4 May 2023

King Charles III Coronation: made-up rituals and fake history

70 years on from the last Coronation, when Britain was still an empire and hardly anyone had a TV – what does Charles the Third’s crowning say about us today and the Britain of the future?

We know that the British do this type of pomp and ceremony better than anyone else, it defines who we are.

But is that true?

You may be told this is all ancient, but many of the royal ceremonies we witness are actually made-up rituals from the Victorian era used to legitimise the monarchy in modern British life.

Today we speak to the historian, Sir David Cannadine, an expert on modern British history who sat on the coronation committee, about how we got to this place of flamboyant royal symbolism – and what this modern coronation tells us about where we are today.

Producer: Freya Pickford and Alice Wagstaffe


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