I genuinely looked forward to watching King Charles III’s coronation ceremony yesterday. Since I live in Germany, and Germany is an hour ahead of the United Kingdom, I didn’t even have to get up early to watch the whole thing live on my television. While I can understand why some people think the British monarchy should go, I can’t deny that I enjoy watching the pageantry of their traditions. And so it was yesterday, as I tuned in– first on German television, then on YouTube, where I found plenty of live coverage in English.
I think I love watching the British royals, not necessarily because of the family itself, but because I love all the sights and sounds of their parades. I love watching the horses, especially, all smartly decked out, prancing down the wide boulevard between Buckingham Palace and whichever church is hosting the main event of the day. Yesterday, it was Westminster Abbey again, but it’s not always Westminster Abbey.
I also love hearing the wonderful music invariably played at British royal events. Yesterday was no exception, as there were choirs and orchestras playing, and they sounded so gorgeous on my HomePod, hooked to my TV. Some of the music played was obviously composed for the coronation, including one piece that addressed Queen Camilla in song. Prince William and Princess Catherine both looked regal in their robes, and their children, as usual, were so beautifully behaved.
The ceremony itself was interesting, although I confess that I fell asleep a couple of times. I think that had to do with the fact that I was watching it in bed and I don’t typically sleep all night without waking up at least once. So yes, I dozed off a couple of times, only to be startled awake by the beautiful music booming through the HomePod again.
I was a bit surprised to find out that the new king and queen are both anointed in oil. Charles had to undress, get anointed, and then get dressed again in different robes. Camilla was also anointed, although I don’t think they did it as part of the ceremony yesterday. Charles’s anointing took place behind giant screens with crosses on them.
It reminded me of what I’ve heard and read about LDS endowment ceremonies, where church members wear special garments that allow temple workers to anoint them with “sacred” oil. I kinda wonder if the church got that bit of the endowment ceremony from Britain’s coronation ceremony. But who knows? I’ve never been Mormon, and all of that stuff is probably only meaningful to those who attach meaning to it… which I don’t. Charles isn’t my king, and the LDS church isn’t my church.
I got a little choked up, anyway, though… because if I weren’t from the United States, I’d be British. Or really, I’d probably be Scottish. I think I inherited a lot of national traits from my ancestors, like a love of good music, an affinity for good spirits, a tendency toward depression, a quick wit, an appreciation for interesting stories, and an affection for time honored traditions. Most British royal ceremonies incorporate those things… I might even include depression, since I know not everyone appreciates the British Royal family or their soirees.
It’s not lost on me that the huge production that went into yesterday caused issues for the locals. Yes, there was an opportunity to make a lot of money– hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers, airlines, cruise lines (especially in the case of Cunard), and souvenir shops all probably made out like bandits.
London isn’t cheap to visit under the best of circumstances. I’ll bet hotel rooms were scarce and very expensive! I wonder about those who booked hotels a year in advance. What did the hotel managers do? Because I’m sure the price went up for those dates. Did they jack the price up on the people who booked ahead? What if they paid in advance? I mean, this could have been a thing. A year ago, Queen Elizabeth II was still living. What if someone had planned a trip to Britain for the weekend of May 6, 2023 and planned WAY in advance, as I tend to do for trips that involve cruises?
However, along with all of the money, excitement, and pomp and circumstance, no doubt came traffic snarls, loud crowds, pollution, and everything else that comes with huge events. I’m sure some people– even including those who don’t have a problem with the monarchy– were annoyed by the whole thing.
Some people simply don’t like Charles and Camilla. I saw people commenting about how Diana should have been queen. To that, I say no, she shouldn’t have. Charles and Diana should never have married in the first place. They didn’t like each other, let alone love each other. Yes, Diana was beautiful and extraordinary, but she wasn’t suited to being Charles’s wife. It’s clear to me that Charles and Camilla deeply love each other, and have for well over 50 years. They should have been married to each other in the first place. I think, if Charles hadn’t been who he is, they would have married and never divorced. As far as I’m concerned, Camilla is the rightful Queen Consort.
But that doesn’t mean that Diana wasn’t an incredible person. It’s tragic that she died so young, under such terrible circumstances. She should have had more of a chance to find the right person to be with, and do the work she loved to do. Her story is very sad, and what makes it worse is that her death could have been prevented.
It’s all I can do not to offer a rebuttal, though, when I read comments about how awful Charles and Camilla are. Charles didn’t ask to be a prince. He was born into that situation. And he didn’t ask to have his family meddle in his love life, back in the 1970s and 80s. Most anyone else would have been permitted to marry the person they loved. He obviously loves Camilla. Yes, it was wrong for Charles and Camilla to have an affair when they were married to other people. But… to be fair, it’s not as if Diana didn’t also have affairs. I’m not sure about Camilla’s ex husband’s fidelity.
Charles and Camilla may be royal, but they’re also human… and as the second wife of a man who married the WRONG person in 1990, I have great empathy for Camilla. I think she’ll make a fine Queen Consort. Divorce generally sucks on many levels, but sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary. And I think it was necessary in the case of Charles and Diana.
On another note, I’ll bet Charles and Camilla are tired today…
I’m glad I was able to watch the coronation. Regardless of what I might think of British royalty, yesterday’s ceremony was historic. If nothing else, I just really enjoyed the music and watching the beautiful horses (and missing having my own horse). I also enjoyed seeing my new favorite royal, Princess Anne. 😉 It was a nice way to pass the time alone, while I wait for Bill to finish his latest TDY assignment, and we start making some summer fun plans. I am in some serious need of fun, after the last three years… and the last six months, really.
Well, I have a few things to do today. I might try to finish preparing the garden furniture for the summer. Noyzi needs a walk. I need to practice guitar for a few minutes. I have a book to finish, and a roast to cook. So, I think I will end today’s post, and get on with my Sunday. Hope you enjoy yours…