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WESTMINSTER Report by The Rt Hon Mark Francois Member of Parliament for Rayleigh and Wickford.

WESTMINSTER Report by The Rt Hon Mark Francois Member of Parliament for Rayleigh and Wickford.

WESTMINSTER Report by The Rt Hon Mark Francois Member of Parliament for Rayleigh and Wickford.

WESTMINSTER Report by The Rt Hon Mark Francois Member of Parliament for Rayleigh and Wickford.


“The Coronation showcased the very best of Britain.”

On Saturday the May 6, His Majesty was crowned King Charles III, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in a Coronation service at Westminster Abbey.

As part of the ceremony, his wife, Camilla, previously the Queen Consort, was also crowned Queen.

During the service, the King stated: “I have come not to be served but to serve”,  a statement very much in keeping with the philosophy of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

In perhaps the most poignant moment of the service, after the crown was placed on Charles’s head, cries of “God Save the King” were heard inside and outside, and gun salutes were made across the UK.

Over the course of the ceremony, more than 18 million people in the UK tuned in to watch the event on TV, as well as some 2,300 people inside the Abbey- including more than 100 Heads of State, religious leaders, volunteers and members of our dedicated public service.

The Coronation was also witnessed by an audience of hundreds of millions across the globe, including in many of the countries that make up the Commonwealth.

In total, over 7,000 British and Commonwealth service personnel, from all branches of the Armed Forces, accompanied the Gold State Coach, which transported the King and Queen, thus bringing together the largest gathering of our Armed Forces on parade since Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation back in 1953.

The spectacular display that the military put on, was flawless from start to finish, showcasing their immense professionalism at the highest level. Whatever some other people make of us as a nation, I believe it is true to say that we are still “world-class” when it comes to ceremonial events.

For my own part, over the long Coronation weekend, I attended a mixture of local events that helped mark this magnificent milestone.

For instance, it was a pleasure to support a special celebration event held at the Laughing Pear Cafe on the London Road, in Rayleigh. Proprietor, Tony Crosby and his team at the Cafe decked out their popular venue with Coronation bunting and baked a special Coronation cake to commemorate the crowning of the new King and Queen.

The weekend had proved to be extremely busy for the cafe and their staff, with Tony reporting that they served literally hundreds of customers; demonstrating just how popular the venue is locally and it is great to see a local business in my constituency thriving.

Like many, I also attended a wonderful street party, in this instance on Bank Holiday Monday, which was hosted at the Convenience store in Plumberow Avenue, Hockley, by Siva, the popular store owner and his family.

The street party was attended by well over 100 people and lots of homemade cake and sausage rolls were consumed during a very enjoyable afternoon.

The public enthusiasm for the Coronation and subsequent events of the bank holiday weekend have shown just how much the monarchy continues to be valued in this country. We can look back at this period with pride and say that Britain and the Commonwealth came together to unite in celebration and, as we always do best, put on a truly great show, highlighting the very best of Britain.

My thanks go to all those who made the Coronation weekend a brilliant success, in particular our armed forces, police, and the thousands of volunteers up and down the country who gave up their time to organise a street party or an event in the park.

Their contribution has allowed so many to take part in such an important part of our Island story.

On behalf of all of my constituents, right across the Rayleigh and Wickford constituency, I would like to extend our congratulations to The King and Queen and wish them both a very happy and successful reign together.

God Save the King!

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