By Lori Perkins
I was all set to watch all-five hours of this monarchy extravaganza this morning.
When I told a friend I had set my alarm for 5:00 a.m. (and set my DVR to record two – BBC and CNN – versions of this thing, just in case one was better than the other), he asked me why. He knows I am not an Anglophile (confession here, I have been a Francophile since second grade when I was forced to learn French from a little green textbook titled Totor and Tristan - sort of Dick and Jane for English-speaking private school kids).
I told my friend that I see the coronation as an historical event that I have never had the opportunity to witness since the last one was 70 years ago and we didn’t have TV then, so I’ve never seen one. I likened it to the first time I saw a Pope elected in 1978. I was riveted by the smoke stacks and the pomp and circumstance. It was religiously meaningless to me, since I am Protestant, just like the King’s coronation is meaningless to me on any kind of personal level, but fascinating nonetheless.
And it was.
I did not wake up early, so allowed myself the whimsy of making “coronation chicken salad” (a cubed chicken in curry mayo with raisins and walnuts, which I have had many times at tea, not knowing where the recipe came from) and a glass of rose for lunch while the taped BBC event played on (no commercials!).
And it was quite wonderful.
First of all that golden carriage is something straight out of every fairy tale I’ve ever read, but now I know it is real.
And all that gold in the church, OMG! And the ermine!
And that’s the other part of this coronation event that I had completely forgot, I guess. This is a religious ceremony, with prayers and hymns and all sorts of (to me) faux religiosity (and I am a minister’s daughter, so I grew up in the church). Made me respect our founding father’s separation of church and state so much more now.
As they paced the weighty purple velvet, jewel-encrusted crown on Charles’ head, I realized how much he looked like his aged mother. Certainly not what he wanted me to think of, I am sure.
All the royal relics they pulled out of storage to bestow upon him made me snicker (royal spurs, the girdle, the sword, the scepter, the gold robe, oy veh!
But when they put that equally heavy crown on Camilla’s head, I cringed, and that’s when I turned it off, thinking how “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” was set to the same tune as “God Save the King.”
I miss the queen.