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King Charles III's Coronation was Business as Usual

Marion Charatan

Posted on May 8, 2023 23:11

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I was up in the middle of the night to see the UK's new monarch and his queen crowned. Was it worth it?

Being a Brit by birth, I was gearing up for weeks to watch King Charles III's ascent to the throne. It must have been a bittersweet day for the 74-year-old ruler--who watched his mother, Queen Elizabeth II hold her title as a generally well-loved monarch for over seven decades. Following her death at age 96 in September of 2022, Prince Charles became King Charles. The ceremony last Saturday made it all the more official. 

The extravagant coronation was conducted at Westminister Abbey. It is one of the most beautiful and impressive churches I have seen. High ceilings surrounded by lovely stained glass windows dating back to the 18th century give the building a mystical feel. The west window of the nave portrays Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the Twelve Tribes of Israel. It was designed by Sir James Thornhill and created by artist William Price.

Coronations have been in the Abbey since 1066 when William the Conquerer of Normandy defeated then-King Harold II, making Harold the last Anglo-Saxon king in the United Kingdom. William ascended to the throne and changed the complexion of British history by introducing French into the culture and modifying the English language.

With such a rich history, the Abbey is the ideal setting for King Charles's coronation. The cost to the British taxpayers amounted to about an estimated £100 million or $126 million. Much of the price tag was for extensive security. Although many British people support the monarchy, there is also a large segment opposed to paying for staged extravaganzas. Going forward, King Charles has committed to streamlining the monarchy.

During the ceremony, the cameras panned briefly to Prince Harry, notably without his American wife, Meghan Markle, and two young children, Archie and Lilibet, 1, named after her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth. They stayed behind in Montecito, Santa Barbara, where Harry and Meghan bought a $15.5 million home. The on-the-record excuse was that Meghan had to host a birthday party for Archie, who turned four on May 6, the same day as his grandfather's coronation.

But naysayers believe there is more to that story, and that is, Harry and Meghan relinquished their duties as Senior Royals. And they said negative stuff about the Royals in a famous Oprah interview, and Harry released "Spare." There are countless reports about bad blood between Harry and his older brother Prince William.

The robes worn by King Charles and his wife, now Queen Camilla, were stunning. But were there any surprises? Not really. The new king appeared nervous and overwhelmed midpoint of the ceremony as Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, swore him in. On the other hand, Queen Camilla looked quite relaxed as she adjusted her jeweled crown.

I appreciate the history of my native country. However, I realize a little more shut-eye would have benefited me more than staying up all night. Although history-making, the ceremony was sadly a bit repetitive and tedious.

 

 

 

Marion Charatan

Posted on May 8, 2023 23:11

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