Last weekend, our community and our country came together to celebrate our first coronation in 70 years. From the procession through Westminster, to the ceremony itself, to the fantastic concert on Sunday – I am sure we all enjoyed a long weekend reminding us all of what makes our country so special.
My highlight of the weekend was seeing our community come together through garden parties, street parties and community-led events. Neighbours could meet one another to share their stories as well as food and drink. Being together, sharing together, meeting together – friends, family and neighbours.
This coronation was uniquely special in that it reflected the particular character and lifelong passions of our King. It is so important that the monarchy continues to be a reflection of modern Britain and this coronation reflected the ever-evolving nature of our Royal Family. Our late Queen Elizabeth established the monarchy into the Royal Family and it was special to see family members such as Queen Camilla, Prince William, Princess Kate and their three children feature so prominently in this coronation.
The cultural significance of this coronation was also felt beyond our shores. We have seen so many people from across the world come to London and the United Kingdom to celebrate this event. The tourism and attention our Royal Family generates globally is a boost for our country. This weekend showed off to the world exactly why our country is so great and why so many people want to visit us.
The coronation is also an opportunity for us to reflect on what is important to our communities and for our country. What is means to be a nation in 2023 where our history informs our present and our future. We celebrate with our new King our nationhood at a time when we stand together to protect the nationhood of our friends in Ukraine. When we host Eurovision this weekend on behalf of Ukraine, it will be yet another opportunity to show the world what Britain means and the important work which we continue to do globally.
We will all have our own memories of this coronation bank holiday weekend and being able to spend it with people who are important to us. I took a moment this weekend as I raised a glass to our new King Charles III to say a prayer of thanksgiving for the service of our late, great Queen Elizabeth II. I will fondly remember the flags, the bunting and the community spirit that made last weekend so special in Dover, Deal and our villages, and have no doubt that memories of this special weekend will be held for a long time to come. God bless our country. God save the King.