Saturday, September 8, 2018

British Coronation Etiquette – Queen Elizabeth I

Actress Cate Blanchett in one of her fine film portrayals of Elizabeth I – By the end of Elizabeth’s I reign, in his “Court and Country,” of 1618, Nicholas Breton gives an instructive account of the strict rules which were drawn up for observance in great households at that time, and says that the gentlemen who attended on great Lords and Ladies had enough to do to carry these orders out. “Not a trencher must be laid or a napkin folded awry; not a dish misplaced; not a capon carved or a rabbit unlaced contrary to the usual practice; not a glass filled or a cup uncovered save at the appointed moment: everybody must stand, speak, and look according to regulation.”

Remarkable incidents in this most important occasion of a British ruler’s life. Striking features of ceremony from the earliest day to the last great Coronation event of the 19th Century
The Coronation of England’s Elizabeth I

Speed's account of the procession of Queen Elizabeth contains some particulars' too remarkable to be omitted. “All things in readiness, upon the fourteenth of January, with great triumphes and suptuous shewes, shee passed thorow London, towards “Westminster, to receive her Imperiall Crowne; but before she entered her chariot in the Tower, acknowledging that the seat was God's into which shee was to enter, and shee his viceregent to wield the English sceptre: in that royall assembly, with eyes and hands elevated to heaven, upon her knees, she prayed for his assistance, as Solomon did for wisdome when he tooke the like charge: with a thankful remembrance unto God for his continued preservation, which had brought her thorow great dangers unto that present dignitie.”

She was crowned the 5th of January, 1555, by Oglethorpe, Bishop of Carlisle, the see of Canterbury being vacant by the death of Cardinal Pole. Holinshed says that she composed the following prayer as she went to her coronation: “O Lord Almightie and Everlasting God, I give thee most heartle thanks that thou hast beene so merciful into me, as to spare me to behold this joifull daie. And I acknowledge that thou has delt as wonderfullie and as merciefullie with me as thou didst with thy true and faithful servant Daniell, thy prophet, whome thou delivered out of the den from the crueltie of the greedy and roaring lions. Even so was I overwhelmed, and only by thee delivered. To thee, therefore, onelle be thanks, honor and praise for ever. Amen.” – San Francisco Call, 1901

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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