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Coronation celebrations reign on

Coronation celebrations reign on

Saturday 06 May 2023

Coronation celebrations reign on

Saturday 06 May 2023

Spirits remained high at the island’s coronation celebrations, despite wet weather hampering attendance numbers.

Saturday's ceremony was screened live from Westminster Abbey to the apt location of Coronation Park in St Lawrence.

Rows of white plastic chairs and tables, plus food and drink trucks, promised flocks of people, but showers throughout the morning kept the chairs vacant and queues short.

Nevertheless, those that turned up with picnics and children in tow heralded the modernised ceremony as a “time to celebrate” and the family zone went down better than a Coronation Quiche.

Kiley Henley, who attended with her two children, was one of the first to arrive.

She said: “It really important for the children to be here, so that when their children and grandchildren ask what they were up to, they have some memories.

“It makes us unique as a nation, as Jersey, and I know lots of people are against the monarchy now, but I think it brings in as much money as it costs.”

She added: “It was a bit quiet when we first arrived, but it’s picking up now, and it’s amazing that people have come out in their raincoats. Any excuse for a party.”


Pictured: Showers throughout the morning kept the chairs vacant and queues short.

Danielle Colback agreed, saying: “It’s a time to celebrate and to have some joy after several years of difficulty.”

Stephan and Christina Richter stumbled upon the celebrations whilst on their holiday from Germany. 

They said: “It’s really impressive that people are turning out even though it’s raining. But we did think there would be more people here.”

However, like the crown jewels themselves, the sun made a rare appearance and broke through the clouds for the crowning moment.

There was a hushed silence as the archbishop placed the crown on Charles’s head – followed by an emotional chorus of ‘God Save the King’, flag-waving, and tears wiped with Coronation flags. Half of those in attendance were on their feet.

Roselyne Le Liard, who was five-years-old when the late Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, came to Coronation Park for the “atmosphere”.

She explained: “Having other people around you makes all the difference rather than just being at home.”

86-year-old Betty Henwood, meanwhile, was a teenager in 1953, and her father had bought the family's first television especially for the occasion.

She noted a change in the ceremonial proceedings and said it seemed more “modern” than the last one.

Patricia Guyoncourt also said: “It’s nice to see that it’s actually modernised. They have done a really good job with it.”

One of these modernisations was the “homage to the people” where the Archbishop of Canterbury asked the public to swear their allegiance to the new sovereign.

The JEP reported on Saturday that only 31% of islanders who responded to a poll were planning to swear allegiance to the Crown.

When the time came, the true figure was much lower, almost nil – but that might have been more due to the fact that the words of the oath were not projected on the screen.


Pictured: Children dribbled off to the family zone where there was the chance to play with bubbles, bouncy castles, and giant games.

Molly-Sue Deans was one of a less-represented contingent, young people, but even she saw the day as a chance to spend time with her family and get existential.

She said: “I love it all. I have never lived to see a coronation before, so as a young person, it’s really lovely to be able to experience it. We were just talking about whether we will be here to experience more coronations in the future.”

She added: “The royal family is always so special and such a lovely thing, but I do think there is a lack of support from my generation, with not as many people caring about it, which is sad. 

“My sister influenced me in getting to love it, and my grandmother showed me the book her mother had received for one of the previous king's coronations before Queen Elizabeth.”

While the screening area was solemn and emotional, children dribbled off to the family zone where there was the chance to play with bubbles, bouncy castles, and giant games, create a commemorative plate, learn bushcraft skills, and watch talented members of Youth Arts Jersey perform on stage.


Pictured: At one of the stalls, children could even make postcards which will be sent to the newly-crowned King.

The organiser, Anne Audrain of AANT Entertainment, said: “It’s starting to get busy now. We were a bit hampered by the weather this morning, but it’s dried out now.

“We had lots of interactive activities, and it’s all free for people to access, with something for all ages. It’s nice to see families getting involved in the Coronation.”

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