God Save the King! You can say what you like but nobody does pomp and ceremony better than the British.
300 million people watched the coronation of King Charles III and it didn't disappoint. The world watched on as their Majesties entered Westminster Abbey, a stunning tableau like something dreamt up by Walt Disney, in a ceremony that is over 1,000 years old.
As the crown, and by the way this day was the only time that he will actually wear that crown, was placed on his head the nation celebrated. A crown that carries the weight of public service, and rather interestingly was actually made in 1661 for King Charles II. A crown that was waited over 360 years to be placed on another King Charles.
And the thousands and thousands of people outside cheered in the rain, yes of course it rained it was a typical English event.
Whether you are a Royalist or a Republican you couldn’t help but be impressed by the whole day. And I have to admit that I fall in the Royalist camp. Yes, the Royal Family has had it bumps along the road, which family doesn’t, but the overwhelming positive effect can’t and should not be cast aside.
A system built on tradition
Is it hard to say God save the King? I have to admit it is taking a bit of getting used to, at least for me. I get half way through out national anthem then have to think of the words.
This was the first royal coronation that I have seen live. For over 70 years the country looked up to Queen Elizabeth II and the switch has been a moment of reflection.
This is a system built on tradition and history and change takes time. To highlight this King Charles was sitting on a wooden throne that was built in the 1300s. The Coronation Chair, as it is known, is thought to be the oldest piece of furniture that is still used for the purpose it was built in the UK.
From the brightly coloured lords and ladies, to the classic music, the gold stage coach that carried the Royal Couple from Westminster Abbey, the fanfare and fireworks, it had everything and was compulsive viewing. I actually lost count of the number of trumpet fanfares there were.
“It has just been the most wonderful occasion despite the weather. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. We have had a monarchy for hundreds of years and it is our connection with the past. Where else would you get these crowds? It has just been the most marvellous sense of occasion,” was one comment that stuck in my mind.
Yes, that phrase “our connection with the past,” is important. If you forget where you have come from then you ignore who you actually are.
This same connection can be seen in Dubrovnik on the day of the patron saint, St. Blaise. Respecting our history means knowing how to shape our future. Or as Thomas S. Monson once said “The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.”
Future looks bright
And the future of the Royal Family looks to be in very accomplished hands, as the Prince and Princess of Wales, or William and Kate looked, and indeed acted, as the future. They were breathtakingly regal in every sense.
And as ever it was their young children who stole the show. Prince Louis and his sister Princess Charlotte were right in the front row for all the day and their antics brought a dash of fun to the event. From the waving, the singing, the funny faces, a sarcastic clap and even the yawns, the fun couple were an absolute hit.
Unfortunately, Louis didn’t attend the concert in the evening, just when we were looking forward to seeing his dance moves. Apparently, he was worn out after a full day and had already gone to bed. Watching him over the coming years is going to be fun as clearly he has a mischievous streak.
It was a day that had everything, and a day that will long live in my memory. It was quite probably the only Royal Coronation that I will see in my lifetime, and I soaked it all up.
God Save the King!
Read more Englishman in Dubrovnik…well, if you really want to
About the author
Mark Thomas (aka Englez u Dubrovniku) is the editor of The Dubrovnik Times. He was born and educated in the UK and moved to live in Dubrovnik in 1998. He works across a whole range of media, from a daily radio show to TV and in print. Thomas is fluent in Croatian and this column is available in Croatia on the website – Dubrovnik Vjesnik