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CORONATIONS OF THE PAST

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CORONATIONS OF THE PAST HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE SKETCHES. In connection with the coronation of George 1. ¡ which took placD on October 20, 1714, it is said that the Champion on that occasion was somewhat disconcerted by a glove being thrown down to him from a gallery, and the suggestion has been made that the gago was thrown by the Pretender, Charles Edward. Nothing of moment occurred at the coronation of the second of the Georges but Horace Walpole gives us some acceptable informa- tion concerning that of George III. lIe siys 11 r, CI On this occasion one saw to how high-water mark extravagance is rie:1 in England. At the coronation of George It. my mother gave 40 guineas for a dining-room, scaffold and bed chamber. An exactly parallel apartinont, only with rather a worse view, was this time set at 350 guineas—a tolerab'.o rise in 33 years The plat- form from St. Margaret's Round Ilousa to the church door, which tormerly let for f.40, went this time afc £ 2,4C0. Still more was given for the in- side of the Abbey. The prebends would like a coronation every year." It is also stated that the stage management was very faulty on this occasion, and here again Walpole gives some interesting particulars The heralds were so ignorant of their business that though pensioned for nothing but to register lords and ladies and what belongs to them,"they advertised in the newspaper for the Christian names and places cf abode of the peeresses. The Kirg complained of such omissions and of l ho want of precedent Lord Effingham, the Earl Marshal, told him it was true there had been great neglect in that office, but he had now taken such caro of registering directions that next coronation would be conducted with the greatest order imaginable. The King was so diverted with this flattering speech that he made the earl repeat it several times." It is narrated that on the re- turn from the Abbey George III. let the great diamond fall from the crown and, though it was recovered almost at once, the occurrence was regarded as presaging some serious loss. The crowning of George IV. was marked by an unseemly contretemps. Queen Caroline had some unhappy differences with her royal spouse and the privy council decided against her right to be crowned at the same time as the King. The Queen Consort presented herself at the Abbey doors on the morning of the ceremony and was denied admittance although she tried every entrance. She was also denied admission to Westminster Hall. At the coronation King George borrowed a crown from the Court jewellers, his advisers refusing to sanction an expenditure of £ 70,000 on the purchase of one. It is euggested that this crown must have been worn at the coronation banquet, for the state crown was said to be worth £ 150,000 it weighed ojlbs., and was adorned with a peerless sapphire. The cost of George IV.'s sumptuous coronation was upwards of a quarter of a million sterling. Ten years later, when his brother, William IV. was crowned, the expenses were cut down to £ 50,000. When William and his consort, Queen Adelaide, went through the coronation ceremony in 1831 the customary banquet was omitted and for the first time the Champion did not perform his traditional duty. As to the coronation of the late Queen Victoria on June 2S, 1838, one historian contents himsell with this brief description Her Majesty went from Buckingham Palace through the line of streets from Hyde Park Corner, amidst deafening cheers from an enormous multitude. The day was obser. ved throughout the Kingdom as a general holida y: with public dinners, feasts to the poor, and brilli- ant illuminations." Another account states "This event awakened a feeling very different from the languid indifference with which the two preceding coronations had been regarded. It was said that the people were coronation mad,' and this phrase conveys a scarcely exaggerated idea of the feelings that prevailed. Somo previous coronations had surpassed it in gorgeous display and lavish expendi, ture. The coronation of Victoria cost the nation £20,000 more than that of William IV., bul E173,000 less than that of his magnificent prede- cessor. But on no previous occasion had there been so great a throng of foreign princes and ambassa- dors, such a display of splendid equipages, and suel a manifestation of loyalty." We propose to supple- ment these brief descriptions by fuller details oj the proceedings, as this will afford an opportunity of describing the regalia and some of the coronation ceremonials. At the outset let it be said,then, that the public procession was revived, this being the first occasion since the time of Charles II. Macaulay tells us that: "There was a procession in which many deficiencies might be noted, but which was seen with interest and delight by half a million of her subjects, and which un. doubtedly gave far greater pleasure and called forth far greater enthusiasm than the more costly display which was witnessed by a select circle within tho Abbey." The procession set out from Buckingham Palace at 9.45 in the morning, the Queen being in her State coach, drawn by the famous cream-coloured horses. It was not until 11.30 that the Abbey was reached, the young monarch having been received with the utmost enthusiasm at all points along the route. Westminster Abbey was crowded, and it is said that 11,000 admission tickets were issued. A platform covered with cloth of gold had been erected at the point of intersection of the choir and transspts, and on this stood a chair of state. Seats were reserved for the members of the royal family and for the officers of the household in the choir, and the peers and peeresses were accommo- dated in galleries in the north and south transepts. On her entrance the Queen, who was robed in crimson velvet and ermine bordered with gold, was led to her seat between two bishops, her train being held by eight ladies. The Lord Greai Chamberlain and the Lord High Ccnstable were on her left, and on her right the four symbolical swords (those of State, of Mercy, of Spiritual Justice and of Temporal Justice) were carried by the Prime Minister (Viscount Melbourne), the Duke3 of Devonshire and Sutherland and the Marquess of Westminster. The ceremony was then proceeded with, and it is recorded that it occupied 3 hours IS minutes from the time her Majesty entered the choir until the last note of music sounded. On the entrance the anthem "I was glad when they said unto me" was sung by the choir, which was specially augmented tor the occasion. The Queen having "reposed herself after her entrance, the Archbishop of Canteroury proceeded with the form of the recognition. This consisted of the presentation by his Grace from the four sides of tho platform of the Queen to the threat assembly, the words used being: Sirs, I here present unto you Queen Victoria, the un- doubted Queen of this realm: wherefore all you who come this day to do your homage, are you willing to do the same ? In the quaint language used in the description of the ceremony we are told that: The people signified their willingness and joy by loud and repeated acclamations, all with one voice crying out 'God save Queen Victoria' The Queen had during this part of the proceedings been standing by her chair. The trumpets sounded and to the playing of the National Anthem by the band her Majesty re- sumed her seat. The young monarch, supported by two bishops, attended by the Dean of West- minster, and preceded by the great officers carry- ing the regalia, went down to the altar and made her first oblation—a pall or altar-cloth of gold and i. nugget or wedge of gold of a pound weight. The various articles of the regalia, except the swords, were next placed upon the altar, and then the Litany was read and the first part of the Com- munion service gone through. The sermon which followed was preached by the Bishop of London from II. Chronicles, 34, 31. The coronation oath was subsequently administered, this being mainly based on that which had been submitted to her predecessors. The hymn Come Holy Ghost our souls inspire" was followed by prayer, after which the choir sang Handel's Zadok the Priest." Having been divested of her crimson robes, the Queen was led to King Edward's chair, four Knights of the Garter holding over her head a canopy of cloth of gold. The Dean of Westminster took the ampulla (or vial containing the oil) and spoon from the altar and poured some of the oil into the spoon, and with it the Archbishop anointed the Queen in the form oi a cross on the crown of the head and atiiar. Ll-)rd Melbourne then tendered 100 shilling* is the value of tho sword and, having thus redeemed it, received it from rif tho altar by the Dean of Westminster, whereupon he drew it from the scab- bard and carried it unsheathed be fora the Queen during the remainder of the ceremony. Next came the investing with the royal robe and the delivery of the orb. The imperial mantle cf cloth of gold hav- ing been assumed, the orb with the cross was brought from the altar and presented to the Queen by the Archbishop. Then the ring with which tho monarch was, as it were, wedded to the realm, was placed upon the fourth finger of her right hand, and the sceptre with a cross and the rod with a dove were duly presented. The ring, which is newly set for each sovereign, was on this occasion of plain gold and contained a table ruby on which St.. George's cross was engraved. The orb was 11 ball of gold six inches in diameter embellished with jewels and surmounted by a cross of gold several icches high. The rod with the cross, or sceptre, was 2 ft. 9.1 inches in length, the handle being oi burnished gold, while the rod with the dove was 3 ft. 7 inches in length, the dove being enamelled white. Then came the actual putting on of the crown. This was made especially for the occasion, that used at the two previous coronations being too large. It weighed about 3ib3. and was composed of hoops of silver enclosing a cap of deep purple velvet; the hocps were covered with precious stones, surmounted by a ball covered with small diamonds and having a Maltese cross of brilliants on the top of it. The lower part of the crown was fringed with ermine. When the crown was placed upon the Queen's head by the Archbishop the spectators cried "God save the Queen," the trumpets sounded, and by signal given to the Tower tho guns at that place were fired. As soon as the Queen was crowned the peers and peeresses put on their coronets, and the effect of such a blaze of jewels is described as having been magnificent in tha extreme. The Bible was there- upon presented, and when the Archbishop had blessed the Queen the To Deum" was sung. The enthronisaticn followed, and when her Majesty had been lifted into the throne the peers did homage, the Treasurer of the Household mean- while throwing medals of gold and silver among the people. Tho peers passed before her Majesty one by one and touched the crown on the Queen's head as promising to be ever ready to support it, following this up by kissing her Majesty's hand. This part of the ceremony was peculiarly affect- ing, we are told. When the Duke of Sussex, the Queen's uncle, had embraced her Majesty, he was obliged to be led off the platform by the peers. Lord Rolle, who was old and infirm, stumbled and fell back from the second step of the platform to the floor. He was immediately raised and sup- ported by two of tho peers. The Queen rose from her throne and, advancing several paces, took the noble lord by the hand, a graceful act which was enthusiastically applauded. Again came the blowing of trumpets, the beating of drums and loyal criea from the assembly. Thus the actual ceremony of the coronation was con- cluded, but the Commnnion was afterwards administered to the sovereign. Subsequently the Queen and her attendants proceeded to King Edward's Chapel, where the sceptre with the dove was laid upon the altar. The Queen was then divested of her imperial mantle and arrayed in her royal robe of purple velvet. The orb was placed in her Majesty's left hand, while the gold spurs and King Edward's staff were laid upon the altar. King Edward's staff represents the sceptre of the Confessor. The original disappeared during the time of the Parliamentarians, and the present one was used at the coronation of Jame3 II. The various items in the ceremonial having been duly performed, the Queen retired from the Abbey ia the same order as she had entered. Perhaps lady readers will be interested in this description of the dress worn by Quen Victoria at the ceremony "For the State robe the train con- sists of the richest crimson velvet, eight yards long, lined with miniver with an immense cape to the same, bordered round with miniver ermine and three borderings of gold lace. It is hold upon each siclo by three pages, or ladies-in-waiting, the Duchess of Kunt presiding at the extreme 2nd. The weight of thid robe is stated to 03 20 pounds. The under State robe is a robing of crimson velvet, lined with the rjcaost i'eisian suk. Tho kll t, budy, and hang- ing sleeve are trimmed round with a narrower bordering of ermine, and three rich borders of gold lace, narrower than that on the grand State robe. The back of the body is beautifully embroidered m go'd (oak) leaves the sleeve, in particular, is curious, being cut in the same fashion as that worn by Queen Anne Boleyn. Round the waist of the robe is a flat, gold chain, in front of wliioh are two iong ends, finished by splendid gold tassels, this .3 worn over a rich white satin dress embroidered with gold." The following is a sample verse of Birham'a ooera on the coronation of Queen Victoria then the Queen, heaven bless her och they did dresa her In her purple garaments and her goulden crown Like Venus or Hebe, or the Queen of Slieby, With eight young ladies houlding up h r gown. jure 'twas grand to see her, also for to he-ar The big drums bating, and the trumpets blow. ind Sir George Smart! O he played aconsarto, "nth his four and twenty fiddlers all in a row. >—a———■—hp—ai

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