Whether it’s crumbs from the official ‘coronation quiche’ (yep – it’s a thing) or special edition, designated, doggy biscuits, the palace pooches will be receiving double treats this week, surely! This weekend brings about an historic event, the likes of which have not been seen for over 70 years – the coronation of King Charles III.
And what a party it will be! Around 2000 people will be invited to attend the coronation, which is ‘scaled back’ (and more eco-friendly) in comparison to Queen Elizabeth II’s which welcomed more than 8000. There will be thousands of well-wishers lining the streets along the 1.3mile route, hoping to catch a glimpse of the pomp as the procession wends its way through London. The BBC has suspended licence requirements over the weekend to allow venues to screen the event without fees, so you might be planning on watching a big screen in company, but I suspect the majority of us will be watching the event from the comfort of our sofas. Whatever your plans, there’s no escaping the buzz of excitement that seems to have caught hold all across the UK.
As is traditional, animals will play a large part in the coronation. Look out for the lion, bear and unicorn emblems on the flower arrangements. My personal favourites are the drum horses in royal parades. These are enormous shire horses, like the war horses of history. They have giant, feathered feet and broad backs and I am always moved to see them carry the cacophonous, wide drums either side of their rider’s legs, completely unflinchingly. The many horses that will be on parade at the coronation have been undergoing special preparation for crowd noise. For months now, they have been greeted each morning with drums and shouts, by way of desensitising them in time for the big day. In spite of all the training, on the day, you might spot a youngster cantering out of line or just a little bit ‘full of the joys’, being collected by a rider who, like a swan, appears unmoved to the onlooker, but will be paddling like mad underneath, working with every inch of their body to keep the animal under control and peaceful. And lastly, we mustn’t forget the brave police horses that will also be present, helping keep the humans safe and in order. At the end of the spectacular day, the royal dogs, rescued jack russells Beth and Bluebell, will be waiting, as all our pets do, to provide calm and balancing company.
So enjoy the coronation and all the street parties, scones and bunting that it brings (we love an excuse for a scone – cream first, of course!). Think ‘environmentally friendly’ if you can – recycle or avoid packaging, or go zero-waste and use your normal plates rather than buying paper ones… you could even compost any food left over. And don’t forget to give your dog or cat a squeeze. All of us, from every walk of life, benefit from the joy these creatures bring us – they are a great leveller and a common companion to all people, great and small.
God save the King!
Photo by Chris Boland www.chrisboland.com