Coronation awaited ‘like new season of The Crown’
LONDON—Across the world, superfans of “The Crown” say they are hotly awaiting the coronation of King Charles III like a new season of the hit Netflix series.
The royal-themed drama—the fictionalized story of Queen Elizabeth II who died in September after a record 70-year reign—has sparked even more intense interest now that her son has taken over.
Billions are expected to tune in on Saturday to regal pomp and ceremony in the imposing surroundings of Westminster Abbey, which has played a pivotal role in the British royal family for centuries.
The coronation of Charles and his queen consort Camilla will start at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) and will be only the second in British history to be televised.
That means an early start for overseas fans such as Mimi Gill, who will be setting her alarm clock for 4 a.m. at her home in Cape Coral, Florida.
Gill, a cofounder of “The Crown” Fan Club group that has more than 42,000 members on Facebook, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) she will be glued to the main event.
“The coronation ceremony is such a rare occurrence filled with tradition, celebration and a feeling of rebirth for the Commonwealth,” said Gill. “It feels like we are living an entire season of ‘The Crown.’”
Interest in the British royals was piqued last year by Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations just three months before her death.
It has also grown due to the controversial decision by Charles’ younger son Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, to quit royal duties and move to California in 2020.
The fifth and penultimate series of “The Crown” covered the tumultuous—and very public—breakdown of Charles’ first marriage to Princess Diana.
That sparked an outcry about its use of artistic license, prompting Netflix to issue a disclaimer that it was a work of fiction inspired by true events.
But while crowds are expected to pack the streets of London for the coronation of Charles with millions watching on TV, Millie Harvey says she will likely spend the day watching movies at home.
Young and ‘indifferent’
“It’s just kind of not important to us,” the 18-year-old nursing student told AFP. “I don’t think we were raised with the idea of the royals being something amazing.”
Harvey is among a growing number of young Britons who don’t show an overwhelming enthusiasm for the monarchy in the run-up to the coronation of the 74-year-old monarch.
Aisha Dosanjgh, 23, said people in her circle feel “quite indifferent” about the upcoming celebrations and “distant” from the monarchy.
“I just think we haven’t had much interaction with the royal family at all,” Dosanjgh added. “So I don’t see why we would care that much.”
Some 26 percent of 18-24 year-olds think the monarchy is good for Britain compared to 53 percent among adults of all age groups, according to a YouGov poll from mid-April.
But it was only several years ago, in July 2019, when 48 percent of respondents age 18-24 said the monarchy was good for the country.
The poll was conducted a year after Britain celebrated the wedding of Prince Harry to Markle, an American television actress who was widely seen as a breath of fresh air for the centuries-old institution.