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Between diplomatic disputes, republican tendencies and the idea of a “low-cost” monarchy that not everyone likes, Operation Golden Orb or the preparations for the coronation King Charles III, which takes place on May 6, 2023, is becoming more and more like an obstacle course. Buckingham Palace attempts to fuse tradition and modernity, but the result is far from obvious.
The Golden Orb operation is triggered
On May 6, 2023 Charles III. officially crowned sovereign of England. That Duke of Norfolk, Edward William Fitzalan-Howard organizes a “shorter ceremony…it will have a lower cost and take into account the different communities and religious denominations of the kingdom”. From the first leaked indiscretions, guests will be just 2,000, the event will last an hour instead of the traditional four, Queen Consort Camilla will be crowned alongside her husband and Prince William will play a leading role, just like Prince Philip did 70 years ago years. Charles III would also have done away with the rigid dress code dictating formal dresses, opting for evening gowns and ermine furs. The velvet seats are to be replaced with ordinary chairs and there will be no delivery of bullion, which the king says is inappropriate given the economic crisis the kingdom is facing.
A “modern” coronation
“The king has stripped the coronation down to the essentials, recognizing that the world has changed in the past 70 years,” says a Palazzo insider. His Majesty he also wants the coronation to be “modern”. However, the changes will not affect the crucial moments of the event: the ceremony will take place in Westminster Abbey, will be celebrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the sovereign will swear to be a “Defender of the Faith”, we will see the ancient and exciting rite of the Anointing, the epicenter of the Coronation and the 1762 golden state carriage on which Queen Elizabeth traveled when she officially became sovereign of England on 2 June 1953.
A missed opportunity?
“…A bearish coronation will be counterproductive…it’s an opportunity to represent the people and the nation on the global stage. It would be sad if it was wasted,” criticizes historian Andrew Roberts of the excessive sobrietycoronation by Charles III. and became the spokesman for a certain popular discontent caused by the ruler’s decisions. According to the scholar, London needs to exercise its “soft power” and the coronation of a new king is the ideal time to promote English history, culture and society. More moderating is royal biographer Ingrid Seward, who remains convinced the event will be “wonderful but adapted to our times”. The differing opinions of laypeople and experts oscillate between these two poles.
The pomp in sobriety
King Charles III could not pretend to ignore the other kinds of crises that are shaking our age. On the other hand, an event like the coronation of a ruler is a moment that we could define as “out of time”, imbued with an aura of sacredness. Finding the perfect balance between these two aspects is almost impossible. Compromises have to be made, knowing that not everyone can be happy. A good synthesis (at least in theory) has been made by the statement of Buckingham Palace who stated in announcing the date of the ceremony: “The coronation will reflect the role of the monarch today and look to the future, while remaining rooted in established traditions and pomp”. An insider elaborated on those words, “It’s going to be shorter… but it’s going to be a show befitting of sovereignty, history and heritage.”
It even seems as if King Charles III. “adapt” the linguistic register of the ceremony to the new times “so that it is understandable for today’s viewers”. A strategic move that, together with the shorter duration of the coronation, could indicate an event better adapted to the speed of the internet and social networks. In short, a 2.0 crowning achievement. Someone might ironically say that Carlo made all these decisions because he was traumatized with a touch of boredom and fatigue from his mother’s coronation, which he attended as a child. In reality, the king may be hoping to attract younger and less traditional audiences and forge a “lean” monarchy closer to the people. After all, survival is the Crown it depends on its ability to adapt and evolve.
May 6: Archie’s birthday
On May 6, 2023, Harry and Meghan’s eldest son will be 4 years old. The tabloids have wondered if this overlapping of events isn’t a way to “snub” and “humiliate.” Sussex (whose presence at the ceremony has not yet been confirmed) make them feel permanently excluded from the family. Certainly it would be damaging for the couple to try to cover up the king’s coronation (indeed it would be media suicide). Expert Katie Nicholl tries to interpret the choice of date differently: “… It’s not an affront [verso Harry e Meghan]. I think it’s a lucky coincidence… The real calendar is full of anniversaries and birthdays, so I think… it’s a coincidence…”. Tom Bower is even more specific: “Archie’s birthday is the last thing on their mind. The date was chosen because it falls just before Parliament opens and Charles wants to appear as king, with the crown and all the ceremonial… You look what’s happening in Britain… not Montecito… it’s nonsense”.
The controversial diamond
At his coronation next to Charles III. Camilla should have worn the crown that glitters with the legendary diamond Koh-i Noor (or the “Mountain of Light”), as the Queen’s other consorts did in the past. But India (along with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh) has been demanding the return of the famous gem for years, accusing the British of “stealing” it during colonial times, while the latter claim to have “bought” it. The Indian-majority Bharatiya Janata Party believes that showing the diamond again in public would bring back “painful memories of the colonial past”. To avoid diplomatic incidents, Camilla could leave the Koh-i-Noor in the vault of the royal treasury and opt for a different diadem. Among the most likely hypotheses is that put forward by Queen Adelaide at the coronation of her husband William IV in 1831.
The anti-monarchist protests
King Charles III must also face another problem of no small importance: the protests of those who want to abolish the monarchy and are trying to make their voices heard on May 6, 2023 as well. At Newsweek, the leader of the Republic group, Graham Smith, put the thought of the Republican front in no uncertain terms: “There is no need for a coronation. It’s going to be a huge effort, but the main reason is that we want to abolish the monarchy… The coronation isn’t a birthday, it’s not a wedding, it’s not an anniversary, it’s simple [una questione di] Public relation. One moment [usato dal] Palace to say: “Here we are, it’s not all wonderful… it’s not great to have a new king!”. There is no purpose, we don’t need it”. The charisma and popularity of the queen elizabeth they have kept the anti-monarchist current in check for decades. Now it’s up to Charles III, who doesn’t seem to have his mother’s appeal.
Carlo starts uphill: Controversy over his coronation – S Chronicles
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