King Charles III ascended to the throne in September following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, making him the oldest new monarch in British history. The King is set to be crowned May 6, 2023 at Westminster Abbey.
Many across the world will be watching the event with all its associated pomp and ceremony.
Our exhibit uses commemorative memorabilia on loan to us as well as some ephemera from our collection to explore Royal events over the last century.
Made to celebrate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911, this tin cup has portraits of the monarchs on either side of a portrait of the Prince of Wales, who later would be King Edward VIII, who abdicated to marry the woman he loved.
From our collection. The coronation was scheduled for 12 May 1937, but never took place as Edward abdicated his throne in December 1936. This booklet, printed sometime in 1936 after Edward's accession as King, lists all twelve months of the year and was probably only available the latter months of 1936. Published by A.R. Mowbray & Co.
A British Royal Memorabilia souvenir demitasse cup and saucer made in England in 1939 to commemorate the visit to Canada of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of England.
Colourful commemorative souvenir Cadbury chocolate enamel tin produced for the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
William was the first child born to a prince and princess of Wales since Prince John was born to Prince George and Princess Mary in 1905.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy. The Monarch is the Head of State, whose powers are defined by the Constitution and constitutional conventions. The Crown holds the power to govern but that power is entrusted to the government. The Monarch's responsibilities are carried out by the Governor General, who acts as the Monarch’s representative in Canada.
Illustration sourced from 'The Walrus'
Queen Elizabeth II had a special fondness for Canada, being the most visited country by her over her reign. She has often stated that it was her 'second home', feeling totally at ease in Canada.
The oldest Crown Jewel is a Spoon
Small things often gain great significance. The small
silver gilt Coronation Spoon dates back to the 12th century, and is the oldest
paraphernalia used in coronations. It is believed that it was originally used
to mix water and wine, and is now used to anoint the Monarch with Holy oil.
The spoon was at risk in the 17th century due to the monarchy being abolished
in 1649. Many coronation artifacts were stolen or melted down. The anointing
spoon was purchased by Mr Kynnersly, the Yeoman of Charles I’s wardrobe, in
1649 for 16 shillings. Keeping the spoon safe throughout the interregnum and
ensuing civil war, Mr Kynnersly returned the spoon to Charles II to use at his
Hey, bomber. Leave those kids alone!
Not just anti-German sentiments contributed to the royal
family changing their name from Saxe-Coburg Gotha to Windsor. On June 13th,
1917, Germany began daylight bombing raids on Britain. In one of the first
attacks eighteen schoolchildren were killed from bombs dropped by German Gotha
bombers. King George V replaced the royal name with Windsor just a month later,
July 17th, 1917.
The longest queue for Crown
Charles, Prince of Wales was the oldest heir apparent until
his ascension when he was 73 years 298 days old. Charles was also the
longest-serving heir apparent, for the whole 70 years 214 days of his mother's
Also known as the Stone of Destiny, this oblong piece of sandstone was used originally in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland and, after the 13th century, the coronation of the monarchs of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom.Image sourced from SkyNews.
This 260 year old coach has been used in every coronation since William IV's in 1831.Sourced from Town & Country
During the coronation, various objects will be used during the ceremony. They include the Sword of State, ampulla, spoon, spurs, armills, Sovereign's Orb, Ring, and Sceptre, and of course the crown.Image sourced from Yahoo News.
As with many ceremonies, it wouldn't be complete without traditions and objects that have been used for centuries.
The coronation involves six basic stages contained in the Second Recension used in 973 for King Edgar: The recognition, the oath, the anointing, the investiture, the enthronement, and the homage.
Art and collectibles associated with royal dynasties, past and present, draw collectors from around the world. According to Buckingham Palace, royal souvenirs have been available a since the 1600s. Any special event results in the subject of thousands of memorabilia collected by millions of Royal subjects and fans. What separates the desirable items from plastic bunting and crown-adorned tea cosies is not only provenance, but craftsmanship.
A London delft royal portrait blue-dash charger, c1690, painted with the figure of King William III dressed in coronation robes
Prior to the event of mass production, all souvenirs would have been handmade. Those with an appreciation of beauty can recognize memorabilia as tokens of history to cherish among their collections. The beguiling mix of beauty and history are ultimately the primary reasons why anybody collects anything.
Many may lament that the Royal Family are an incredible expense. Why do we continue to recognize a monarch in the 21st century?
The Royals are a source of large profits for the British government. So much so that taxes in the UK are lower due to the revenue brought in by the Royal Family.
Have a look at YouTuber CGP Grey's explanation of the true cost of the Royal Family:
The associated brochure for the display is available for download through
Many thanks to whom loaned their artifacts to use in our exhibit. They wish to remain anonymous.
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