Cheeky charm from Katy Perry, touching tributes from Prince William and a strong message about climate change – last night’s Coronation Concert was much-needed light relief
After a tedious half hour introduction in which the most interesting part was learning that Olly Murs has surprisingly huge pecks, it was time for the show to begin. Tonight’s Coronation Concert was an hour and a half of emotive tributes to the new King Charles, with a raft of entertainment names and other royals reminding us he’s already spent 50 years as a working royal, in case you’d already forgotten.
Climate change was a continual thread, with drones making the shape of whales and flowers above Windsor Castle. Passionate speeches were delivered by the likes of Stella McCartney about how global warming is “the cause that unites us not divides us.” But then we could get on with the fun stuff. Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie and Take That, oh, and Prince Louis pulling funny faces from the stands.
It was past the 5-year-old prince’s bedtime, which social media was sad about, but the pop stars gave a darn good show, dressed in slightly sparklier clothes than usual and on slightly better behaviour than usual.
After 45 minutes of newer artists (Nicole Scherzinger, Olly Murs) and more niche piano and choral arrangements, Charles and Camilla looked delighted at Lionel Ritchie’s Easy, a song from their era, but it was Katy Perry and Take That that’ll make the newspaper front covers tomorrow.
Perry, dressed regally in sparkling gold, played up to her inherent charm, walked to the stage from the Castle itself, as if she were a princess. She thanked the King for letting her stay in Windsor Castle for the night (jealous, us?) before launching into barmstorming versions of Roar and Firework. She’d even brought her mum along for the occasion.
Take That, performing for the first time live in four years, brought the curtain down with a dance version of Greatest Day and closed the night with Never Forget.
Elsewhere, presenter Hugh Bonneville performed an incredibly cringey piece to camera with Miss Piggy, a diverse choir sang a song called Brighter Days which was weirdly solemn, Nicole Scherzinger did something dramatic with a pianist and upcoming Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa did some acting, performing a fun little bit of Romeo and Juliet, with choreography too.
After the traditional coronation service yesterday, the Coronation Concert will have been gladly received. The royal family are always talking about being relatable, and if the Westminster Abbey service was dull at times, coming in at over two hours, tonight was a light-hearted patriotic delight.