King Charles, your coronation is the last thing the UK wants or needs right now
A multimillionaire riding through the streets in a golden carriage is tone deaf in the cost of living crisis
More than one in five people in the UK are living in poverty. We have more food banks than McDonalds, and at least 271,000 people in England are homeless. When Celtics football fans chanted “you can shove your coronation up your arse” to their Rangers opponents at their game on Sunday, tens of thousands of people who viewed the viral video afterwards agreed with them. Golden carriages, ceremonial swords, literal silver spoons— In an era of poverty and dissatisfaction, King Charles’ coronation is the last thing the UK wants or needs right now.
Repeatedly, King Charles’ coronation has been described as a “once in a lifetime event”. The ceremony last happened 70 years ago. Yet, despite its rarity, barely anybody truly cares. In a YouGov survey of 3,070 British people, 64 per cent said they had little or no interest in the coronation. Among 18-24 year olds, this rose to 75 per cent. We’re not interested.
Because, fundamentally, an old white man covered in gold medals, riding in a gold carriage feels like a piss take right now. Charles’ coronation procession is a literal parade of wealth, broadcast on every channel from ITV to BBC, rubbed in the faces of a starving (or at best, struggling) nation where nine in 10 people can’t make ends meet.
“Whether or not you’re a royalist, having a coronation in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, asking everyone to pledge allegiance to an incredibly wealthy and privileged individual, by birth rather than merit, is ridiculously tone deaf,” wrote one person on Twitter. “I genuinely do not understand how we can justify spending 100m on a coronation when it’s for a virtually untaxed billionaire and the NHS is on its knees and we’re in a cost-of-living crisis????” questioned another.
“I feel like it would have been a gesture of kindness/true leadership/the right thing to do, for King Charles who is estimated to be worth £1.8bn, to have perhaps used £100m of the £200m he inherited (tax free) from The Queen, to fund his coronation party,” activist Munroe Bergdorf wrote to much agreement on Instagram.
“Instead he is now worth £2bn and asking people who can barely keep the lights/heating on, to foot the bill via their taxes and pledge their allegiance to him whilst he’s riding in a golden carriage and wearing jewels from colonised nations.”
We don’t even know the true, exact, cost of the coronation yet. Though, it’s estimated to be around £100 million. But you don’t need to look at costings, statistics or surveys to know this government, tax payer, money could have been better spent. Ring up your doctors and try to get an appointment. Walk through any UK city and see the people sat shivering on the floor.
King Charles supposedly “acknowledged” the cost of living crisis by opting for a shorter and smaller coronation ceremony than Britain saw 70 years ago. But whatever the length of the pomp and pageantry, as long as we’re paying the bill, the blatant wealth divide between the people and the palace was always going to be glaringly obvious, out of touch— and really fucking annoying.
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Featured image credit via Shutterstock.