Queen’s coronation was ‘medieval’ – Kate Middleton & William ‘shine’ as ‘modern’ royals

Queen's coronation: Lady Glenconner on requirements for maids

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The Queen celebrated her coronation in 1953 and was the first of its kind to be broadcast on television. Barry Turner, a royal author, has written a book due to be published in January 2022 called ‘Thorns in the Crown: The Story of the Coronation and What it Meant for Britain’. Barry spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the Queen’s coronation back in 1953, and whether Prince Charles’ or Prince William’s coronation would look the same whenever it may be.

He said: “I don’t think the 1953 coronation could ever be repeated. It took the coronation right out of politics because it was a mediaeval pageant.

“All 600 peers of the realm and their wives were entitled to sit in Westminster Abbey for the coronation, but there were fewer than 20 MPs.

“Because it was a mediaeval pageant everyone just enjoyed the party.

“That can’t possibly happen again, because for good or ill royalty is now part of politics.

“In my view you can’t separate the two. So whatever they do now, or whatever they did in the last 20 years at least has had political implications. And that’s certainly going to be apparent at the next coronation.

“William and Kate are the modern representation of monarchy. I think they shine forward and represent what the monarchy could be in the years ahead.”

Barry spoke about the two primary drivers of the 1953 coronation.

He continued: “The two prime movers in the coronation were Winston Churchill and Fisher the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“They were both absolutely dedicated to the idea of looking back. Fisher was the ultimate conservative and Churchill was a romantic of course in relation to matters of the monarchy.”

The 1953 coronation was the first to be televised, which Barry claims was controversial at the time.

He added: “Fisher hated television – he thought it was evil! And other people in the churches thought the same.”

Barry admires Queen Elizabeth for modernising the monarchy over the last 69 years.

He said: “It’s no insult to say about the Queen that she’s no intellectual, but she’s got good sound common sense.

“And my God what she’s been through! And to come out at the other end in her 90s and still have that aura about her – it’s an extraordinary achievement.

“I think that’s what she’ll be remembered for, that in the end, it was her common sense that kept the whole thing together.”

The royal expert does still believe in the monarchy however believes it needs fundamental changes.

“I favour much more the Scandinavian/Dutch model of royalty. I am very surprised at the fawning that goes on in this country.

“I once met Prince Philip and I was standing next to someone I knew.

“I asked him what he was doing there, and he said: ‘I’m here to open the Prince’s car door’ and I thought ‘bloody hell’! It’s that sort of fawning that I’m talking about – I find it creepy.

“You don’t get this in Scandinavia and there is huge respect in Scandinavia for the Royal Family, and in the Netherlands.

“If there was a referendum I would certainly vote to keep because the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. But if it wants a long-term future it has to reduce its scale.

“But then we’re back to the old conundrum if it’s on a reduced scale will people still get excited about it – it’s extremely difficult to say.”

‘Thorns in the Crown: The Story of the Coronation and What it Meant for Britain’ by Barry Turner will be published on January 6, 2022.

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