With Coronation fever well underway, I started thinking about art, music and nature (the three elements that Medley focuses on) and what part they will play in the Coronation of King Charles III. Their importance in the Coronation highlights just how they help us enhance and enrich our lives and living.
What role will art play? Music and nature may seem more obvious, but creativity and design will also be centre stage. The Coronation is a very visual spectacle – robes, Crown Jewels, royal coaches, processions, flags, commemorative plates and red, white and blue bunting & floral arrangements up and down the country. All are art in action. And many of us will be drawing, painting or crafting, maybe sewing bunting or knitting crowns. Creativity is such a great way to feel part of the celebrations and to add our own small stamp.
It’s striking how central music will be to the Coronation as well. The King has spoken of the importance of music in his life, and this will be mirrored by the celebrations. No fewer than 12 composers have been commissioned to write new pieces to be played during the Coronation in Westminster Abbey, from Andrew Lloyd Webber to Debbie Wiseman. Combine these with the traditional music played for every Coronation, such as Parry’s I Was Glad and the National Anthem, and this will be a very musical ceremony. And not just the ceremony. There will also be a headline pop concert at Windsor Castle.
Why should music dominate like this? Why is music so central to how we celebrate, how we commemorate, how we party? Music is exuberant, exhilarating, loud and festive. It is another language. It raises the roof. It builds mood and atmosphere, and it expresses awe, wonder, reverence in worship of God within this Coronation ceremony. It’s a focus.
Maybe the issues with which King Charles is most closely connected are nature conservation and the environment. Over many years, long before these issues hit the mainstream, Charles has supported and developed green initiatives. So it’s no wonder that his Coronation is creating new opportunities to connect with nature. Wildflower seeds will be given to every schoolchild across the UK, to plant in their own garden or windowbox or in a school or community garden. Another initiative is to expand or create 25 nature reserves all around our coastline to mark the new King’s reign. The first to be expanded will be at Saltfleetby Theddlethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast, an area of saltmarsh, dunes and mudflats to be enlarged sevenfold to an area of 12 square miles. Reproduced nationwide, this is being seen as a significant boost, not only for nature conservation but for going a step further towards actual nature recovery. This new chain of reserves will also echo the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Canopy mass tree- planting initiative.
How will you mark the Coronation with art, music or nature? Do share in Medley’s Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/359291215486002