King Charles’ Day Of Glory

“Pa, we are so proud of you” Prince William of Wales


A historic, glorious Saturday – (06/05/23), so full of glamour.  The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) and the International Community had been waiting for it – and got carried away.

When at 12.02pm (11.02am Ghana’s time) the Archbishop of Canterbury put the crown on King Charles’ head, history was being written, mixing ‘ancient’ and ‘modern’.  The last time England had witnessed a similar coronation was on June 2, 1953 (70 years ago) when Queen Elizabeth was crowned the Queen of England at age 25 – after the death of her father, King George VI.  The Queen cut short her Commonwealth visits in Kenya and returned to England to be received by Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  She swore:  “Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust”.  On the part of King Charles, the notable words were:  “I came not to be served, but to serve”.  Whilst the husband of Queen Elizabeth was not crowned King, but rather made Duke of Edinburgh, Charles’ wife, 75 – year old Camilla was crowned Queen.

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066, led by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings changed the Anglo-Saxon authority, and introduced French as the language of the noble elite, the court and government. – and recorded the new system of land tenure in the Doomsday Book.  In 1362, however, King Henry IV took the oath in (Middle) English, not French.

The King sat on the Coronation Chair, made of timber- since 1296 when King Edward I seized a block of Sandstone, called the Stone of Scone or Stone of Destinyfrom the Scots. Celtic myth says the stone was used by patriarch Jacob as resting pillow – so, from Palestine through Egypt, Sicily, Spain and Ireland, Celtic Scots took the stone to the village of Scone.

The horse-driven coach was made of pure gold, the perhaps from Obuasi or Johannesburg, so heavy it had to be drawn by 8 horses.  The horses were well-selected: one called ‘Noble’, a 7 – year old mare was gifted to King Charles by the Canadian RCMP Musical Ride.  ‘Noble’ replaces ‘George’ as the new charger horse, ridden for ‘Trooping the Colour’ parade.  In 1761 King George III was carried in a sedan chair from St. James’s Palace to Westminster Hall for the coronation.  Charles, The King and his wife Queen Camilla took a ride in King George’s Gold State Coach to Buckingham Palace, and all the family members were around – but Prince Harry would not wear the ceremonial dress. He had to rush back to California to celebrate his son’s fourth birthday.The wealth for this lavish show? Slavery, the others… BUT this is not the time to worry our heads about the negative aspects of British colonialism…

Are there still a few lingering issues of the family feud? Harry and William may still be harbouring some feelings about what led to their mother, Diana’s death in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris killing also her partner, Dodi Fayed, in 1997 – they were escaping the prying eyes of the Paparazzi.

The royal family is not bereft of scandals.  In 858 Aethelwulf was crowned at Kingston- upon – Thames after he had forced his father to abdicate upon his return from pilgrimage to Rome.  Following his father’s death, Aethelwulf married his widowed stepmother, Judith.

Elton John sang Goodbye England’s Rose (Candle in the Wind) at the funeral of Harry and William’s mother, Diana.  But the gait of 76 – year old Elton John betrayed either senility or sexual weakness, the result of his pounding by his husband, David.

There were over 2,000 dignitaries who included His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his wife, Julia; His Majesty King Mswati III of Eswatini and Her Royal Highness Inkhosilati La Mbikiza, His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho and her Majesty Queen Masenate.  And there was also Queen Naas Tsotsoo Seyoo of Ghana (You can trust the Nigerian jesters for making fun about the Kings who were invited to the Coronation ceremony who did not include Nija). Of course, U.S President Joe Biden and French President Macron were present.  The Introit was read by Rishi Sunak, British Prime Minister.

The Prince of Wales’s speech was terse and punchy: “Good evening, Your Majesties, Good evening Windsor, A huge thank you to everyone for making this such a special occasion.  I want to say a few words about my father, and why I believe this weekend is so important.  But don’t worry, unlike Lionel, I won’t go on all night long.  As my grandmother said when she was crowned coronations are a declaration of our hopes for the future.  And I know she’s up there, fondly keeping an eye on us.  She would be a proud mother.  For all that celebrations are magnificent, at the heart of the pageantry is a simple message.  Service.  My father’s first words on entering Westminster Abbey yesterday were a pledge of service.  It was a pledge to continue to serve.  Because for over 50 years, in every corner of the U.K, across the Commonwealth and around the world, he has dedicated himself to serve others, both current and future generations …  Take the natural world   He warned us of the risks to our planet’s health long before it was an everyday issue…”.

Although the whole ceremony was markedly solemn, there were a few hiccups.  Street demonstrators carried placards some of which read:

“Not my King”, “Abolish the Monarchy”.

Yet on 4th May, 2023, a new Public Order Act had been passed:  “… protesters who interfere with ‘key national infrastructure’ such as blocking roads and railways could face 12 months behind bars, unlimited fine or both”.  Volker Turk urges the government to reverse the ‘deeply troubling” legislation and adds: “… Charles has not inherited the respect and deference and sycophancy that the Queen enjoyed.

There were reports that 37% of posts about King Charles were positive and only 13% negative.  A lot of the most engaged posts online were related to Scottish independence.  About a third of the posts made about Queen Camilla, the Prince and Princess of Wales and Princess Anne were positive.  There was a large proportion of negative posts about Prince Andrew, who stepped down from public duties in 2020 following a TV interview over his friendship with convicted paedophile.  Jeffrey Epstein.  Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex was also subject to a large amount of negativity, in relation to her absence from the coronation.

“Republic” an anti- monarchy group that organized a protest in Central London during the coronation, said police had arrested six of its members, including leader, Graham Smith, and seized hundreds of placards even before the event began.  Smith remarked:  “There is no longer a right to peaceful protest in the U.K.  I have been told many times the monarch is there to defend our freedoms.  Now our freedoms are under attack in his name.  Yasmine Ahmed, the U.K. director of Human Rights Watch noted that “the reports of people being arrested for peacefully protesting against the coronation is incredibly alarming.  These are scenes you’d  expect to see in Russia, not the U.K.”.

If you said: “He was a great Prince of Wales; he’s going to be a great King” you would not be alone in that line of thought, and would not need to apologise to anyone.


Africanus Owusu-Ansah