As excitement surrounding the forthcoming coronation builds more information about the ceremony is being announced. We know for instance that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been invited and seemingly foreign monarchs are to be included on the guest list. Convention dictated that no other crowned heads should be present at the sacred ceremony of a British monarch, but the King and his advisers thought it was more modern and diplomatic to invite his European counterparts and Arab rulers supportive of Great Britain.
We have also learnt that the uncrowned King and Queen are not travelling to Westminster Abbey in the Gold State Coach, made for King George III in 1762, but will return to Buckingham Palace in it afterwards. A sensible decision as the coach is incredibly uncomfortable and made the late Queen nauseous. ‘Not meant for travelling in at all,’ is how she described it.
Another new state coach has been made by the Australian-based coachbuilder Jim Frecklington, who had many dealings with Queen Elizabeth II in the years that he worked at the Royal Mews. The new coach will be brought from Australia, where it was built, prior to the coronation and it is hoped that Their Majesties will travel in comfort in it to Westminster Abbey. The blueprint for the ceremony and processions has been brought to fruition by the Earl Marshal – the Duke of Norfolk – the most senior lay member of the Roman Catholic Church.
Covering a similar route from 24 April to 31 May is The King’s Coronation Tour, curated by Brigit’s Bakery in collaboration with Majesty. The trip on an iconic Routemaster bus will take in the sights of royal London as passengers enjoy a regal afternoon tea while chatting with a knowledgeable guide: https://b-bakery.com/london/bus-tours/coronation-bus-tour
Good news from the racing world is that the King and Queen now own Her late Majesty’s racehorses in their joint names. After the death of his mother Charles inherited her racehorses, breeding mares, foals and stallions. His Majesty sold more than a dozen at the October sales, making more than £1 million in the process but, as he knows, racing is an expensive business, especially with a large number of horses in training, many bred by the late Queen herself.
Queen Camilla spoke out recently at a Clarence House reception for the second anniversary of her online book club. Referring to Roald Dahl’s children’s books, in which changes were to be made to his original words, she reminded the literary audience to ‘remain true’ to their calling ‘unimpeded by those who may wish to curb the freedom of your expression or impose limits on your imagination’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have invoked their right to use the titles prince and princess for their children. On 8 March a spokesman confirmed that ‘Princess Lilibet Diana had been christened by the Anglican Bishop of Los Angeles, the Right Reverend John Taylor’ five days earlier. The ceremony at their Montecito home was attended by celebrity guests but no representatives from Harry’s family.
On 10 March – the Earl of Wessex’s 59th birthday – the King conferred the dukedom of Edinburgh upon his youngest brother. The title, last created for Prince Philip in 1947, will be held by Prince Edward for his lifetime.