Nick from the Marshall team looks at the big events and commemorative days coming up from May to July.
Coronation of His Royal Highness King Charles III
For nearly 1,000 years, the kings and queens of England have been coronated in Westminster Abbey. William the Conqueror was the first to do so in 1066. In 1603 England and Scotland shared a king for the first time, when James VI of Scotland also became James I of England, though the nations wouldn't share a Parliament until the 1707 Acts of Union. The British flag, the “union jack” was commissioned by and named for him (James from the Latin Jacobus, and Jack from Jacobus).
The first King Charles was tried and executed for treason in 1649 by Parliamentarians lead by Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell's government would shut inns and theatres, ban sports, punish swearing with a fine, and ban the celebration of Christmas. His invasion and deliberate famine of Ireland lead to the deaths of quarter of the Irish population. In 1661 the son of King Charles I, King Charles II returned to England from exile in France. Sick of puritanical rule, England restored Charles II back to the throne.
This Saturday, HRH Charles III will sit on the Stone of Destiny, he will swear a series of oaths, and become the 40th monarch crowned in Westminster Abbey. He will be consecrated by olive oil, itself consecrated at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The oil pressed from olives grown at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene, also the resting place of his grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece. There are 43 sovereign states in the world still with a monarch as head of state. HRH King Charles III will be at the head of 15 of them.
Ideas for things that you can do:
- Read the liturgy of the coronation, including the order of service and all words that would be spoken (the annotated version is of particular educational value)
- Watch the 1953 coronation
- Watch the Doctor Who episode based on the television of the first Coronation (Netflix - 2006, Series 2 Episode 7, 'The Idiot's Lantern')
- See where constitutional restraints on the monarchy began by viewing an original Magna Carta at the British Library for free in London
- See what's on at any of your local historic Royal Palaces
- Join in on any of the 3,674 public coronation events
Windrush 75th Anniversary
National Windrush Day on 22 June marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first passengers of the Empire Windrush to the UK in 1948. The “Windrush generation” refers to the nearly half-million Carribean people who answered the British call to fill labour shortages and rebuild after the second world war. The remarkable achievements and contributions of them and their descendants are remembered in July.
Ideas for things that you can do:
- View all events and installations across the country related to Windrush 75
- Visit the exhibition 'Lewisham: About Face' at the Migration Museum
- See 'Windrush: It Runs Through Us' at the Mansfield Museum
- Visit Brixton's Black Culture Market's Windrush Summer Market on 3 and 4 June.
- Read Sam Selvon's The Lonely Londoners
That's right! 4 July 2023 marks 77 years since the Philippines declared independence from the United States, and 76 years since The Indian Independence Bill was presented before the British House of Commons.
There's also at least one other big independence day on 4 July. Your best bet at finding a local and public party will be via your Students Union. Or better yet, why not act as an ambassador and host one?