from Windsor to the City, a day rich in symbols to mark the national communion

Among the many images of an exceptional day, the one displayed on the BBC screen on Saturday afternoon, September 10, offers something dizzying. The two couples in black against a background of greenery seem to have come out of a trailer for a hit series – randomly, Succession. The two sons of Charles III, the new king of England, William and Harry, officially angry, stage their reconciliation with their respective wives, against the backdrop of the medieval fortress with crenellated towers, Windsor Castle, in Berkshire.

On this day of the official enthronement of the new monarch, the two grandsons of the deceased queen receive, live, the tributes and condolences of the British. They meditate and lean, with their wives, like the rest of the family before them, on the heaps of flowers and the little notes left in memory of Elizabeth II in front of the castle. Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, does not let go of her husband, Harry’s hand. The day before, King Charles publicly assured the couple, a voluntary exile in the United States, of his deep affection. She is the former heroine of the hit series Suits, on Netflix, which plays the strongest scene. ” Can I have a hug? », asks a young girl behind the metal barriers. They hug each other for several seconds.

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Prince William and his wife Kate, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan greet the crowds outside Windsor Palace on September 10, 2022.

At St. James’s Palace in London, another medieval battlemented fortress and official administrative residence of the Crown, the ceremony is otherwise formal. The enthronement of British sovereigns, regulated to the millimeter for centuries, is for the first time broadcast by the media. The Windsors obviously want to mark the occasion of a national communion, while the queen whose personality cemented the British people for seven decades has passed away.

Center of gravity

The six living former prime ministers, from John Major to Boris Johnson. Opposition leader Keir Starmer and his predecessors. Current Prime Minister Liz Truss. That of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, and the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and that of York, and their predecessors. Lords and ladies. Aristocrats. Judges, senior civil servants, leaders of Commonwealth countries. All that Britain has of institutional power is assembled in serried ranks, dressed in black, looking solemn. Facing them, in the room with red draperies of the Saint-James palace, stands the one who, until the death of the queen, was still Prince Charles Philip Arthur George. Standing on a dais, Charles III is about to be proclaimed king. Behind him, a throne.

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