My grandfather built his own TV for the coronation, a story which I have told before, and they all sat round with neighbours to watch the seven inch screen. It was therefore, with a fine sense of tradition that I sat down and watched the Coronation on TV. Not quite all of it. I missed a bit at the beginning. And a bit while I made brunch. After that I watched more, napped for a little, made afternoon tea (including Coronation Chicken sandwiches), was shouted at for snoring and eventually saw the Royal Family on the balcony. I didn’t actually want to watch the ceremony, I just like the medals and uniforms. I like to say that as the shop’s medal expert I need to keep up with these things, but really I’m just a small boy trapped in a crumbling body.
This is good tradition.
My father, who was still the Royal Navy in 1953, stationed at Chatham, lined the Coronation route. It rained and he got wet. I briefly thought of him, but confess that I felt no need to follow in his footsteps. I’m sure King Charles will do fine without the presence of a wet Wilson by the side of the road.
All in all it’s a day to relish tradition. Everyone is keen to tell us how out of date and second class we are as a nation, but for just one day it would have been nice to sit back, be traditional, ignore the bits I didn’t like and relax. However, I wasn’t allowed to, as a lot of the comments from one of the BBC team, a history expert, hinged on how times were changing, always tinged with reproach. This is how life is these days, no matter what you do, somebody always wants to criticise.
I don’t have a picture suitable for a coronation, but let’s face it, nothing says celebration like a nice piece of cake. I used Battenberg in the top picture because it has a link to Royalty.