King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s coronation at Westminster Abbey on Saturday was bittersweet to say the least. This coronation was the first one of the British monarchy in 70 years, following Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953. Despite the event’s historical factor, this occasion wasn’t well-received by everyone. The UK’s long-standing economic hardships have left many to question why taxpayers should foot the bill for the coronation. Furthermore, Charles and Camilla’s decades-long, highly controversial royal romance played a role in the perception of the once-in-a-lifetime event. Here’s why the coronation wasn’t fully embraced by those witnessing up close and from afar.
What Happened During King Charles’ Coronation
Unless you woke up super early to watch the coronation, you likely saw key moments posted online. This ceremony blended traditional elements like the crowning of the king and Buckingham Palace balcony greeting with modern touches such as Penny Mordaunt being the first woman to carry the Sword of Offering at a coronation. As expected, the royal family was in attendance – with much attention on Prince Harry who attended without Meghan Markle. It’s clear that the moment Charles has waited a lifetime for went according to plan. On the other hand, this event received criticism both online and in real life.
Why King Charles’ Coronation Isn’t a Joyous Occasion for Everyone
Naturally, a highly-publicized event will draw varying opinions from the masses. In the case of Charles’ coronation, the rainy day occasion attracted crowds who celebrated the occasion as well as anti-monarchy protestors. A significant number of these protestors gathered by the coronation procession route holding signs saying “Not My King” and chanting the slogan.
As a result, London’s Metropolitan Police made approximately 52 arrests as the ceremony was underway. “We absolutely understand public concern following the arrests we made this morning,” Met Commander Karen Findlay said in a statement. “Over the past 24 hours there has been a significant police operation after we received information protesters were determined to disrupt the Coronation procession.” Keep reading to find out the three main critiques of this event.
A common sentiment among those who criticized the coronation relates the cost behind it. Leading up to the event, the festivities were “scaled back” by Charles’ standards to reflect the monarchy he desires under his reign. Yet, BBC reported that the estimated coronation costs total up to be around 50 to 100 million euros. This figure doesn’t come from an official source, but it’s not unlikely considering the event’s heavy police and security presence along with its lavish nature. These expenses are largely paid for by British taxpayers, many of whom struggle with the country’s rising cost-of-living.
The New Queen
Another glaring aspect of the coronation was Camilla being crowned as queen. For decades, Charles’s relationship with Camilla while married to Princess Diana was buzzing in tabloids and everyday conversations. Despite Britain’s king and queen being married for 18 years, fans of Diana felt that the coronation was a slap in the face as she strived to be “a queen of people’s hearts, in people’s hearts.” This is mostly why Diana’s name was trending on Twitter during the entire event.
The Royal Family’s Reputation
The opulence of the British monarchy is considered a byproduct of its power and colonial past. Because of this, royal events like the coronation aren’t completely easy to watch—especially for those who are from areas affected by British colonialism including Africa and the Caribbean. Overall, the monarchy is always in limbo of trying to rectify the ugly parts of their centuries-long reputation while maintaining tradition and the establishment.
What Happens Next
While pageantry was on full display during the coronation, these are reasons why it wasn’t a joyous occasion for everyone. Following coronation weekend, the future of the British monarchy remains a widely speculated topic across the world. Prince William is currently the heir apparent to the British throne, so he’ll succeed once his father’s reign ends. This means another coronation of the British monarchy will happen sometime in the future—and it’ll be interesting to see the various reactions when that happens.
(Photo credit: Ben Stansall/WPA/Getty Images)