People across Canada are celebrating the coronation of King Charles III this weekend, the first coronation in seven decades, with watch parties, commemorative pins and public events.
The king was crowned in an opulent ceremony attended by world leaders in the historic Westminster Abbey early Saturday morning. His wife, Camilla, was crowned as queen consort.
And despite the early hour for Canadians, royal fans were not deterred from gathering to celebrate.
In Victoria, B.C., the 144-year-old Union Club hosted about 30 people gathered in the neo-Georgia-style brick building’s stately reading room, making themselves comfortable sitting on green leather couches and watching the ceremony on a big screen. Canadian flags, Union Jacks were on display throughout the room and coffee, tea and breakfast was available.
Donna Otto said she wanted to be part of history even though it meant being up when most Canadians are sleeping.
“At the same time that it’s happening, this is the moment in history,” she said. “It’s this moment and that feels right for me.”
Otto said despite King Charles’s age, he has been embracing modern ideas for years, including environmentalism, heritage preservation and gardening.
“He’s done things that haven’t always been acknowledged.”
Otto’s husband, David Spence, said the coronation of King Charles had him looking to the future.
“It recognizes from where we have come and the possibilities of where we are going,” said Spence, who is president of the Victoria area’s Royal Commonwealth Society. “The energy and wisdom that is part of it all.”
Otto said she also celebrated the coronation by dressing for the occasion, wearing a royal blue dress and fascinator.
“To have a reason to dress up a little bit is really fun to do,” she said. “I think that’s part of it, and of course the tradition of the English fascinator.”
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Nancy Unsworth and her family, who live in the Edmonton area, plan to wake up early to watch.
“We’ve got our snacks all ready and we’ve got hats and we’ve set our alarms,” she said, adding she collects hats.
“You need something with a good feather in it and a good ruffle on it. A little bit of drama is always good.”
Unsworth, whose grandmother was born in England, said she is looking forward to the “pomp and circumstance.” As for the King’s reign, she’s interested in how he will address environmental issues and discussions around colonialism.
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The Canadian government is holding an official ceremony for the coronation in Ottawa, with performances, speeches, the unveiling of a new stamp and emblems, and a 21-gun salute.
Karim Al-Dadah, Quebec spokesperson for the Monarchist League of Canada, plans to watch the coronation service before driving two and a half hours to Ottawa attend the ceremony.
“I’m a monarchist. It’s something I believe in,” he said. “I’m also a patriot. I love my country, I’m proud of my country, Canada, and for me loving your country is also loving its history, its institutions, its heritage.”
Al-Dadah met King Charles and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, in Ottawa when they visited during their three-day royal tour of Canada last May in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. They also visited St. John’s, N.L., and Yellowknife.
“The excitement … it was palpable,” he said. “It’s the beauty of the monarchy — there’s this energy, this joy that it brings to people.”
Al-Dadah said he is also looking forward to the lavish traditions of the coronation service.
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“This is going to be a feast for the eyes,” he said. “It’s a dream come true. It’s something that only happens maybe once or twice in a lifetime.”
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Public and private events have been planned elsewhere across Canada from afternoon teas to parades. Many government buildings will be illuminated in emerald green through the weekend while coronation flags will be raised.
The Ontario government has organized a flag-raising ceremony, 21-gun salute and drum circle followed by a “fun royal fair” at Queen’s Park in Toronto.
In Regina, the Saskatchewan government held a parade on Friday, while an event hosted by Lt.-Gov. Russ Mirasty is scheduled for May 13.
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A celebration has also been planned in Alberta for May 13 at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden in Parkland County while a spring tea at Government House in Edmonton with Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani on May 14 has sold out.
In Winnipeg, a provincial coronation service will be held at St. John’s Cathedral followed by a gun salute on the grounds of the provincial legislative building.
Celebrations are also taking place on Government House grounds in Charlottetown, Fredericton, Halifax and St. John’s, including the distribution of 1,000 seedlings and plans to distribute more across Newfoundland in Labrador.
In Whitehorse, territorial commissioner Angelique Bernard has invited members of the public to a tea and open house at Taylor House.
Not all Canadians plan to celebrate the coronation.
An Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News indicates King Charles hasn’t won over the hearts of many Canadians during his short reign. Ipsos, which surveyed 1,000 Canadians ages 18 and older between April 19-20, found that the monarchy as a whole has dipped in favourability since the queen’s death.
When compared to data compiled in September, 74-year-old King Charles’ approval rating sank by seven points to 37 per cent, while Queen Consort Camilla’s dropped one point to 26 per cent.
William and Kate, whose approval rating sits at 52 and 47 per cent respectively, dipped 14 points when compared with last September. William is the only monarchy member to hold a positive majority of those favourable among Canadians six months after Charles ascended to the throne. The Prince and Princess of Wales’ favourability is highest among the university-educated, Ipsos found.