King Charles III and Queen Camilla, both happy and glorious. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty
King Charles III and Queen Camilla, both happy and glorious. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

The BulletinMay 8, 2023

Man puts on hat, many cheer

King Charles III and Queen Camilla, both happy and glorious. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty
King Charles III and Queen Camilla, both happy and glorious. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

As Charles and Camilla cross ‘coronation’ off the to-do list, Toby Manhire seeks out the best coverage in this excerpt from The Bulletin, The Spinoff’s morning news round-up. To receive The Bulletin in full each weekday, sign up here.

Send him victorious, happy and glorious, and so on

As if by magic, three great British traditions entwined on Saturday night: pageantry, drizzle and queuing. Whether or not you watched the coronation, I would not only recommend but giddily swear my allegiance to the live, very funny and only sometimes seditious coverage by the Spinoff’s senior royal correspondents, Alex Casey and Tara Ward.

Committed monarchists loved it, and fair enough, too. Personally, I was struck how sombre the whole occasion was. “Excitement is building,” the television kept saying, but everyone looked so anxious and sad. At times it seemed more funereal than, well, the Queen’s funeral. The gravity of the responsibility, I suppose, or nerves about dropping one of those golden spoons. Yes, the crowds cheered for the palace balcony, but like the Sydney Opera House, it never really lit up.

Brighter times today, with the Coronation concert at Windsor Concert about to begin, starring – checks notes – Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Take That. Let’s hope it doesn’t all go Pete Tong.

What to read

There were, of course, many millions of words written. For more on the day for Chris Hipkins and the rest of the New Zealand delegation, read this from Newshub, which begins with a note of seeming disappointment – “Hipkins kept a low profile at King Charles III’s coronation overnight” – as if he might have missed a chance to get more camera time by, say, wearing a fascinator in the shape of a giant sausage roll.

For an elegant overview, the Financial Times has you sorted. On claims of a heavy-handed police crackdown on protest, there’s this. In Australia, some viewers and many media got very cross when an ABC host pointed out the impact of the monarchy on indigenous people.

Read the Hosking on the boss king, and wash it down with an investigation into some very expensive shoes. Scroll through countless newspaper front pages here. Splash headlines include “The look that says ‘Darling, it was a triumph’”, “King of the World” (really), and “King Chas III”.

If it’s the clothes that do it for you, try this. And if you need to know more about all those spoons and swords, orbs, rings and esoteric anointment procedures, I direct you to Town & Country. Another of Britain’s illustrious magazines, meanwhile, Private Eye, continued its own fine tradition of big rotyal covers.

A royal birth celebrated in 2013 and the 2023 coronation.

How about a republic?

Some (me included) had forecast that after a respectful mourning of the Queen, republican sentiment would rise with her son on the throne. There hasn’t been much of that in New Zealand as yet; Chris Hipkins was right to say there’s no “groundswell”, and polling suggests a referendum today would see the monarchy retained – even if most reckon we’d likely to vote to ditch in a decade.

Still, “change is inevitable and we need to prepare for it now”, writes Andrew Butler in the best piece on the subject from the weekend. He identifies three myths about what a republic would mean for Aotearoa, and four arguments for making the change. Butler knows his onions. He wrote with Geoffrey Palmer a book calling for a written constitution. He is also, so it happens, a king’s counsel.

The Kigwit of the Abbey

The breakout star of the coronation, the Kigwit of Westminster Abbey? No, not Penny Mourdant, though that is a very funny subplot, but Sir Karl Jenkins. The man with the grey handlebar moustache and dusky shades is a 79-year-old Welsh composer who remembers the last coronation in 1953. His ‘Tros y Garreg’ (Crossing the Stone), one of the top coro-anthems, is based on a Welsh folk song.


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