Ross: The royal coronation and the monarchy’s duty to the people

May 8, 2023, 9:01 AM | Updated: 11:25 am


Britain's King Charles III departs Westminster Abbey after his coronation ceremony in London Saturday, May 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Over the weekend, I was asked by the morning talk show on LBC Radio in London to give the American perspective on the coronation – because it re-opened an old debate in Britain, which is whether the Royal Family has finally “jumped the Crown.”

There were significant “anti-royal” demonstrations by protestors known as “Republicans,” which in Britain refers to people who want a more American-style republic. They held up signs that said “Not My King,” and a few were arrested for planning to chain themselves to lampposts.

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So the host wanted to know – were Americans interested, do they see any reason for all the fuss of a coronation? And I said yes, a lot of Americans are interested, and I think part of the reason is that generations of American children were brought up on Disney fairy tales of kings and queens and princes and princesses. And it’s irresistible to see that the real thing actually exists today.

For my wife, who watched every minute, it was about the family drama and the clothes. For me, it was the ceremony and the peaceful transition of power.

But the more I thought about it – there was also a deeper message: especially now that we’re finally acknowledging the contributions of ancient indigenous cultures. Saturday’s coronation was the modern expression of a tradition that goes back to the Anglo-Saxons who threw off their Roman colonizers in the year 410.

And it was combined with another ancient tradition – Christianity, born in the Middle East among the ancient tribes of Israel.

And in accordance with those ancient traditions, the Archbishop who anointed the king delivered an ancient message – which is that the Creator has high expectations. That, in the Christian tradition, God’s “throne was a Cross. His crown was made of thorns. His regalia were the wounds that pierced his body.”

He was telling the king – you’re actually a servant, and you are answerable to a higher power – and that the higher your office, the more you must empty yourself for the sake of the people you serve.

That’s pretty intense. Imagine if all politicians actually took that to heart.

Whether it will work in Charles’s case, I don’t know. I hope so.

At the very least, it should mean no more whining about having to use a leaky pen.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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