George IV, the most expensive coronation in English history

202 years before Charles III, George IV of Hanover, one of the uncles of the future Queen Victoria, was crowned at Westminster in an incredibly lavish ceremony. Running until September 10, the exhibition at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton brings the celebration back to life with original costumes, portraits and documents that retrace the story of one of Britain’s most extravagant monarchs’ ascension to the throne.

“The apparition of Appalli at the time of the coronation was a grand spectacle, of which description gives only the palest idea. The king, clad in the most splendid and sumptuous dress imaginable, sat on his throne. Around him. On one side were bishops with golden cords and black velvet robes, and near them in many-colored robes, and on the right. On the left were free-floating peers in robes of state, with different crowns on their heads, and replete with all the luxuries of menu-wire and velvet. […] and near them were the knights of Carter, in all the splendid devices of their array. […] On the left of the king are five officers before him, with heavy scissors of gold or gold, and clothed in blue and gold silk.

A witness to this period, marveling, depicts the incredible decorum of George IV’s coronation at Westminster on July 19, 1821. Ruler of his father – suffering from mental illness – already for ten years, George Augustus Frederick, soon in his sixties, wanted to make an impression. Napoleon I’s recent victory over France seems to have allowed him to spend lavishly. His secret hope was to eclipse the glory of the deposed emperor’s coronation.

See also  The George Floyd murder trial is not yet fully arbitrated

However, the man nicknamed “England’s First Gentleman” scandalizes people above all with his selfishness, his vanity and his dissolute existence. The eccentric Caroline of Brunswick was long separated from his wife, who forbade him to visit the abbey. Expelled, the queen consort would respond with an incendiary statement: “Law is but the mask of tyranny, and power the instrument of despotism!”

An individual crown over £50,000

The festivities, first planned for 1820, were duly postponed due to Caroline’s complaints. Organized by two major statesmen, the Grand Chamberlain, Lord Gwyder and Earl Marshal Lord Henry Howard-Molyneux-Howard, they cost a staggering total of 238,000 pounds sterling. than the previous coronation, in 1761! Scaffolding was erected in the abbey to accommodate approximately 5,000 guests. The wooden partitions of the Great Hall of the Palace of Westminster have been torn down to recreate a vast banqueting hall, where 1,268 guests will dine at 47 tables, with nearly 3,000 spectators posted in the galleries. A temporary triumphal arch was erected at one of the entrances to the hall, in the medieval style then in vogue.

In full romantic style, participants had to dress in clothes from the Tudor and Stuart periods, according to the imposed models. The King’s dress alone, with its red velvet coat extended by a 27-foot train, was worth more than £24,000. Madame Tussauds later put the wax on display at the museum, which would be used again at each of George V’s coronations from 1911 onwards. George IV hired 375,000 pounds of jewels to add to the splendor of St. Edward’s crown. He had an £8,000 tiara to adorn his feathered hat and a personal crown worth more than £50,000.

See also  'We will not die in peace': Oil stop oil strike again in UK

The padayatra procession is a public viewing area only

The monarch spent the night before the coronation at the Palace of Westminster with the Speaker of the House of Commons. Amidst the crowded streets, guests start arriving from 1 am onwards. The actual ceremony begins at 10am in Westminster Hall. On platforms erected for this purpose, the only part of the activities visible to the general public will be the walk to the nearby school.

The service will be presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton. According to the Acts of Union of 1800, the sovereign takes an oath for the first time before “the people of this United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland”. In the front row are the king’s four brothers: Dukes York, Clarence, Sussex and Cambridge, as well as his brother-in-law Gloucester and the Duke of Edinburgh, and his nephew, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the future King of Belgium. The sermon, preached by the Archbishop of York, Edward Venables-Vernon-Harcourt, elaborated on a quote from the Book of Samuel: “He that ruleth over men must be righteous, and must rule in the fear of God.”

Pronunciations are welcomeAlleluia In Handel’s Messiah, George IV sweats under his heavy tinsel. After the banquet, the King, isolated from exhaustion as on other days, returned in the evening in a carriage to his residence at Carlton House, Ball Mall. “I will no longer endure the suffering of that day for another realm!” He would say later.

A Perfectly Royal Scene: The Coronation of George IV – A Perfectly Royal Scene: The Coronation of George IV – Brighton Pavilion & Gardens, Brighton BN1 1FN (Great Britain). Until September 10, 2023.

See also  Afghanistan: Translator of British forces fears his family in Afghanistan may be killed by Taliban by plane to UK UK News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *