The Square Mile is set to play a crucial role in His Majesty King Charles III’s Coronation weekend, with 700-year-old traditions including an ancient crystal sceptre given to the City by Henry V and regal robe from Queen Elizabeth’s crowning in 1953.
City of London Corporation head, Lord Mayor Nicholas Lyons, will be participating in the King’s Procession on Saturday, a role dating back to the 14th century.
The Square Mile’s figurehead will be carrying the Crystal Sceptre, the City of London’s greatest and most ancient treasure, while wearing a luxurious velvet robe lent to him, and used in 1953 by his predecessor during Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.
Given to the City by King Henry V following his victory in the Battle of Agincourt, the sceptre was awarded as a token of thanks for its support for the King’s campaigns in France.
This comes as London’s business community has welcomed the possible £3bn additional spend from tourists and Brits alike during the Coronation Bank Holiday Weekend.
It is also expected to give a boost to pubs and restaurants which have suffered due to the cost of living and energy crises in the last 12 months.
The City also gifted the King an anointing screen for the ceremony, which will be used to shield the Monarch when he is anointed in holy oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury, considered the most holy part of the ceremony.
According to the corporation, the design depicts 56 leaves representing 56 Commonwealth countries.
The Square Mile lights up for Charles
A number of Square Mile landmarks will also be lighting up this weekend to celebrate the occasion, with Tower Bridge, London Bridge and Guildhall, glowing ini red, white and blue.
Mansion House, the residence of the Lord Mayor, will also be lit up, all of which will coincide with the BBC’s ‘lighting up the nation’ coronation concert.
Lord Mayor of the City of London Nicholas Lyons said: “The Coronation is a day of national celebration and marks the beginning of a new era for the country and the Commonwealth.
“It’s only right that we should honour this momentous occasion by lighting up some of the UK’s best-known landmarks.”
City of London Corporation Policy Chairman Chris Hayward said: “The first Coronation of a new monarch in 70 years will be a truly momentous event for our country.
“Bathing the City’s iconic landmarks in red, white, and blue is a highly visible way of celebrating the crowning of our new King and demonstrating the City’s long-standing support for, and loyalty to the Monarchy.”
What else is going on to celebrate?
Across London’s oldest district, the Square Mile, hundreds of events and celebrations are being held to mark the occasion.
The City’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are holding ‘green’ celebrations to reflect King Charles’ passion for conservation and the environment, with the Fleet Street Quarter having a ‘BIG picnic’.
Leadenhall Market held an old-fashioned knees-up featuring a Pearly King and Pearly Prince on Friday with free tea and cake on offer, while on the day after the coronation, – Aldgate Square will host the Big Coronation Lunch.
Other activities include the City Information Centre next to St Paul’s Cathedral remaining open from until Monday 8 May so tourists can find out information and buy souvenirs.
City of London Corporation Policy Chairman Chris Hayward said: “Since time immemorial, the City has been a loyal supporter of the Monarchy, so it’s quite right that residents, workers and visitors should come together to celebrate the crowning of our new King in style.
“During Coronation week, a wide variety of events and activities are on offer, all of which support our Destination City vision of the Square Mile as a seven-day-a-week visitor destination.”
Events in City streets are being organised by the Aldgate Connect, Cheapside Business Alliance, EC and Fleet Street Quarter BIDs.
Commenting on behalf of the City Business Improvement Districts, Ruth Duston OBE, OC, MD of Primera said: “The BIDs are proud to be supporting this important moment for the nation and we look forward to welcoming workers, visitors, and residents to join the celebrations. The new King’s passion for the environment is being brought to life in different ways.
“These events also provide a great opportunity to showcase the commitment that each of the BIDs have made to the vital ‘green’ agenda, through greening and biodiversity projects and the important role our precious green spaces can play in improving mental health and wellbeing.”
For anyone not so inclined, we’ve also compiled an anti-coronation guide, for unroyal things to do.