LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Thoughts on the coronation of King Charles III

(Editor’s Note: The writer immigrated from England to America in 1961 and became an American citizen in 1966.)

In London, on the morning of June 2, 1953, I sat with friends intently watching a black and white image on a television screen the size of a dinner plate. The Archbishop of Canterbury was placing a crown on the head of a young queen, Elizabeth II.

Later that day my friends and I raced through flagged-bedecked streets to Buckingham Palace and watched as the royal party came out onto the balcony. Beside the queen stood a tiny figure, barely as tall as the balcony rail: Prince Charles.

Fast forward 70 years. This year, on Saturday May 6, I will sit before a wide flat-screen television in one of the king’s former colonies and watch that child, now a grandfather, crowned king.
This religious ceremony is based on tradition and continuity dating back 1,000 years. It has no constitutional value, it is not required and if we didn’t do it Charles would still be king.

During this ceremony, Charles promises to uphold law and justice with mercy. In this uncertain world this rite of passage, done with the splendor that Brits do so well, is, to me, like a steadying hand.

It confirms that tradition and continuity still have a place in this world. And it is a promise that fundamental values like law and justice and mercy are still things that matter.

It is a little too far and I’m a little too old to race to the gates of Buckingham Palace to cheer for the new king, but I’ll be watching it all with pride … and a lump in my throat.

Bridget Huckabee
Badin