Hundreds of politicians, civil society and business leaders, and representatives of the Anglo-Argentine community gathered in the Residence of the British Ambassador in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Recoleta today to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
It is 70 years since a British monarch was last crowned: the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth II took place on June 2, 1953.
Guests arriving at the residence were ushered into the entrance hall, where a special portrait of the royal couple was on display, before being ushered upstairs, to an exhibition of photography and video clips of King Charles visiting Argentina, Commonwealth nations, and other countries around the world.
“It’s really emotional and really exciting,” British Ambassador to Argentina Kirsty Hayes told the Herald in an interview during the event.
“Obviously we had the very sad moment of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen not so long ago, and that was a moment of real sadness […] So it’s fantastic to come together now in a spirit of celebration and joy, and to look to a future united and full of national pride.”
King Charles III and Queen Camilla were crowned this morning at a special ceremony in Westminster Abbey in London at 11 a.m. local time (7 a.m. Argentine time). The Royal couple were then transported back to Buckingham Palace in a regal procession through London streets festooned with flags.
Despite the rain, the route was densely packed with well-wishers clutching umbrellas and wrapped in waterproofs emblazoned with the British flag, some of whom had camped out for days. Others told the BBC they had come from as far away as Australia.
The crowds also included protesters who oppose the monarchy, waving signs reading “NOT MY KING”. Graham Smith, the leader of anti-monarchy group Republic, was arrested along with five of his supporters at around 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, according to The Guardian.
While the coronation took place today, Charles became king on 8 September 2022, when his mother Queen Elizabeth II passed away.
The response to the British Embassy’s Buenos Aires event was “overwhelming”, Hayes said. “You can sense the energy and enthusiasm in the room.”
Since before we walked on the moon
During a midday speech, she told the packed audience that the last time a British monarch was crowned, humanity had not walked on the moon, no country had elected a woman as head of state, and neither Argentina nor Brazil nor England had ever won a World Cup.
She also described King Charles’s visit to Argentina in 1999, when he was Prince of Wales. During his stay, he visited the British Hospital, attended a presidential dinner, visited an agroecology project, attended a charity polo match, and laid flowers at the memorial in Plaza San Martín to those fallen during the 1982 Malvinas War (while the UK refers to the islands as the Falklands, Argentina strongly contests this name).
“Polo is perhaps the strongest symbol of the links that he feels with Argentina,” Hayes said.
The guests united singing the British national anthem, “God Save the King,” accompanied by Orquesta de los Barrios, a Buenos Aires music ensemble for young people in deprived neighborhoods. The group was conducted by renowned cellist and musical director Néstor Tedesco.
“It’s crazy, I don’t frequent places like this,” said first violinist Dafne Pugliese, 21, afterward. Pugliese, who has played since she was 11, is from the southern Buenos Aires neighborhood of Lugano. “You’re nervous because you know you have to be up to scratch, but then you’re proud. My dad was happy.”
Message from the King
Hayes then read out a message prepared by the King.
“As my wife and I mark this very special moment, we want to thank all of you in the Commonwealth and throughout the world. We have been hugely inspired by the community spirit on display at coronation celebrations such as this and are deeply touched by the many similar events taking place across the globe,” read the message. “We want to express our warmest gratitude to all our friends for your kindness as we embark on this new chapter with you.”
The Ambassador then led a toast to the King. The guests raised champagne flutes of English sparkling wine Nyetimber, which had been brought specially from the United Kingdom for the occasion.
“For us, it’s a special day,” said Reid Sirrs, Canadian Ambassador to Argentina. “King Charles III is Canada’s King as well, so it’s a momentous occasion for us to celebrate. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a change, most of us remember the Queen for all of our lives so this is going to be an interesting transition.”
Guests at the event had the opportunity to try Coronation Quiche, an egg, cream, and vegetable tart prepared according to Royal Chef Mark Flanagan’s special recipe, and cupcakes decorated with crowns and photos of the royal couple.
Source : Buenos Aires Herald