The Coronation of King Charles III is fast-approaching, with the weekend set to give Royal fans happy memories for decades to come.
The media will be covering little else, the streets of central London will be full to bursting with Royalists draped with flags, and the nation will eat enough coronation chicken (or is it coronation quiche?) to sink a ship.
From an outsider’s perspective, it could easily look like… a lot.
That got us wondering what non-Brits living here feel about the pomp, the circumstance, and indeed the fervour that’s going to be rife during the coronation.
Michael Burgess, 47, is originally from Belize. He views the coronation as an important way for the Royal Family to go about ‘appeasing Royal supporters’, adding that it’s ‘an opportunity for the “Firm” and government to garner public support.’
Michael moved to the UK in 2001, describing it as ‘a sensible choice because of Belize’s close relationship with the UK as a Commonwealth member.
‘I am also of that generation where it was embedded in our heads that Britain was the motherland,’ he says.
The co-founder and director of Creative Resilience International tells Metro.co.uk that he will be tuning in to the ‘pomp and circumstance’ of the coronation on the day, and having a barbecue that weekend, describing the whole thing as ‘unavoidable.’
PR Manager Georgia Eather, who’s originally from Australia, shares Michael’s lukewarm feelings about the coronation, telling us that the idea of a monarchy feels ‘a little outdated’ to her.
Georgia, 29, adds: ‘I won’t be taking part in any celebrations. I understand some Brits may be looking forward to it.
‘While I understand that a change of monarch doesn’t happen regularly, and that this is quite a big occasion for some, the coronation isn’t an exciting moment for me.’
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The historic Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla will take place in Westminster Abbey on Saturday, May 6, 2023.
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On the weekend itself, she’s planning on going on a trip rather than taking part in any celebrations.
‘I don’t feel the need to,’ she says.
‘I don’t feel anything towards the royal family or King Charles – I don’t really have the emotional connection to them that some people from the UK seem to have.’
Carola Kolbeck is German, and moved to the UK as a teen for what was meant to be just a year to study abroad, but she decided she never wanted to leave.
Carola, 40, now works as a freelance writer and language teacher, and has two children who were born here and have dual German and UK citizenship.
Her plans for the weekend just involve hanging out with her family and enjoying what she hopes will be quieter time outside, with everyone else inside watching the ceremony on TV.
‘I feel very strongly about not just my own country and England as my adopted home, but also about my children’s home country,’ she says.
‘But I also view the monarchy critically and as an institution that may be rather obsolete and in desperate need to step up and face the issues and concerns the country has.’
She cites the cost of living crisis as examples, and the struggling NHS which is, as she puts it, ‘on its absolute knees’. She has a problem with how much this coronation is expected to cost – with the Operation Golden Orb committee that’s in charge of planning the coronation ceremony projecting that the whole thing could cost roughly £100million – while these dreadful circumstances are going unsolved.
‘While there are millions of families that can’t make ends meet and millions of kids that go hungry in this supposed kingdom, we’re told that Charles and Camilla will drive around in an air-conditioned coach and that we should be admiring him for only inviting 2000 guests to the ceremony,’ she says.
‘Something doesn’t add up, and it doesn’t sit right with me.’
As an ex-pat Carola knows there will be those that feel she isn’t entitled to an opinion – she received some nasty comments when Brexit happened from people who felt this way.
‘So,’ she adds, ‘I always make sure that I say “look, I’m German, but I feel still that as I live here, I’m allowed an opinion.”
‘In the last few years, I’ve also felt that it’s my right to have that opinion.
‘Obviously coming from a country without a monarch, I understand the fascination with Royals, but also believe that a country doesn’t really need a monarch to function well.’
And while Michael sounds pretty ambivalent about the coronation, he doesn’t mince words about the Royals themselves.
‘It is an institution based on dogmatic, Machiavellian white imperialism [that] has been more an enabler of racially propagated social injustice, passive aggression when it comes to public disapproval, and shameless nepotism and dysfunctionality,’ he says.
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