The Week

Leading article

How the coronation will celebrate multifaith Britain

What the world will see when Charles III is crowned is not just the rare spectacle of a monarchy that still practises lavish coronations, but the equally rare spectacle of a thriving multifaith democracy. When Prince Charles declared in 1994 that he wished to be seen as the ‘defender of faith’ rather than just the

Portrait of the week


The comedy of the Queen’s coronation

Once, years ago, making small talk with Elizabeth II, I asked her if it was true that many peers attending her coronation in 1953 had taken sandwiches into Westminster Abbey hidden inside their coronets. ‘Oh, yes,’ she said. ‘They were in the abbey for something like six hours, you know. The Archbishop of Canterbury even

Ancient and modern

Why Baroness Benjamin deserves her coronation role

Baroness Benjamin has suggested that King Charles’s choice of her to join the coronation procession demonstrates that he is in favour of ‘diversity and inclusion’. What would the ancients have made of that, let alone of ‘equality’ and ‘identity’? ‘Equality’ had little purchase. Politically, male citizens had a vote in democratic Athens and (of sorts)


How heavy is King Charles’s crown?

Uneasy lies the head In a 2018 BBC documentary Elizabeth II commented on the weight of the crown at her coronation, complaining that if you wore it for too long ‘your neck would break off’. What will be the burden on Charles III’s head? – At the moment of the coronation Charles will wear St


Letters: How to save red squirrels

Fire-fighting Sir: Your editorial raised the persistent problem of predicting major international disasters in a timely enough way to prepare (‘Eclipses and revolutions’, 29 April). The US academic Joseph Nye said that a good model for wars is to identify three types of cause: deep (the logs for a fire), intermediate (the kindling) and immediate