Britain crowns itself with street parties and a concert

Tens of thousands of street parties were planned on Sunday as Britain hosted the coronation of King Charles III. celebrated before a concert for 20,000 people at Windsor Castle. After days of back-to-back diplomatic receptions, garden parties and rehearsals for Saturday’s event at Westminster Abbey, Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 75, will host a private reception. You will then attend the evening concert at the Castle west of London. The coronation of Charles as monarch of the United Kingdom and 14 Commonwealth countries around the world was Britain’s first for 70 years. The glittering ceremony, steeped in 1,000 years of tradition and ritual, was attended by world royalty and world leaders. But Sunday’s events shift the focus. While the coronation ceremony has its roots in England in 1066, the “Big Lunch” parties aim to bring the communities of modern Britain closer together. – Community spirit – Monday has been declared a public holiday – meaning people can let off steam on Sunday without worrying about a hangover. Charles and Camilla hope the long weekend “will provide an opportunity to spend time and celebrate with friends, family and community,” Buckingham Palace said. After the hardships that followed World War II, street parties were an important part of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 – and a memorable part of celebrations for her long reign in 1977 and her platinum jubilee last year. The Big Lunch is an attempt to keep this more neighborly spirit alive. According to organizers at Eden Project Communities, more than 67,000 Big Lunches are planned “a little bit better,” Buckingham Palace said. Broad beans and tarragon The King’s sister, Princess Anne, was to attend a community street party in Windsor, where his nieces Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie – daughters of Prince Andrew – will also attend a big luncheon – Stars and Lights – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will host a luncheon at his 10 Downing street office and residence, welcoming community volunteers and Ukrainian refugees.Take That, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry are among the stars performing at the Sunday concert, which commemorates previous royal anniversaries of the late Queen Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel – who sang during the coronation service – will also perform alongside Chinese pianist Lang Lang, Andrea Bocelli, Paloma Faith and Nicole Scherzinger. Hollywood star Tom Cruise, actress Joan Collins, adventurer Bear Grylls and singer Tom Jones will perform via video message The Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal College of Music and the Royal College of Art will be a once-in-a-lifetime performance getting together. Buckingham Palace said the centerpiece is “Lighting up the Nation,” in which well-known locations across the UK are lit up with projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations. The coronation dominated British media on Sunday, with focus on the splendor of the ceremony but also on the country’s pressing issues Charles is facing. – Reaction – The cost of the coronation – reportedly more than £100m ($126m) – has caused concern at a time when many Britons are grappling with rising living costs and widespread strikes. Many reported the arrests of anti-monarchists before they had a chance to protest, raising concerns among rights groups. The BBC said more than 14 million tuned in to its two main terrestrial channels to watch the ceremony – far fewer than at previous major royal occasions. The Guardian hailed an event that was “ridiculous but also magnificent” and an “extraordinary display of precision in a country where nothing works”. Priest’ … you’re either an algorithm or half dead.” The Times noted that the “stolid, almost fearful expression” on Charles’ face at Westminster Abbey “perhaps reflected the magnitude of his task”. “He rules over a country in chaos and a monarchy weakened by scandals, with his younger brother and son both expelled from the inner circle,” while foreign empires are departing with a trend likely to continue. rjm -phz/jm


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