In the build-up to the coronation, our Document of the Month for May reflects upon the local coronation celebrations of the last 185 years. A selection of photographs, newspaper articles and minute excerpts have been brought together here which focus on local celebrations of the coronations of Queen Victoria, George V, and Elizabeth II.
Turning our attention firstly to the most recent coronation- that of Elizabeth II in June 1953, this Illustrated Souvenir Book was distributed to local primary and secondary school children. Covering topics including the ‘Royal Regalia’, ‘The Coronation, The Historic Ceremony and its Development’ and the coronation of Elizabeth’s father, George VI, the book was only one of a number of souvenirs and treats handed out as part of the celebrations.
A note from the Coronation Souvenir Supply boasted ‘a range of nearly 200 souvenirs’, including mugs, pencils and rosettes.
For the coronation of George V in 1911, it had been planned that ‘a procession of the children of all the schools in the burgh’ would ‘march to the King’s Park’, where they would watch on as the Provost’s daughter planted a ceremonial oak. Although it was noted in St Ninian’s school log book that ‘Unfortunately the morning was very wet’ and as a result ‘the children were kept in school’, the rain did not completely dampen pupils’ fun, as ‘Each was presented with a box of chocolate and buns and lemonade’.
Numerous local events, celebrations and displays have been held here over the years in celebration of royal coronations, ranging from formal town processions, to children’s parties and parades.
Flags and bunting decorated the streets and shopfronts, the celebratory atmosphere and sense of excitement infectious.
Advertisements placed in the Stirling Observer show that local businesses have used the event of a coronation to promote their products and events, as demonstrated by this bridal campaign from Thomas Menzies Limited.