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Looking Forward to the Coronation: a View from Milan

Looking Forward to the Coronation: a View from Milan

The UK is gearing up for the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III on Saturday, 6th May. All the familiar pageantry and pomp that Britain is famous for will be on display, but this time with the added frisson that comes with a new monarch receiving “The Crown”.

Despite reports of a lack of enthusiasm among some sectors of British society (e.g. only 32% of 18-24 years support the monarchy, according to a YouGov poll for the BBC’s Panorama news programme), huge crowds will still be lining the streets of London to catch a glimpse of the King and Queen Camilla in the historic Gold State Coach. Both nationally and globally, a huge number will tune in to watch the events live on television. The global TV audience is expected to be around 350 million. The Coronation service at Westminster Abbey will start at 11:00 am BST (midday here in Italy) and include music personally selected by the King. A new coronation anthem, ‘Make a Joyful Noise’, has been composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

King Charles will be crowned in St Edward’s Chair, also known as the Coronation Chair, which was created for Edward I and holds the Stone of Destiny from Scone in Scotland. Although the stone returned permanently north of the border just before the millennium, it has been shipped back to London for the service.

Following the procession back to Buckingham Palace, there will be the traditional gathering of the Royal Family on the balcony with a fly-past by various military aircraft and the Red Arrows formation flying team.

A special Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle has been planned for Sunday 7th May. Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Take That will top the bill, with classical stars star Andrea Bocelli and Sir Bryn Terfel also performing.

The traditional street parties that Brits hold to mark royal occasions will take place alongside

the Coronation Big Lunch, a charity event organized by the Eden Project, where neighbours and locals can nosh royally on patriotic dishes such as Coronation quiche. The Big Help Out is a volunteering initiative planned for Monday, 8th May, which is an additional Bank Holiday to mark the occasion.

Licensing laws in the UK have been relaxed, allowing pubs and other watering holes in England and Wales to stay open until one o’clock in the morning over the weekend of the Coronation.

For expats around the world, including those based here in Italy, the day will have a special resonance as the King officially takes on the mantle left by his mother, the late and much-loved Queen Elizabeth II. Alongside the official celebrations arranged by the UK Embassy in Rome and the British Consulate General in Milan, Brits (and others with a soft spot for our sceptred isle) will be celebrating in their own way.

Easy Milano regular John Murphy is organising a Coronation Bunch at the canalside King’s Pub, Alzaia Naviglio Pavese 8. Attendees will watch the events beamed from London on a maxi-screen and raise a glass to the new King in good company. There will also be a Coronation Quiz.

There are a number of pubs in Milan with a British theme where you can toast the new King (and Queen). The 442 Sports Pub in Via Procaccini has Guinness and Kilkenny Cream on tap, while The Friends Pub Milano in Viale Monte Santo offers Brothers IPA and Four B “Bitter Ale” to wash down its hearty burgers and Sunday Roast.

While enthusiasm for the British monarchy in the Irish Republic is somewhat muted, Irish (or “Irish”) pubs still offer the chance to enjoy a pint of bitter (or stout, if you prefer) in a suitably Aperol-less or de-Crondino-ised environment. Pogue Mahone’s in Porta Romana (located in via Salmini on the corner with Corso Lodi) has expanded in recent years and now boasts Mahone’s Restaurant. In addition to the classic draught Guinness, you can enjoy a pint of London Pride or Meantime IPA.

However you celebrate the Coronation, the passage from the “Elizabethan” age to the new “Caroline” era marks a historic shift at a time of great uncertainty in the world. Most people will find something comforting in the traditions and symbols of monarchy and their links to the past. And even if you aren’t an ardent monarchist, you can still enjoy one of the world’s great spectacles – plus some excellent music at Sunday’s concert.


Featured photo by Chris Boland

Article by Robert Dennis for Easy Milano

About the author

Robert Dennis is a writer and Business English teacher based in Milan. He has been teaching for other 30 years both in the UK and in Italy. A long-time collaborator with John Peter Sloan, Robert published Business English (Gribaudo) in 2020. The book was launched with “Il Sole 24 Ore” and sold in newsstands throughout Italy. Robert has a website for people who want to learn Business English: Pay As You Learn.com. The site features keywords and phrases, audio and exercises to help professionals improve their language skills. A graduate in English from Oxford University, Robert is a regular contributor to Easy Milano who often writes about plays staged in English in Milan and other cultural events in the city. He is also a translator and “buongustaio” who loves Italian food! robertdennis.it

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