April 30, 2023
We arrived in London yesterday, then took a coach, along with many other excited Viking passengers, to get to the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury. Like so many things in England, the town of Tilbury reaches way back in time. Henry VIII built a fortress here to defend London from ships traveling up the Thames.
We took our first excursion today - a guided tour of London. The guide was very nice and very knowledgeable, and we learned some new and interesting facts. For example, is the City of London different from London? Yes, it is! The City of London forms a part of London as a whole, and has similar boundaries as the original Roman city that was built there. It covers about a one square mile area, where the financial district is, and has its own special government called the City of London Corporation. Within the City of London the Lord Mayor outranks the British King/Queen. Another interesting detail was that the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom can not step foot in the City of London without permission from the Lord Mayor of the City of London (different from the Mayor of London)! Really!
And coming up in six days is the coronation of King Charles III. The infrastructure for the entire event is being staged right now, meaning roads are being blocked off, pedestrian barriers are being put in place, and flags and banners are being hung everywhere. And it seemed like every church in the area is checking to make sure their bells work! The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III is planned to be much smaller and less ornate than that of his mother Queen Elizabeth II. It will be at Westminster Abbey, and will feature customs dating back to 1066. He will wear three different crowns, during different parts of the ceremony.
Shown below, starting at the top left and moving clockwise: Barricades and temporary press box; coronation flags; British flags; Westminster Abbey
It will be interesting to see how the other parts of the United Kingdom are getting involved (or not) with the coronation festivities. Stay tuned for more crowning details!