Friday 5 May 2023

The Coronation will make me sad

David Starkey, the English telly historian, talking on GB News, has condemned the decision for peers not to wear robes and coronets, saying: 'It was a magnificent piece of theatre. And that's gone." 

That’s certainly true. That will probably to a large extent spoil the coronation for me. 

This will be a coronation for an egalitarian age. But at least we aren't a republic, are not required to believe all men are born equal, do not have separation of church and state, are not in a word Americans.

Dr Starkey is in trouble for also saying on the same radio show that Rishi Sunak 'is not fully grounded in our culture'.
“Even when he became – I think it was on the point of becoming Prime Minister – he had an American green card. His wife is non-dom.”

“So we have a Prime Minister who is astonishingly intelligent, but I think sees things as an MBA."

“He’s never shown any sign of an understanding of our history or of a concern with it. All his speeches are technical.”
These things you might think should be discussed widely and freely but, as you'd expect, many Tory politicians accused him of racism. How tedious.
A Tory leader of a hundred years ago, Sir Austen Chamberlain, said the Tory leader fifty years before him, the Jew turned Protestant Disraeli, was not English. Disraeli, for his part, said 'All is race'.

And so it goes.

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian made another, sadder point about the coronation.

"Another change is so profound, we barely notice it. The coronation would have been understood by the generation of 1953 as a religious event, and not only because it took place in Westminster Abbey. Pollsters found that 34% of 1950s Britons believed Elizabeth had been placed on the throne by the hand of God. Yet by 1992 a survey could find not a single respondent who was even aware, unbidden, that the monarchy had a religious dimension at all."

We are not the men that our fathers were. 


  1. I am not very interested in the skin colour of Mr Sunak - but I am very interested in the over 400 Hundred Billion Pounds ("not much if you say it quick") he spent on utterly misguided (indeed harmful) Covid policies. As for Disraeli - I do not care about his ethnic origins (which I share myself), but I think he was not a good Prime Minister. Disraeli set himself the task of being the opposite of Lord Liverpool - expanding the state rather than rolling it back And I wish he had not.

  2. I am very impressed by your erudition on subjects I wot not of, but here I know the ground well. Disraeli no more wanted to expand the state than Mr Gladstone. Forget the foolish unhistorical nonsense spouted by Sir Ian Gilmour. I think you are probably thinking of his trade union law.

  3. That it is even happening at all makes be incandescent