Wednesday, June 22, 2011

George V Formally Crowned

The Washington Times this evening provided the first reports on today's coronation of Great Britain's King George V and Queen Mary.  George V has been king since May of last year when his father and predecessor, Edward VII, died, so the coronation of the British monarch is more formality, but it provided England an opportunity to present regal splendor to the whole world.

The day's events began at dawn with a morning salute that transitioned into rain showers.  Luckily, just as the King and Queen were getting into the royal carriage at Buckingham Palace, the skies began to clear and the rain ended.  Despite the inclement weather, hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets along the procession route, including many hundreds who camped out overnight to ensure that they got the best spots to view the British royal family.  The parade passed by St. James Park, under Admiralty Arch, then back down past the Parliament building and ended at Westminster Abbey where the coronation took place.  Accompaning the gold and glass encased carriage, pulled by eight white horses, were the Royal Line Guards and the Commander-in-Chief, Lord Kitchener.  The royal carriage was the last to leave Buckingham Palace, after first the foreign ambassadors, royalty, and envoys, and then the royal family. 

For your viewing pleasure below is a moving picture of the procession to Westminster Abbey. 

Guests began to arrive at Westminster Abbey before 8 a.m. this morning.  Among the Americans in attendance include the president's brother Charles P. Taft, J. P. Morgan, and U.S. ambassador Whitelaw Reid.

The arrival of the royals at the Abbey is said to have been a splendid occasion, with the Queen and her flowing train encrusted with jewels, King George's more austere robes, and the 15-year-old Prince of Wales wearing the insignia of the garter leading the princes and princesses into the abbey.  The King repeated his oath before the Archbishop of Canterbury, which no long used many of the anti-Catholic language seen in earlier British coronations.  From their the ceremony progressed through various steps, including the official recognition of George V as king by those assembled and then the paraphernalia of kingship were given to him, such as the king's ring, an orb, and a sceptre before finally be crowned.  After the king was inthroned, the Queen-consort was crowned.

After the ceremony, another procession followed from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace along a longer route so that more Londoners could see their newly crowned King and Queen.

Link: George V Crowned Ruler of Kingdom [The Washington Times]

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