May 8, 2023

Pageantry and Protests Surround Coronation of King Charles III Transcript

Pageantry and Protests Surround Coronation of King Charles III Transcript
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The coronation of King Charles III on Saturday was a ceremony not seen in London in 70 years. There was all the pageantry befitting the occasion, but there were also some protests. Read the transcript here.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):

Good evening. I’m John Yang. In London Today, a ceremony not seen in 70 years, the coronation of a British monarch. There was all the pageantry befitting the occasion, dignitaries from around the world, including First Lady Jill Biden, and in the streets crowds clamoring for a glimpse of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. But as Malcolm Brabant reports, there were also some protests.

Speaker 2 (00:29):

This was supposed to be a scaled back coronation to reflect the financial strictures being endured by millions of Charles III subjects. But as the king finally fulfilled his destiny, the opulence on display was far grander than most Britains will have seen in their lifetimes. Pomp and circumstance are embedded in Britain’s DNA, and enthralled royalists who braved the grim weather and blind the procession route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. But Charles isn’t as popular as his late mother, the Queen. Several anti-Monarchists were arrested before the main event got underway. Among them were members of a group called Republic, which has been staging not my king protests since Charles ascended to the throne. Their leader, Graham Smith, is seen here sitting on the ground surrounded by police officers. We interviewed Smith before the coronation.

Speaker 3 (01:23):

They misuse public money all the time for private use. They misuse public office to advance their own interests. I think that if Charles were to stand in an election against other candidates, in a free and fair election, that he would lose and lose badly. And yet here he is as our head of state.

Speaker 2 (01:38):

The police say some of those detained were held on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a disturbance, which was denied by Republic spokesman Harry Stratton.

Speaker 4 (01:47):

It’s a completely peaceful demonstration. The police without telling us why, without telling us where they’re taking them, have arrested all of organizers. Britain’s meant to be a democracy, but Charles isn’t treating it like one.

Speaker 2 (01:59):

The arrests have been widely condemned by opposition, parliamentarians, and Human Rights Watch, which said this was something you would expect in Moscow, not London. Absorbed by centuries old tradition, guests inside Westminster Abbey were unaware of the disturbances. And in the most mystical, almost bizarre element of the ceremony, ornate screens were erected while he was anointed with holy oil, symbolizing his spiritual status as head of the Church of England. Historian Anna Whitelock.

Speaker 5 (02:29):

It is entirely in Congress. Now, for some people, that’s its charm, that it represents this golden thread through British history over centuries. For others, it is both in Congress, out of touch and also outrageous to be costing such a lot, and also celebrating the kind of values which most people in modern Britain no longer subscribe to.

Speaker 2 (02:51):

Britain’s priceless crown jewels were at the heart of the ritual as King Charles was handed the sword of justice.

Speaker 6 (02:57):

(Singing). With this sword do justice, stop the growth of iniquity, protect the holy Church of God and all people of goodwill.

Speaker 2 (03:06):

Receptors of power and mercy. Finally, after being history’s longest ever serving heir to a throne, the crown was placed upon Charles’ Head. The ritual anointing of Queen Camilla was far more subdued. (singing). As King Charles left Westminster Abbey to the national anthem, one of those carrying the train of his robe was the second in line to the throne, his grandson, Prince George, who’s nine years old. Perhaps he was wondering if he was looking at his own destiny. Britain’s gold state coach, used in every coronation for nearly 200 years, carried the king and queen back to Buckingham Palace, past cheering crowds.

Speaker 7 (03:48):

Ah, cold, wet, tired, feet hurt, but fantastic, fantastic.

Speaker 8 (03:55):

They have a dear friend from the UK that lives in America. She said she’ll never be a US citizen because she’s loyal to the crown, and I think that’s a beautiful thing.

Speaker 2 (04:05):

Britain is the only European monarchy that stages coronations. King Charles is 74. His reign will not be a long one. It’ll be up to his heir, Prince William, whether he continues this traditional. For PBS News Weekend, I’m Malcolm Brabant.

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