’What is the finest sight in the world? A Coronation.
What do people talk most about? A Coronation.
What is delightful to have passed? A Coronation.’
Horace Walpole, 1761
As a boy of sixteen, Roy Strong watched the grand procession carrying Queen Elizabeth II to her coronation. The spectacle was considered the greatest public event of the century. But now, so many years later, many people have little notion of what a coronation is and are unaware of the rich resonances of the ritual, or its deep significance in terms of the committal of monarch to people.
This book is the first of its kind – a comprehensive history that sets each coronation into its political, social, religious and cultural context. The story is one of constant re-invention as the service has had to respond to all the changes in fortune of the monarchy or the country: everything from legitimising usurpers to reconciling a Catholic rite to the tenets of Protestantism. It even had to be recreated from scratch after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. In this way, Strong tells the story of the British monarchy since the tenth century, and looks forward to the coronation of King Charles III.
- ISBN: 9780008550066
- Book size: 15.9 x 24cm
- Pages: 448 pages
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