Coronation tragedy: Wife of key player dies just days before King Charles historic event

King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation is now finally just days away. Preparations have been ongoing for months, and all the senior royals have different parts to play for the historic occasion. While some, like Prince George, will take on more significant roles, others, like Prince Harry, aren’t expected to be overly involved.

Millions of people in the UK will celebrate the coronation of the new king and queen, though there are also many who don’t view the monarchy in such a favorable light. Indeed, recent news about the public swearing allegiance – set to take place when Charles is crowned – has reportedly left a lot of people upset.

Needless to say, the coronation is supposed to be a day of joy and happiness. But with less than a week to go, the historic event has been struck by an immense tragedy.

For the first time since 1953, the UK will witness the coronation of a monarch. On Saturday, May 6, King Charles and Queen Camilla are to be coronated at Westminster Abbey. Naturally, the schedule for the entire weekend is jam-packed.

At 11am on coronation day, the royals will leave Buckingham Palace and travel in procession to Westminster Abbey. On the way back to the palace from the Abbey, more Royal Family members will join.

The royals will travel down the legendary street, The Mall, as part of the procession. They will then go past Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, and Parliament Street before arriving at the Abbey before the ceremony, prior to returning to Buckingham Palace.

When Queen Elizabeth was coronated in 1953, the procession took a far longer route than this time around, though King Charles and Queen Camilla will not give up anything in terms of the luxury of their travel arrangements. Reportedly, the couple will ride in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach on their way to Westminster Abbey – then use the 260-year-old Gold State Coach for the return leg to Buckingham Palace.

The procession itself is reserved for senior Royal Family members only. For the first time, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s three children, Prince George, Princess Louis, and Prince Louis, will all be in attendance at a major royal event. (Louis, you may remember, was considered too young to participate in Queen Elizabeth’s funeral last year).

It should go without saying that the coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla will be the biggest royal event in decades, with perhaps the only exception being the Queen’s funeral. But though the day is for Charles and Camilla, the next generation of Royal Family members will also make what’s being considered their big debut at Westminster Abbey.

It was long rumored that Prince George, the future king and second in the line of succession, would have a prominent role in the coronation. That’s now been confirmed, as he will serve as a Page of Honor, holding King Charles and Queen Camilla’s robes during the two-and-a-half hour long ceremony.

As reported by the Mirror, the Pages of Honor will be dressed in a scarlet frock coat with gold trimmings, a white waistcoat, hose, white gloves, black shoes, a lace cravat, and ruffles.

There will be seven other pages alongside George, including three of Camilla’s grandchildren, Freddy Parker Bowles, Gus Lopes, and Louis Lopes. While Prince William and Princess Kate both have reportedly argued about whether or not their eldest son was ready for such a significant role in the coronation, the Prince and Princess of Wales have given him everything he needs.

“As one of four Pages of Honour, the nine-year-old will have had to learn about the six stages of his grandfather’s coronation in preparation for the big day,” royal expert and author Ingrid Seward told the Mirror.

“Over the Easter holidays, Catherine will have been teaching not just George but all three children a simplified version of what they will be witnessing on the day.”

Seward added: “The recognition, the oath, the anointing, the investiture (which includes the crowning), the enthronement and the homage.”

As there isn’t any rehearsal for the coronation, George’s parents have been forced to get creative.

“If he can visualise where he is supposed to go and what to do, it will reduce any nerves he might feel being the youngest page. The other three boys are 13 and 12 respectively,” Seward explained.

While the coronation will be an iconic event, the royals have had several tough decisions to make in the months leading up to the historic day. Reportedly, one of those was centered around whether or not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would be invited. Ultimately they were, and Harry will be in attendance for his father’s grandest day, though not in the capacity of a senior Royal Family member.

Prince Harry “won’t” be wearing uniform at coronation
Harry and Meghan left royal life years ago, but after the many revelations and damaging claims they’ve made about the royals – not least in the folds of Harry’s tell-all memoir, Spare – their relationship with the Firm is testy to say the least. That includes the once-strong bond between Harry and his brother, Prince William, which by all accounts now lays in tatters.

Harry is not expected to participate in the famous celebration on the Buckingham Palace balcony as places there are reserved solely for senior Royal Family members. According to military historian Dr. Peter Johnston, Harry could be in for an uncomfortable and humiliating dilemma.

Speaking to True Royalty TV, the expert claimed Harry might even get banned from wearing his uniform. At the Queen’s funeral, Harry was allowed to don his military attire, but Johnston argued that circumstances could well be different this time around.

“Even as a veteran who did two tours in Afghanistan, he won’t wear uniform,” Jonhston said, as quoted by the Mirror.

“I imagine he’ll wear his medals but quite where he fits within the procession and where he comes, I think will be probably reasonably similar to where he was at the funeral as well.”

Johnston also suggested that Harry might play a role in the procession, but won’t have any sort of central role.

The day after the coronation will feature a coronation concert at Windsor Castle. Artists like Take That – without Robbie Williams – Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry will perform. A “coronation choir”, a diverse group of community choirs and amateur singers from across the UK, including refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups, and deaf signing choirs, are also part of the lineup.

The royal family receives criticism over coronation costs
Ten thousand people, drawn from a ticket ballot, will be in the audience. Volunteers from charities affiliated with King Charles and Queen Camilla will also be watching the concert live.

Charles and Camilla, along with the rest of the royals, are surely looking forward to the big day. British media outlets have speculated that the coronation will cost around $120 million, though neither Downing Street nor Buckingham Palace have confirmed the exact cost.

Even so, the total sum for the coronation is said to be double that of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953. One main increase in the costs has been attributed to heightened security.

So what do the public really think of the coronation being so expensive? According to a recent YouGov survey, only 32% agreed that the government should fund the coronation. Others believe that the royals should pay for it themselves, not least after a recent investigation by The Guardian placed King Charles’ fortune at a staggering £1.8 billion (around $2.2 billion).

Prince William will swear his allegiance to King Charles during the coronation, while the general public has also been invited to pledge their allegiance as Charles is crowned.

People watching the coronation have been invited to join a “chorus of millions,” described as Homage to the People.

“That’s something that we can share in because of technological advances, so not just the people in the Abbey, but people who are online, on television, who are listening, and who are gathered in parks, at big screens and churches,” a spokesman for Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office, said.

“Our hope is at that point, when the Archbishop invites people to join in, that people wherever they are, if they’re watching at home on their own, watching the telly, will say it out loud – this sense of a great cry around the nation and around the world of support for the King.”

The Coronation oath reads: “I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me, God.”

Though this might be seen as a way of uniting the people, the sentiment hasn’t exactly been met with applause from all quarters.

Graham Smith, the head of Republic, an anti-monarchist organization, called it “offensive” and “tone deaf.”

“This bizarre idea is likely to prove a huge miscalculation, one born of fear that the monarchy is rapidly losing support,” Smith wrote. “They are doubling down on the most archaic aspects of the coronation while trying to include everyone else in the most crass manner.”

And it’s not only those who are openly anti-monarchy that share the same damning view. British journalist Martin Townsend – a self-described monarchist – told right-leaning news channel GB News: “To me, this just plays into a lot of the critics around the coronation, a lot of anti-monarchists who will say ‘Oh, the monarchy is losing popularity.’”

He added: “There is a little bit of insecurity about it. And equally, I think it also plays into that narrative, which is of a slightly vain king.”

According to The Sun, Buckingham Palace officials are also reportedly “furious” about the addition.

A royal source told the newspaper: “The Archbishop of Canterbury has gone off-piste on this one.”

Naturally, preparations for the coronation have been ongoing for months. Sadly, though, just days before the big day, King Charles and the rest of the royal household have received tragic news.

The Duchess of Buccleuch, Lady Elizabeth Kerr, wife of the Duke of Buccleuch, Richard Scott, suddenly passed away recently at age 68.

Scott was due to have a ceremonial role in King Charles’ coronation, carrying the Sceptre with Cross during the service. At the time of writing it has not been made clear whether or not he will still take part.

The sceptre – last seen at the funeral of the late Queen in September – has been used in the coronations of every British monarch since 1661. According to the Royal Collection Trust, it “represents the sovereign’s temporal power and is associated with good governance.”

The Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry, Euzavetg Kerr, reportedly died after a short illness, her family ´ announced. She married Richard Scott – whose godmother was Princess Margaret – in 1981.

Lady Elizabeth Kerr received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the London School of Economics. She moved on to work at BBC Radio 4 and later on BBC Radio Solway after marrying the Duke.

Later, the Duchess founded the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, awarded to aspiring writers.

According to the Mirror, she was involved in several art organizations, including being the chairwoman of the Scottish Ballet and the Heritage Education Trust. Moreover, the Duchess of Buccleuch was a trustee of the National Museums of Scotland and the British Museum.

She is survived by her husband, four children, and 11 grandchildren.

“The Duke of Buccleuch and his family have announced that, very sadly, on Sunday morning, the duchess died after a short illness following an operation,” Benny Higgins, executive chairman of Buccleuch, which manages the business interests of the family, said in a statement.

“The duchess was the most wonderful, life-enhancing spirit and our hearts go out to the family as they come to terms with their loss.”

The Duke and Duchess’s family owns four estates in central Scotland, the Scottish Borders, and rural Northamptonshire.

It was announced that there will be a private family service in the Scottish Borders. A service to celebrate her life to be announced at a later date.

We pray for the Duke of Buccleuch and his family during this tough time and hope the Royal Family and the public will show him affection and love.

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