‘Your support and kindness has been the greatest gift’
THE King and Queen have thanked the public for their support and kindness – and called them “the greatest possible Coronation gift”.
As a long weekend of festivities drew to a close last night, the monarch’s message set out their gratitude and rededicated their lives to serving the people. He also thanked everyone involved in organising the celebrations.
Buckingham Palace released four official photos taken on Coronation Day to mark the crowning of Charles III and Queen Camilla.
In his message signed Charles R, the 74-yearold wrote: “As the Coronation weekend draws to a close, my wife and I just wanted to share our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to all those who have helped to make this such a special occasion.
“We pay particular tribute to the countless people who have given their time and dedication to ensuring that the celebrations in London, Windsor and further afield were as happy, safe and enjoyable as possible. To those who joined in the celebrations – whether at home, at street parties and lunches, or by volunteering in communities – we thank you, each and every one.
“To know that we have your support and encouragement, and to witness your kindness expressed in so many different ways, has been the greatest possible Coronation gift, as we now rededicate our lives to serving the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and Commonwealth.”
In the freshly-released portraits by Coronation photographer Hugo Burnand, 59, one image depicts the King in full regalia sitting in the Throne Room at the Palace.
He is wearing his Coronation tunic, the Robe of Estate, the diamond-encrusted Imperial State Crown and is holding the Orb and Sceptre with Cross.
King Charles is seated on one of a pair of 1902 throne chairs that were made for the future George V and Queen Mary for use at the Coronation of Edward VII.
A second image shows Queen Camilla, 75, in the Green Drawing Room at the Palace, wearing Queen Mary’s Crown and her Robe of Estate, while a third photograph has the couple together in the Throne Room.
In a key message for the new monarch’s reign, the focus of the fourth photograph is placed firmly on the working members of the Royal Family.
It shows the 11 working members plus the Princess Royal’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, who accompanies her on engagements all over Britain and around the world, but is not officially considered a working royal.
AS the long and glorious weekend fades, even a hardened sceptic would find it difficult to deny a lingering euphoria. Over the weekend, the Coronation of King Charles III ushered us into a new era – already called “Carolean”, just as Queen Victoria’s reign was called “Victorian” – that already has a palpable mood of passion and possibility.
Without doubt, the Coronation has been a momentous and successful event: one that has brought out the very best of Britain and its potential. King Charles yesterday gave a powerful affirmation of the weekend, giving thanks to all who helped make it such a lasting memory.
Speaking also for Queen Camilla, Charles paid fulsome tribute to “the countless people who have given their time and dedication to ensuring that the celebrations in London, Windsor and further afield were as happy, safe and enjoyable as possible.”
This gesture of gratitude also points the way forward. At the Coronation itself, our nation’s abiding diversity came through when the representatives of Britain’s various faith communities paid their respects. In doing so, some were reminded that Charles has long had an innovative streak, preferring in 1994 to be “Defender of Faith” rather than the earlier title, Defender of The Faith. While the new King has much work to do in regard to the Commonwealth, as a radical thinker he is in pole position to take on any challenges.
On the domestic front, too, we face many problems. So over this bright and breezy spring weekend, the Coronation also offered a sense of unity and promise that was timely and welcome.
Yes, our nation is divided in some ways and yes, there remains much inequality. But at the same time, the Coronation has brought to the fore a revived sense of our shared values.And it may yet be that this weekend will change some attitudes.
The Coronation’s protesters might bother some.Why would they disrupt an event that pleases so many of us? The answer is that we must allow protest as part of our great tradition of freedom of speech. It makes us stronger than those tyrannies who disallow dissent and shows our broad-mindedness.
Indeed, in all the complexity of our responses to the Coronation comes a tacit recognition of our unity. To be British is to believe in our communities, big and small. And even when it doesn’t appear as if we have much in common, our shared experience and a sense that we are stronger united prevails.
That much was shown in the wonderful day of volunteering, the Big Help Out – another Coronation initiative that has helped to bind the nation and which we should turn into an annual event. As our new King said, “To those who joined in the celebrations – whether at home, at street parties and lunches, or by volunteering in communities – we thank you, each and every one.” We thank you too, Charles.