No. 50 Vol. 1Sat 01 July 2023Price: 0/0d

When A King Is Crowned

pointing finger Yarns >> Sat 01 July 2023 by Thran

The Open Air Investiture

Throne, I Come For Thee

Throne, I Come For Thee

The day was the 6th of May 2023 and the nation was set to witness the coronation of King Charles III. Given that such events do not happen regularly, I thought I'd like to observe. Ideally I'd witness it in person at Westminster Abbey, but I was either not an invited guest or my invitation was lost in the post. Perhaps I could witness it at home, but then I don't have a TV licence and unlicenced viewing of the ceremony just wouldn't be proper now guv'nor, would it?

So where would I go? I noticed that a large screen was set up in the Marine Gardens, Carrickfergus so I made my way there. It would only be proper to witness the making of our King while standing in a crowd, assailed by a light drizzle. There were several folks pitched out in deck chairs, some dogs tethered to the ground, and a flurry of activity serving refreshments from the nearby tea rooms. Which crowd would be better to join me for the big occasion?

Then The Din Did Begin

As the countdown lowered to the beginning of the ceremony, there was a great disturbance to my right. Two children's entertainers began thumping lifestyle pop music at great volume. They had set up a post in the ground and were beckoning children to come play some game where they'd grab twine and run around it in circles, while the entertainers yelled cheers from their wireless headset microphones, further compounding the noise.

Such a bizarre contrast. To my front, a screen broadcasting a solemn occasion and sacred music. To my right, Eliza Doolittle and kid pop covers of The Monkees. The entertainers were oblivious to the occasion they were profaning and just continued in their own world. I sent many glares their way and remarked to other bystanders, "I didn't think they'd invite the court jesters". Their act would continue all throughout the coronation, with the exception of the anointing.

A State Afraid To Throw Its Weight

Curiously, during what is the most significant state occasion we will witness, its servants were anything but emboldened. A gentleman was present dressed in full 18th century regalia, presumably the Lord Lieutenant of Antrim, or the Mayor, or someone of note. Instead of asking the entertainers to stop, he just walked over to them and shared a joke.

Two police officers entered the park and roamed around, I hoped that someone had filed a noise complaint and that they were there to serve it. Indeed, the children's entertainers stopped their act as soon as the police arrived. The police had a quick word with them. Would we be finally free to enjoy our ceremony in peace? No, for as soon as the police were out of earshot, the "cheery" bubblegum pop resumed.

Finally, given the demographics I'm sure the Mid and East Antrim council were only to happy to use their public space to host the coronation. So who in the council planning thought amplified music wouldn't clash with our enjoyment of the ceremony? Couldn't they have been placed out of earshot at least? The crowd had gathered to see and to hear the coronation to suitable sounds, not kid pop. Otherwise the King would've found a place for the Kids Fun Time group in his itinerary.

Why do I pay my rates again? I've "paid" the council a lot more than any of those children who were present, I'll guarantee it!

Imagine going to a concert or funeral and these jesters decide their MP3s must be heard, no matter what anyone else thinks. But I also wonder who works in this field and is so oblivious to the effects of their actions. They must themselves have the mentality of children, and not very bright ones at that.

The anointment of King Charles on the big screen

The anointment was not to be a disappointment

The Young who were Stung

Expecting children to participate in mind-numbing distractions while a kingmaking ceremony proceeds is actually a snub to them. I think even a four or five year old could appreciate what is happening. Why leave them out of big things in life? I think the colours, the noises and the procession on a big screen would be enough to excite any child. Get them an ice cream and a toy plastic crown to wear. They'll be glad to share in something big with mum and dad.

Why dump them with strangers for the occasion? Children do not like to feel excluded either. Ironically, children's entertainers are making things worse for the children too. That's another crime to lay at their feet.

The Showdown

But I'm not one to end on a sour note. As the King entered the abbey, I heard the first few notes of Handel's Zadok The Priest begin on the organ. The buildup to the glorious moment began. And yes, our distinguished guests were still blasting lifestyle pop, in full competition with Handel. Only one of them would be, ahem, crowned victorious.

The organ gave way to the chorus, and triumph! The very ground shook at the sound of their voices, and while the ground regrettably did not open up and consume the jesters, they were inaudible over the Westminster Abbey Choir. I was beaming with delight, almost in tears, and couldn't help but send a jeer towards the profaners. The choir sang:

God save the king! Long live the king!

His first act was to utterly silence some clueless children's entertainers. May he indeed reign forever!

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