Sunday, May 07, 2023

"...the moment is struck, a pact is sworn"

Here is the Coronation photo where Charles and Camilla really looked happy -- they're on the balcony, it's over, they made it, and nobody stumbled, collapsed, or dropped the Crown Jewels. 
My post title tonight is from the poem written by British Poet Laureate Simon Armitage "An Unexpected Guest" in honour of King Charles' coronation. 
The poem follows the story of a woman invited to attend a coronation and uses lines from Samuel Pepys diary, which described his encounter with the coronation of King Charles II, pointing to the historical significance of the occasion.
Here is the last stanza: 
She’ll watch it again on the ten o’clock news 
from the armchair throne in her living room: 
did the cameras notice her coral pink hat 
or her best coat pinned with the hero’s medal she got 
for being herself? The invitation is propped 
on the mantelpiece by the carriage clock. 
She adorned the day with ordinariness; 
she is blessed to have brought the extraordinary home. 
And now she’ll remember the house sparrow 
she thought she’d seen in the abbey roof 
arcing from eave to eave, beyond and above. 
Some tweets:
The Trudeaus looked terrific: Mary Simon tweeted this photo of Canadian delegation members: And here's a fascinating thread about the Governor-General Simon's dress:
Some more tweets: In The Guardian, journalist Rachel Cooke writes a column that summed up the whole coronation experience - It was ludicrous but also magnificent: the coronation stirred every emotion
...A drum horse called Apollo would not behave, skittering sideways determinedly. But in the diamond jubilee state coach – this one comes with both suspension and air conditioning – the queen’s hands were folded calmly in her lap. In their white ermine capes, cosy together on their quilted bench, their majesties looked like a couple of elderly polar bears on tour. Their hard-won, second-chance coupledom had never been to me more gently touching, every bit as much a symbol of 21st-century Britain as the sound of a gospel choir, or a Hindu prime minister reading from the Epistle to the Colossians 
...At the abbey, there was too much to take in. An embarrassment of colour and pomp and crazy jewellery. It was huge and hideous, exquisite and sacred, all at once. My dear, the outfits! 
... I confess to tearfulness when Charles, now in a plain linen shirt, knelt before the altar; and later on, as he put his arms into his gold robe, there was something so tender in the manner of the churchmen who dressed him. The king’s studied helplessness was peculiarly moving; in that moment, he had an invalid quality, a feeling that he was moving beyond something – though what that something might be, precisely, I cannot say. His face was almost plangent. He left the smiles to Camilla, and in so doing, made the moment when his son kissed him a fully sentimental one, his quiet “Thank you, William” his only real display of emotion. By now, I think I was – perhaps we were all – a bit agog. 
...The archbishop spoke of the king being “set apart” for the service of his people, and the coronation makes this manifest. You can feel it happening. Already, we think of him differently; he used to be plain Charles, a vessel for moaning and waiting and a certain kind of purposelessness. Henceforth, however, we may ourselves be saying, as we did with the queen before him, that while we are not royalists or anything like it, we have time for the king.
...He’s in context now. The past and the future, history woven through him. Even the most ardent republican must find it astonishing,...


Trailblazer said...

If we did not have the monarchy, then what?
Do we wish to be Republic like the USA?
Australia has struggled with the problem for years and have not come up with a solution that the majority likes!!
Perhaps; better the devil you know ?
A Trumpian republic; shudder!!!!


Cathie from Canada said...

Yes, I'm fine with keeping the monarchy as is.
I want our governor general and senate to keep on being mostly ceremonial and mostly lacking in any actual power or responsibility -- certainly not the kind of Senate that bedevils the US. If we ever changed it, any new leader or body we created to replace the monarchy would undoubtedly insist on having some actual power or responsibility for something.
This is, by the way, also why I support the continuation of our FPTP system with the Commons -- not perfect, but its also the devil we know too....