some stuff on my laptop and had it playing in the background – switching screens when it seemed interesting. I, too, was intrigued by Princess Anne’s decision to ride as a Colonel not sit in a carriage as a Royal lady. It seemed to echo accompanying her Mother’s coffin from Scotland and then walking behind it at the funeral with the men of the family. The costumes and titles are truly bizarre!

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  5. Hi Janet, I am not a royalist as I don’t believe in hereditary titles but I would have watched some of the Coronation for its ‘making history’ factor. I was at a book festival Al last Saturday so it wasn’t possible for me to watch.

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    1. Hello Robbie, yes there are plenty of people here who wonder why on earth we still have heredity titles and logically it doesn’t make sense. I guess the fact that many elected leaders everywhere leave a lot to be desired means royalty still get a lot of support. Hope you enjoyed the book festival.

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  6. Later on Coronation Day, I found a YouTube replay of it, which I watched, and then had to look up some of the items the king was given, because I didnt know their significance! 😄😄😄

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