The king is crowned, long live the king

FROM THE PALACE TO THE ABBEY

The eventful day was favoured with fine weather. The sky was cloudy, but an occasional burst of sunshine brightened the atmosphere. The dawn was inaugurated by the booming of cannon in Hyde Park and at the Tower.

The route to and from Westminster Abbey was as originally arranged for the intended celebration on 28th June, viz., front Buckingham Palace by way of the Mall, St. James’s Park, the Horse Guards’ Parade, Whitehall, Parliament-street and Broad Sanctuary, to the Abbey, the return journey being along Parliament-square (opposite the Helm of Commons), Charing Cross, Pall Mall, St. James’s-street, Piccadilly and Constitution Hill, at Hyde Park Corner.

A MILLION SPECTATORS

The route was lined by dense crowds of spectators, whose number was computed at fully 1,000,000. The streets were handsomely decorated, and presented a gay and inspiriting appearance. The flags, festoons and Venetian masts were not so numerous as in the case of the decorations erected in June last, but at the same time they made a brave show, especially in St. James’s-street.

A view of the procession.Credit:Topical Press Agency

THE KING AND HIS ESCORT

“The Picture of Health”

The procession of his Majesty King Edward consisted of the great State coach and an escort composed of the Life Guards. At every point along the route the approach of the Royal coach with its mounted escort was hailed with immense cheering. His Majesty the King looked the picture of health, his recovery from his recent severe illness being apparently complete, and showed himself thoroughly alert.

Lords Roberts and Kitchener

Mr Chamberlain and the Premiers

Several noblemen used their state coaches to drive to the Abbey, contributing greatly to the splendour of the imposing line of equipages stretching four deep from the Abbey to Victoria Station. The members of the Royal Family, official personages, distinguished visitors and foreign representatives all used the Whitehall route. The crowds greeted with loud acclamations many of the leading personages in the pageant, such as Viscount Kitchener, Field Marshal Earl Roberts, Field Marshal Lord Wolseley, the various Indian Princes, and Ras Makonnen, the Abyssinian General, representing King Menelik. The meeting in front of Buckingham Palace of Earl Roberts and Viscount Kitchener, to whose generalship the success of the South African campaign was due, was marked by immense cheering. A similar display of enthusiasm greeted Mr Joseph Chamberlain, the Secretary for the Colonies, and each of the colonial Premiers, the crowds being particularly demonstrative in their recognition of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Premier of Canada, and Mr R. Seddon, Premier of New Zealand.

Westminster Abbey, as arranged for the coronation of King Edward VII.

Westminster Abbey, as arranged for the coronation of King Edward VII.

WESTMINSTER ABBEY

A MAGNIFICENT PAGEANT

Westminster Abbey presented an appearance of great magnificence. The galleries of the historic building had been so arranged as to avoid, as far as possible, hiding the leading architectural features and the contour of the great interior. The minimum of drapery and the maximum of architecture were the main objects which had been kept in view.

The Coronation Dais

A splendid new carpet of the historic colour — blue, with the insignia of the Garter — stretching from the west door of the Abbey to a dais or platform raised to the height of three steps at the intersection of the choir transepts and the chancel, made a magnificent groundwork for the rich parterre of colours which ran like a ribbon along each side of the carpet. The dais itself was covered with a magnificent Indian carpet, and accommodated two large enthronisation chairs.

Royalties and Visitors

To the right and left of the choir were galleries occupied by his Majesty the King’s distinguished visitors, by the representatives of Germany, and by the Royal Princesses and the Princess of Wales and her children (Princes Edward, Albert and Henry, and Princess Victoria). In two adjoining alcoves, hidden from public view, were Mr, Edwin Austin Abbey, R.A., and a French artist, busily engaged in sketching the memorable scone. Mr John Longstaff, the well-known Melbourne artist, who has been commissioned to paint portraits of the King in his Coronation robes, and also of the Queen, the pictures being intended for the National Art Gallery of Sydney, were also present in another part of the building.

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THE CORONATION SERVICE

ARRIVAL OF THE QUEEN

The Coronation service was opened by the clergy in their robes walking in procession from the choir. They carried the sceptres and the spurs, the staff of Edward the Confessor, the orb, the chalice, the paten and King Edward’s crown, and handed them to the officers of State selected to carry them. Her Majesty the Queen and her supporters and the officers of State were the first to come up the nave and the choir followed in procession after the returning clergy. The train of the Queen’s magnificent robe was carried by eight pages clad in scarlet, while the Mistress of the Robes, the Duchess of Buccleugh, supported the terminal of the train.

HIS MAJESTY THE KING

The Kings procession followed, the officers of State carrying the insignia as had been arranged in the annexe. His Majesty the King, with the Right Rev. G. W. Kennion, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and the Rev. Dr. Carr Glyn Moule, Bishop of Durham, as his immediate supporters, knelt at the faldstool adjoining that of the Queen.

The Most Rev. Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking in a loud voice, proceeded with the Recognition, saying: — Sirs, I here present unto you King Edward, the undoubted King of this realm: Wherefore all of you who are come this day to do your homage are you willing to do the same?

The Recognition took place at the King’s faldstool instead of on the dais, the King being presented to the west only, instead of, as customary, to the south, west and north. The people then shouted, as with one voice, “God Save King Edward.”

The King Takes the Oath

The Archbishop of Canterbury then advanced before the King and administered the Coronation oath. To the first question, “Sir, is your Majesty willing to take the oath?” the King replied, “I am willing,” in a voice which could be heard halfway down the abbey.

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The Anointing

The next important portion of the ceremony — the most ancient of all in its origin — was the anointing of his Majesty’s head, even as “Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon King.”

Putting On Of The Crown

One of the Bishops, instead of the very Rev. George G. Bradley, Dean of Westminster, handed the Crown to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who placed it on the King’s bead, and his Majesty held in his right hand the sceptre and cross as the ensign of Kingly power and justice, and in his left hand the sceptre and the dove, as the rod of equity and mercy.

At this moment—the culminating act of the Coronation—the electric light was turned on throughout the Abbey, the vast congregation rose and cheered, bells clanged, and guns were heard booming in the distance from the Tower, the signal to London that the crowning of King Edward VII had taken place.

A Painful Incident

The Venerable Archbishop of Canterbury, who is in his 81st year, and was recently attacked by illness, with great difficulty, ascended the dais, requiring assistance, and nearly falling, owing to physical infirmity. Though the prelate’s voice was powerful, he was so nearly blind that in all his movements during the service he was led by bishops, and an attendant placed before him at every long prayer a scroll feet long and 2 feet wide, on which the prayer, printed in very large type, was held by a bishop. The Archbishop of Canterbury made many mistakes in reading, although his enunciation was exceedingly slow. The process of lifting the King up into his throne consisted of the Archbishop taking and slightly raising the King’s hands with his while the King was in the act of sitting down in the throne.

The Queen’s Coronation

Up until now her Majesty the Queen had remained on her faldstool, but she now advanced and knelt on a cushion on the steps of the altar, where the Most Rev. William D. Maclagan, Archbishop of York, conducted her coronation.

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Return to Buckingham Palace

The Queen’s procession was the first to leave the Abbey, her Majesty wearing a new crown containing the famous Kohinoor diamond, and carrying the two sceptres. The King’s procession followed, his Majesty carrying the orb. These insignia of Royalty were handed to the State officers in the annexe, and the Sovereigns then rode wearing their crowns, through the streets to Buckingham Palace, amidst immense acclamations from within and without the Abbey. The King appeared to have borne the ceremony exceedingly well.

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