Saturday 6th May 2023 is a memorable day in world history – the day of the crowning of our new king.
Some of us may have memories of that very wet day in June 1953, seventy years ago, when Queen Elizabeth travelled in the golden coronation coach through the crowded streets of London to make her vows and have the heavy crown placed upon her young head. Its heaviness seems to me symbolic of the heavy responsibility of being a modern-day monarch.
I think most people agree that she did a really good job and helped transform the historic institution of the UK monarchy into something which is truly relevant in our modern-day world. Her skills in diplomacy were second to none, her work in helping transform the Empire of Victorian days into the Commonwealth of Nations we know today, and her personal courage in the dark days which befall many families, are surely respected by millions, even those who are not fans of the institution of monarchy.
The religious aspect of the Coronation is of particular interest to us all in the White Eagle Lodge. I had not realised until recently (while watching a TV documentary about the significance of our Coronation ceremony) that the UK is the only country in the world in which the appointment of the ‘Head of State’ has a religious significance. Queen Elizabeth took this aspect of her dedication and responsibility as seriously as every other aspect.
At the time of both her accession and Coronation White Eagle gave some illuminating teaching. Last year, at Platinum Jubilee time, some of this was printed in Stella Polaris (and later in a Facebook post after her death),
‘In this ceremony of the Coronation, if you have knowledge and intuition, you will recognize an ancient – a very ancient – ritual. We hope we shall offend no-one. Christianity today, so-called Christianity, is not modern at all. Nearly two thousand years ago it was established by Brethren by whom Jesus was trained.’