Saturday, May 20, 2023

Anne’s Last Moments

Anne’s Last Moments

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

The Disastrous Coronation of William the Conqueror

 Unlike King Charles III's splendid ceremony, William the Conqueror's coronation was a disaster. The King, who had looked forward to a magnificent ritual, instead faced fires, riots and even killings. It was probably the only time that this stern, immensely proud man actually found himself trembling!

Matthew Paris, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

After beating King Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William conducted a brutal military campaign in London, eventually forcing Edgar Atheling, the grandson of Edmund II and Saxon heir to the English throne, to surrender. William wanted to defer his coronation that his wife Matilda could be crowned with him, because she was descended from Alfred the Great, so the Anglo-Saxons were more sympathetic to her than to a Norman invader. He said that 'since God granted him this honour, he wished for his wife to be crowned with him'.(Matilda was acting as regent of Normandy).  However, he was advised to have the ceremony as soon as possible to assert his authority.

William was crowned on Christmas Day in 1066 in Westminster Abbey on the very spot where Edward the Confessor, who had allegedly promised him the throne, was buried. There were bad omens from the beginning. Stigand, the Archbishop of Canterbury, refused to perform the ceremony, because he would not 'crown one who was covered with the blood of men, and the invader of others' rights'. The ceremony was conducted by Aldred, the Archbishop of York, in English, and in French by the Bishop of Coutances. William had looked forward to his coronation, even commissioning a magnificent new,  crown 'fashioned out of gold and precious stones' with a ruby at the centre. The order would be the one laid out by Saint Dunstan with some French additions, such as the acclamation of the King.

Norman guards were placed outside the Abbey in case of any trouble. Unfortunately, when the people were asked to acclaim the King, the noise was so loud that the guards thought that there was a riot, and began setting fire to buildings in a violent attempt to put it down. According to one chronicler, smoke filled the church, and the congregation began to flee. William watched 'trembling from head to foot' but he had the presence of mind to insist that the ceremony be completed, William then took the oath, in which he promised 'that he would rule all this people as well as the best of kings before, his, if they would be loyal to him,' and he was finally crowned. 

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Friday, May 5, 2023

The First Guests Arrive.

Guests arrive.

The BBC Guide to the Coronation

 The King’s big day has arrived, and excitement is rising! Here is the BBC Guide.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

The New King Will Ride In Comfort To His Coronation in An Australian-Made Coach

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach, Grahamedown, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

King Charles III will ride in comfort to his coronation tomorrow in an Australian-made coach. The Dianond Jubilee State Coach was made by Jim "WJ" Frecklington in Manly, Sydney. The beautiful coach has six hydraulic stabilisers to ensure a smooth ride, heating, electric windows and even air-conditioning. It needs six horses to draw it, though.

Jim Frecklington, who used to care for the Queen's show horses, wanted to make 'something nice' for her. Although he received a grant from the Howard government for $245,000.00, he also mortgaged his house so that he could afford to manufacture it.

The coach is made from aluminium on the outside which looks like old-fashioned wood, but the interior wooden panels include segments from 100 historic palaces, ships and buildings, including the Mary Rose, the Tower of London and St. Paul's Cathedral. The crown on top of the coach is crafted from timber from Lord Nelson's famous ship, HMS Victory. Jim Frecklington told the Sydney Morning Herald that he 'tried to encapsulate 100 years of the history of England in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach which I think is the reason that King Charles is very fond of that particular coach'.

The coach was first used at the state opening of Parliament on June 14, 2014.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

The Coronation Cross Will Include Fragments From The True Cross

The Cross of Wales will lead the way in the coronation procession into Westminster Abbey on May 6. Recently blessed by the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, at the Holy Trinity Church in Landudno, the cross will include fragments believed to be from the True Cross on which Jesus was sacrificed. Saint Helena was supposed to have discovered them in the fourth century. These shards were a personal gift from the Pope to the King. The inclusion into the coronation cross is an ecumenical gesture showing unity between the denominations.

The fragments have been made into a tiny cross encased into a rose crystal gemstone in the centre of the cross. Inscribed on the back are words from Saint David's last sermon in Welsh. Translated, they mean: 'Be joyful. Keep the faith. Do the Little Things'.

The Cross of Wales, made from recycled silver bullion, was commissioned by the King when he was Prince of Wales to celebrate the centenary of the Church in Wales.

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