I’ve been visiting the United Kingdom since the early 1990s when my brother was stationed there in the Air Force and where he met and subsequently married a British woman. Fast forward decades later, and I have met an English gentleman to wed and moved to Leeds, England.
When I arrived in March, I asked my Yorkshire man if he had any reservations. He said, “You mean bookings?” That wasn’t what I meant, but so far, our only reservations HAVE been bookings. But none that include a personal invite from the former Prince of Wales regarding his big do this weekend.
Sporadic decorations for King Charles III’s coronation on May 6 can be seen around the city and in surrounding villages, shops, and pubs. It’s a varied level of excitement here depending on who you talk to.
My partner’s 86-year-old grandmother is a fan of the monarchy. She remembers watching Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation on a tiny television in 1953. I had a middle-aged taxi driver tell me the monarchy died with Queen Elizabeth II, and he waxed poetic about the late Princess Diana. When I broached the subject to teenage girls at a friend’s house, I was met with grunts and a chorus of “why would we care about that?!”
Most people seem to be happy with the extra bank holiday. Everyone is encouraged to volunteer on Monday, May 8, as part of what is being called The Big Help Out. Additional celebrations scheduled include block parties, live music, and big-screen viewing the day of at Millennium Square here in Leeds.
What will we be doing? Our bookings include a food festival on Saturday, watching football (soccer), and supporting local pub business. I will be watching a recap at some point and wish the new king well. No formal invitation. No reservations. No regrets.
Debra Miller is a former Evansville resident and radio personality for 104.1FM WIKY.