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  • iaindryden1

coronations and all that

I’m surprised to be choking for I’m not a royalist (no capital), yet the radio and TV are full blast Coronation and as the Nation (capital to signify the people’s nobility) is watching a prince ] made king, (again no capitals), though we’d planned to picnic on a beach, we’re before the TV with a warm coffee. The pomp, though Charles has cut out a lot, is impressively theatrical, each stage choreographed to the pin point, even the symbols crashed together by a young woman. But it’s not that that’s made me choke. It’s the inclusion of women, people from all the UK’s cultures and religions. There’s also something deep inside which is stirred up by the music and the ballet of costumes, leaders and troops. This is history.

Weird as it is, though it is all about hierarchy, it represents what we humans love, security in permanence which the people crowned as Heads of our State have provided. If ever there was a royal I might admire, it is Charles. Thirty years ago, he turned to the rough tough yoth of inner city Plymouth whose project he admired and whom he questioned with genuine interest, leaving me to watch in admiration of his empathy after he’d greeted me. The Prince’s Trust is not his only triumph, his concern for nature, his flagging up Climate Change in those years before this avoidable disaster was public knowledge.

The main pop radio on the day before this new king was made was all chickened out, chicken stories, chicken competitions and we heard about a town which wants a chicken to wear a crown which one of its ladies has knitted. They had to stop at 34 entrants from which the Mayor is to decide tomorrow the one which has the character to deal with the grand role. As all Brits would instantly know, this is a reference to the coronation chicken dish made for the late Queen’s do in 1953. This king’s dish is to be a flan, or quiche as the French are claiming. Will there be flan tossing competitions tomorrow?

That’s what I love about this strange country which annoyed me by voting for Brexit, it is full of self mockery. The new king, who was annoyed when it was proclaimed that we should all shout out our allegiance, did in response make a recording of his voice saying, “Mind the gap please,” for train and underground stations to play.

At elections, such as those this week, silly candidates dress up in mad clothes cocking a snoot at seriousness. I remember telling villagers in France about this during elections for the village mayor and they just looked at me as if I’d made it up. The reaction was the same when I told them about our pantomime tradition of mocking local dignitaries in plays written by locals. Much as there is to be annoyed about this country, or for that, any country, Britain is a highly creative land and I’m sure this madness engenders creativity. One of our dear French friends, who is amongst the wealthiest business people in Europe, said, “We French are good at building bridges, but we rely on you Brits to design them.” I’d laughed and said we needed a Brexit bridge, but were incapable of designing it.

For England’s exciting atmosphere of creativity, another friend, an internationally acclaimed guitarist, is moving back from France which he had chosen to settle in to live amongst flamenco, bolero and classical guitarists who had fled Franco’s regime. I told him that my own creativity burst open when we returned to this damp climate and he agreed that there’s something in the air which wasn’t as powerfully present in France, and yet he lived in it’s most creative musical corner.

And out walks the king, to move amongst his people, but this is a man who, though as flawed as the rest of us, has shown concern for the poor, as I witnessed in Plymouth, who has lead environmental practices for so long, so let us trust that we the People can put today’s hope to good work for nature and the climate.

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