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14 March 2019Coronation: Majesty, Myth, Music - the development of a national ritual
11 April 2019Played in London - Charting the heritage of a city at play
09 May 2019The Magnificent Maya - Fact and Fantasy
13 June 2019Bread and Circuses
11 July 2019Scandinavian Landscape Painting, 1840-1910

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Coronation: Majesty, Myth, Music - the development of a national ritual David Winpenny Thursday 14 March 2019

The lecture will follow the Anuual General meeting which will start at 10.30 am.

From King Edgar in 973 to Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the coronation ceremonies of successive monarchs have been both bastions of tradition and prime examples of adaptation to new needs and circumstances. This talk looks at the development of the ceremonies, their purpose, and the myths that surround the public recognition and crowning of a monarch. The associated regalia – crowns, sceptres and orbs, and also the more obscure items such as armills and buskins – developed as part of the coronation ceremonies over the years, and their use (and misuse) is considered. One of the most important aspects of a coronation has always been music, from plainchant, through the compositions of composers like Byrd, Purcell, Handel, Stanford and Parry to the works written for the current Queen’s crowning. The talk will examine what makes a good ceremonial piece, the texts that were set and will include audio examples. There will also be answers to some interesting questions, including: What did Elgar say about the speed of the National Anthem? How did the youngest chorister obey a call of nature in 1953 – and where did peers keep their sandwiches during the ceremony? How did the Archbishop injure Queen Victoria? And who occupied the 'Loose Box' in the Abbey in 1902?