Category Archives: Westminster Abbey

coronation chair westminster abbey

The Coronation Chair

Whenever I’m taking Americans around Westminster Abbey, I like to mention that when Columbus stumbled across the Americas, King Edward’s Chair (commonly known as the Coronation Chair) was already nearly 200 years old; when the rebellious colonists laid out their Declaration of Independence, some two dozen monarchs had already sat here to be crowned.

It really is that old – created in 1300/01, used in its first coronation (of Edward II) in 1307. It predates all but one of the objects in the Crown Jewels (the Coronation Spoon), and comes from a time┬ábefore the concept of ‘Britain’ or a’United Kingdom’ exercised any minds. Elizabeth II sat in it in June 1953, as did Elizabeth I in January 1559. Charles III will be crowned in it, as were Charles I and II; Henry VIII, Richard III, Henry V and most of those other kings you remember from Shakespeare were crowned in it. English history is in its very grain. Continue reading


Westminster Abbey

IMG_0425The blog has been a bit neglected over the past few months as the work level for my London Blue Badge course has ramped up, but once I’m through next month’s final course exams you’ll be hit with a superabundance of posts as I type up my notes on the British Museum, the Tower of London, St Paul’s – and Westminster Abbey.

One of the great things about doing the Blue Badge has been the opportunity to go around some of those London sites that tourists never miss, but which we Londoners rarely, if ever, visit.

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