We are witnessing something that we should not fully understand. – letter

We are witnessing something that we should not fully understand.  – letter

The coronation of the British monarch is a strange animal.

It is a new media medium that adapts very little to a modern media audience. It is a celebration followed by audiences all over the world, but this is not the case because of the power relations in England during the Middle Ages. Perhaps this is part of the reason royal ceremonies continue to bring people to the couch, even if royalty isn’t as respected as it used to be.

Seventy years ago: when Queen Elizabeth II was being crowned in 1953, Westminster Abbey was completely packed. This was the first time that the coronation ceremony was broadcast live on television.

Photo: AP

Much of what we as TV viewers are presented with is premeditated, tailored to different target groups, with a certain nervousness that we won’t like. The coronation follows its own rhythm, and has its own symbols. Royal weddings and funerals are reminiscent of celebrations that we experience on a regular basis.

no coronation. It is rare. Part of the reason for this interest is probably because audiences can feel like flies on the wall in Westminster Abbey. We are witnessing something that we should not fully understand.

A long tradition: But the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla will be easier than the previous one.  The aristocracy would play a less central role.

A long tradition: But the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla will be easier than the previous one. The aristocracy would play a less central role.

Photo: Victoria Jones/AP

In fact, what is happening is not so mysterious. When we look at the coronation, we really look forward to tough negotiations, wrapped in gold and furs and beautiful words.

Traditionally, coronation consists of five stages. First, the king appears to those present and they accept him as the rightful king. Then he must take an oath, promising to act according to certain laws and values.

Then it is anointed. These rituals are so sacred that we mere mortals are not allowed to see them. The canopy will ensure that television cameras cannot film the king while he is scanning. Then comes the moment when the king is crowned with a huge St. Edward’s crown, which weighs about 2.3 kilograms.

FOLKEFEST: In the best British tradition, St. Edward's Crown is recreated in chocolate.

FOLKEFEST: In the best British tradition, St. Edward’s Crown is recreated in chocolate.

Photo: Jacob King/AP

This crown is used only at coronations, and only three people are allowed to touch it: the King, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the jewels of the court. Finally, the council praised the king.

These phases are what they are because British monarchs were often in conflict with the kingdom’s powerful nobles. Traditionally, these men were present during coronations. and when they say publicly that they accept the king as ruler, it is because the people may have good reason to suspect that they did just that.

And when kings take an oath, it indicates that they accept that their power has limits. This oath is the reason why not all kings and queens are enthusiastic about the idea of ​​coronation. When King Charles I became king in 1625, he considered dropping the entire coronation, because he believed he was responsible only to God. He deeply disliked the idea of ​​having to promise anything to others.

Everyday crown: During the coronation ceremony, the monarch changes into a lighter imperial crown.  It is this krona that they use henceforth in general contexts.

Everyday crown: During the coronation ceremony, the monarch changes into a lighter imperial crown. It is this krona that they use henceforth in general contexts.

Photo: Reuters

Then it was also this king who managed to go to war with his parliament. The king lost the war, was sentenced to death and beheaded in 1649. Puritan Oliver Cromwell, who had emerged victorious from the civil war, saw the crown jewels dissolved. He didn’t want the dead king’s followers to have anything to rally around.

But when Cromwell died, having presided over a capricious and persecuted religious republic, the appetite for monarchy rekindled. The son of the deceased king returned from exile and was crowned King Charles II. For this coronation, new crown jewels had to be made, and it was these regalia, from 1661, that were used in the coronations that followed.

New King: Charles II was crowned in 1661, many years after his father, Charles I, was beheaded.  These slogans will be used during the coronation on Saturday.

New King: Charles II was crowned in 1661, many years after his father, Charles I, was beheaded. These slogans will be used during the coronation on Saturday.

Photo: Ap

Something that happened later was the Imperial State Crown, the lighter crown that the monarch would change into during coronations. This is the crown he will wear on official occasions, including the opening of Parliament. It is also not easy to handle. The late Queen Elizabeth once said that one should be careful when reading from a text with a crown on it. Then you had to hold the script in front of you, and not bow your head too low, because then she thought her neck might break.

Now, of course, it is not entirely true that Saturday’s coronation would not be adapted to its time. The aristocracy will have a more subdued role than it did during Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953.

Incident: When King George VI was crowned in 1937, the Archbishop of Canterbury placed cotton thread on the crown of St. Edwards, to see what was before and behind him.  The thread disappeared and the crown was incorrectly placed on the king's head.  Here he is with the lighter Imperial Crown Prince after the ceremony.

Incident: When King George VI was crowned in 1937, the Archbishop of Canterbury placed cotton thread on the crown of St. Edwards, to see what was before and behind him. The thread disappeared and the crown was incorrectly placed on the king’s head. Here he is with the lighter Imperial Crown Prince after the ceremony.

Photo: AP

Instead of his mother having more than eight thousand guests, Charles will have just over two thousand in Westminster Abbey, and the ceremony itself will be shorter and simpler. Perhaps Buckingham Palace thought it wouldn’t be quite so tasty with a party so lavish, reserved for the most privileged people in the country, while ordinary Brits struggled to afford the electric bill.

Some of the large diamonds in the Crown Jewels are controversial, as they come from parts of the world where the British had nothing to do in the strict sense. One of them, the famous Koh-i-noor diamond, was removed from the tiara to be placed on Queen Camilla’s head.

But there is a limit to how recent the coronation can be. The power play it once symbolized no longer exists. The king has no official influence, and therefore the promises of loyalty that he will receive do not mean much.

In this sense, the coronation has no other function than precisely this: to be a legacy from another time, and to bring with it a whiff of the adventurous and incomprehensible from there.

At the same time, the environmentally conscious royal also made sure to put his personal touch on the ceremony. Crown oil is vegetable.

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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