The crowning of King Charles III on Saturday brought back memories of other royal coronations for some The Ensign readers. Reporter Sandy Eggleston chatted to Gore residents about their memories and reaction to the latest coronation.
King Charles III’s coronation is not the first of Beryl Leach’s lifetime.
She was about 5 in 1936 when Edward VIII abdicated and his brother George VI ascended the throne in 1937.
She could not remember listening to the radio when King George was crowned but did remember watching Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, Mrs Leach said.
She was newly married and living in a house about 120km from London which had been converted into flats.
One of the neighbours had a television, which was a ‘‘new thing’’.
‘‘We were all invited in to go and have a look.’’
The television had a nine-inch (22cm) screen.
‘‘It was still a miracle that you could actually see what was happening.’’
The neighbours spent much of the day watching the coverage.
‘‘You used to disappear and get something to eat and come back and avidly watch it.’’
Mrs Leach migrated to New Zealand in 2017.
She was not planning on watching Saturday’s coronation. ‘‘I’m so remote from it now.’’
However, she did watch it.
‘‘I quite like the pageantry.’’
At the time of George VI’s coronation school pupils were given a commemorative mug and the name of the town where they lived was written on the bottom.
She still had her late husband’s mug.
Glenys Clayton moved to New Zealand in 1970 from England with her first husband.
Mrs Clayton was 6 when the Queen was crowned in 1953.
A neighbour invited her family to watch the coronation on her television.
‘‘Mum got very excited.
‘‘She dressed us all in our Sunday best.’’
It was the first time the family had watched television.
The children had to sit on the floor in front of the television while adults sat in two rows of chairs behind them.
After the coronation pupils were given a commemorative mug, a box of chocolates and a coin worth five shillings.
Mrs Clayton traded her coin at the bank for money.
‘‘Silly me — I wish I hadn’t.
‘‘Imagine every kid in England getting a mug, a box of chocolates and five bob.’’
She thought the King’s coronation went off well.
‘‘I love that gold coach he was in — talk about ancient — when he went back home to the palace.’’
On the journey to Westminster Abbey the King and Queen travelled in the diamond jubilee state coach but on the way home made the journey in the gold state coach, used at the coronation of every monarch since William IV.
Graham Clayton was 9 and living near Sherwood Forest in England when the Queen was crowned.
He was a member of the Cub Scouts and his father was a member of the Royal Observer Corps (ROC).
The family watched the coronation on the television their father had recently bought.
‘‘He wore his ROC uniform [and] I was instructed to wear my Cub Scout uniform.’’
It was a sign of respect to the Queen, Mr Clayton said.
A convex water tank was placed in front of the television’s nine-inch screen so what was happening looked bigger.
This time around he enjoyed ‘‘the pomp, the ceremony, the military aspect but I must admit the church service left me cold’’.
‘‘It’s too long.’’
He had spent most of his life serving the Crown in different ways and was proud to do so.
He hoped New Zealand would remain part of the Commonwealth.
‘‘I would be really really sad if Chris Hipkins gets his way and calls [New Zealand] a republic.’’