Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday 6 May 2024

Enrolling the Coronation

A year ago today it was the Coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen. 

In accordance with tradition going back to at least 1308 the official record of the day and ceremonies has now been compiled and last week it was presented to the royal couple by its creators and the National Archives.

The tradition of such rolls - they are sadly missing for the era 1429-1559 inclusive - is outlined in articles from the BBC News website at King's official Coronation scroll is first without animal skin and from the Daily Record at King Charles' cheeky six-word quip as he marks year since Coronation 

The 2023 Coronation Roll can be seen in its entirety at The Coronation Roll

The interactive version with film and interviews can be seen at Videos

The other day the Daily Mail had an article about criticisms of the ceremonial and liturgy from “insiders”. It can be seen at Eight reasons why moaning minnies call it the 'Cut Price Coronation'

The article begins on a slightly hostile note but then appears supportive of the criticisms made. Now the Daily Mail can call me a “Moaning Minnie” if it likes but I would agree with virtually all the points the article makes, and I could add quite a few more. Some innovations were very effective I happily concede, such as the Royal Ladies in their Chivalric mantles, and the presence of the St Augustine Gospels as well as the newly recreated Cros Gneith. I also appreciate the perceived need to adapt for aspects of the ceremony for a Monarch and Consort in their mid-seventies. That said I still think the comments in the article are valid, and I am heartened that “insiders” are making their views known for future Coronations.

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