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Coronation celebrations continue with Liberation Square lunch

Coronation celebrations continue with Liberation Square lunch

Monday 08 May 2023

Coronation celebrations continue with Liberation Square lunch

Monday 08 May 2023

Sunday’s Coronation Big Lunch had the air of a summer party, with 350 islanders flocking to Liberation Square to enjoy a celebratory lunch and live music.

After a special service at the Town Church, people moved to Liberation Square for the Big Lunch – St Helier’s take on a Coronation street party.

Attendees went all-out, wearing paper crowns (and one Diana mask) and Union Jack bowler hats. A few tables were multi-generational, combining the Coronation celebration with a grandparent’s birthday, or making it a family day out with grandparents and children.


Pictured: Attendees went all out with their celebratory outfits.

Among the attendees were guests from Holidays for Heroes.

All at Sunday’s event agreed that the Coronation was a historic event to celebrate.

Sarah and Jorge Correia, both from St Helier, described it as "a once-in-a-lifetime occasion".

Sarah added that, despite not being a big royalist, "it’s just one of those things you’re just going to experience once in your life, and you might as well embrace and enjoy the day."

The event was well-attended, including by representatives from twinned towns in the US, France and Germany.


Pictured: 350 islanders gathered in Liberation Square to enjoy a celebratory lunch.

David Nicolas, the mayor of Avranches in France, said: "It was quite fascinating because we were able to watch the Coronation ceremony from the parish hall of St Helier. For us being French, we have not had a king for a long time, it is brilliant to see how traditions have been perfectly respected for centuries in Great Britain.

"I am a trained historian of the Anglo-Norman Middle Ages, so the notion of British monarchy obviously speaks to me."

"It was quite fascinating to observe this show," he said, adding that he was impressed by how open to the world Jersey is despite its size.

Explaining that Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has a second home near Avranches, Mr Nicolas said that he enjoyed watching his normally very humble and down-to-earth neighbour crown the King – literally placing the crown on his head.

Reed Gusciora, the mayor of Trenton, New Jersey, which is twinned with St Helier, was on an annual visit to Jersey. Travelling with him were representatives of Trenton’s fire and police departments, who had been visiting Jersey’s emergency services stations.

Though he normally visits for Liberation Day, Mr Gusciora said he enjoyed watching the Coronation from Jersey’s point of view.

Welcoming attendees, Chief Minister Kristina Moore celebrated that on occasions like these, people can come together with their loved ones to celebrate.


Pictured: Chief Minister Kristina Moore was at the event to welcome attendees.

After her welcome, guests sang the national anthem and tucked into their lunches – a universal success. Skipping the coronation quiche, Jersey Kitchen had prepared smoked salmon bagels, coronation chicken on pomegranate tabbouleh, and treacle tart.

Guests Jordan and Louise said they were mainly excited about the food – and by the opportunity to celebrate a historic occasion with a fun day out. Elda, who was sitting with them, said he had been running around London on Saturday but hadn’t actually seen any of the celebrations.

Meanwhile, the band Retro Gramophone provided music with a retro, swing take on well-known modern pop songs.

Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae stressed that the Coronation, and the different events around Jersey this weekend, were an opportunity to remember how important Jersey’s links to the Crown are – particularly for children.

He said: "This is one of those wonderful events that one remembers all one’s life.

"Jersey's links with the Crown go back nearly 1,000 years, 800 years with the British crown.

"It's very important for people to understand those links that we have."


Pictured: It is important for children to learn about Jersey’s links to the Crown.

Though the Big Lunch was inspired by last year’s Jubilee party, it shares the infrastructure – a big screen and marquees – used for Liberation Day celebrations.

On Tuesday, the same square will hold 1,000 people for Liberation Day celebrations, according to Steve Cartwright, Chief Officer to the Bailiff, who organised the event.

With food on tables, the band ready to play, and guests arriving, one last worry was appeased. "I’m just so happy the weather is good, as well," Mr Cartwright said.

Pictured top: Guests went all-out to celebrate the Coronation. (David Ferguson)

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