Friday 7 June 2013


This is a picture of the exhibition mounted last summer by Berwick Civic Society. They put one on every year and the theme changes each time. Because of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, last year's theme was 'coronations and jubilees'. This week we were supposed to be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the coronation of the present queen, as opposed to her accession to the throne, so it seemed appropriate to produce these photos now. I have to say that this particular anniversary appears to have generated no interest whatsoever among the general public. We were all Jubilee-ed out last year.

One of the items on display (because I put it there) was this special coronation edition of the Northumberland volume of the series usually known as The King's England, although the title had of course just been changed to The Queen's England. A copy of this book was presented to schoolchildren in Northumberland by the county's Education Committee, with an uplifting message reminding them of their 'duty to Her Majesty and to the beautiful county of Northumberland'.  If you click on this picture to enlarge it you can read the message.

The subject of coronations has some special interest in a town which faces both ways, regarding itself as part of both England and Scotland. The monarch's claim to the throne of Scotland is arguably separate from her or his claim to the throne of England. The two monarchies were united in one person in 1603 but a vocal body of constitutional opinion maintains that the two thrones and the claims to them are still separate. Because of this many Scots would like to see the next monarch crowned in Edinburgh in a ceremony additional to his coronation in London. If Scotland has by then opted for independence from the Rest of the United Kingdom, no matter, the monarchy will not be affected. Charles will still be King of Scotland until his Scottish subjects hold another referendum and decide to become a republic. Or, of course, to re-install the Stuart line which was ejected from the throne in 1688 for being too Catholic and replaced with the Protestant Hanoverians from whom the present royal family descends. Don't laugh, there are still some Jacobites out there.  


  1. Believe me, there are probably people out there who would like to reinstate the Plantagenets!