What do the public think of the Coronation Celebrations? by Maximilian Taucher

In England we are one of the last countries in the world to hold coronations. On Saturday 6 May the coronation of KIng Charles III took place in Westminster Abbey and opinions are divided about the benefits of such an expensive event.

I am from Austria but have lived in England most of my life. I always find the royals interesting because they have been part of the English history for such a long time. It was impressive all the effort they put into the event, and to see everyone enjoying it. It was good to observe, for the first time in my life, a monarch getting crowned. 

What do the public think of the Coronation Celebrations?

Penny and I went to Newbury Library on Wednesday 10 May to talk people at Educafe about what they thought about the Coronation celebrations.

“I remember back in 1953 watching the Queen Coronation on a very small black and white TV screen black. I find It interesting because it is all part of history.” Thomas, Calcot (89).

“It went off alright, but I found it bit boring. I’m not really into the monarchy.” Ronald, Calcot.

“I sat down and watched the whole thing. I enjoyed the pageantry, and no one does it better than the Brits. Grateful for the young men from the commonwealth who fought to defend Malta in WW2, very happy to see all the different flags together at the Coronation”. Evelyn, Newbury, (originally from Malta).

“It was absolutely amazing especially was impressed by the synchronised parade and I was also impressed by diversity”. Beverly, Newbury, (originally from Guyana).

“I was impressed by the historic buildings in London like Westminster Abbey and the amount of planning that went into the event”. Andrew, Newbury.

“It very different from Turkey, seems bit like fairy tale and it’s good for tourism”. Buket, from Turkey.

“Because of all the security it cost over £100 million. The money could be spent better on foodbanks etc”. Doreen, Newbury.

“When the Queen died it was very reassuring that Charles took over instantly as King especially when we had so many different PMs. The monarchy in the UK keeps us interesting”. Laura, Reading.

“I really enjoyed the service. The monarchy always been part of our history and identity. I know that not everyone feels the same way, but my heart was fluttering when my partner and I took the oath of the allegiance”. Ginette, Newbury.

“We loved hosting the Coronation Tea in partnership with Newbury Library. We were grateful that the Mayor of Newbury and the West Berkshire Council chairman were able to join us. The event brought all our diverse communities together and it was a lovely chance to celebrate a memorable occasion and eat lots of scones! And we think that all the events around the area were brilliant too.” Clare Middleton, Educafe.

We also talked to Fiona Hobson from Hungerford who travelled up to London on the Friday afternoon with an American friend she had met in the queue at the Queen’s Lying in State. 

“The atmosphere was amazing, so much anticipation in the air and everyone was so friendly to each other,” says Fiona. “One of the highlights was seeing the King come past in his car when we were at Hyde Park Corner.  Watching the service on the big screen and the party poppers that went off around us when he was crowned. A very British picnic in the rain and London all lit up at night.
 
“There were reporters from all over the world filming the event and interviewing people. French Canal+ reporter asked me what I thought of the Coronation and I said I thought King Charles would be a good king. 
  
“I do think it was worth the money, as there were thousands of people there, many had come from other countries including my friend who came from Texas especially, so the tourism boost to the economy would have been massive alone. 
 
“I grew up with my Mum taking me to Trooping Of The Colour most years and to the Jubilee so I have a deep love and respect for the monarchy. They do so much for the country, yes they have a privileged life compared to many but the cost of that is no privacy and dedication to duty all the time. I think they do a huge amount for tourism & therefore the economy. 
 
“I was delighted to receive the letter from Buckingham Palace thanking us for our Hungerford Street Party and it was great to get back to Hungerford in time for the street party on the Sunday and have the Mayor read the letter out at the party”.

As a final thought, here is an interesting paragraph from Brian Quinn’s article about the cost and policing of the Coronation:

The gap between this coronation and the next will be less than the 70 years since 1953, these events don’t happen that often. Presidential inaugurations in the USA take place every four years. The Washington Post estimated that the 2017 US inauguration cost $175m to $2000m – the majority of which was funded by the taxpayer – so putting it in the same ball park as last weekend’s festivities. I doubt US inaugurations do much for the country’s domestic or international tourism figures.

Maximilian Taucher
Newbury College student

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