THE CORONATION: From Elizabethan to Carolean – an era defining moment

On Saturday, May 6, everyone at The Old Rectory was overjoyed to share the nation’s happiness in welcoming our new king – Charles III – and his queen, Camilla to the UK throne.

On a day filled with ceremonial grandeur and pageantry of the kind Britain does so well, we joined some 20million UK viewers – part of an estimated global audience of 400million – to witness the ushering in of a new era.

While spending most of their lives under the rule of the beloved late Queen Elizabeth II, many residents will have abiding memories of the last king, Charles’s maternal grandfather King George VI – making this an extra special day.

Although christened Albert Frederick Arthur George, King George VI adopted a regal name (in his case, his fourth Christian name) with which to be crowned. Elizabeth, however, decided against following her father’s example – a decision that her own son has similarly chosen to follow by ruling under his given first name of Charles and thereby welcoming in a new Carolean era, last seen under the reign of the “Merry Monarch” King Charles II (r. 1660-1685).

The passing of the late queen understandably filled the country with a deep sorrow; how wonderful, then, to feel the clouds part and to celebrate the ascendancy of her eldest child on Coronation Day 2023.

In honour of such an auspicious occasion, the gardens were filled with covered marquees and the kitchens duly charged with coming up with a party luncheon fit for a king. As always, they did not disappoint.

Highlights on the menu included Coronation Chicken and Coronation Quiche. First invented in 1953 to grace the tables of a coronation luncheon for Elizabeth II, the chicken seemed such a fitting tribute to the late queen that we felt honour-bound to feature it in our celebrations. Similarly, the quiche – invented by head chef to the royal household, Mark Flanagan – was personally chosen by the royal couple to be the signature dish of their special day, making it an ideal accompaniment.

Catering for around 120 people, our talented kitchen team set about creating their own inspired versions of these landmark dishes – after all, what’s good enough for the king is good enough for us! Thankfully, the weather held out to play its part in the day’s festivities, and guests enjoyed a splendid lunch as they raised their glasses to toast the new monarch.

What was a memorable occasion spent among family and friends has created cherished memories that will last a lifetime – reinforcing special bonds, and further displaying the shared sense of national pride that is a familiar hallmark of this country’s national events.

We wish the royal couple and long and happy reign. GOD SAVE THE KING.