Residents celebrate King's Coronation

Residents across our Independent Living schemes recently celebrated the King’s Coronation in style. From traditional afternoon teas to flower arranging, quizzes and raffles, refreshments and live music, everyone had a fantastic time. Well done to everyone who helped to facilitate all our events.

Kim Royal, Independent Living Scheme Officer for Orbit with Helgate Court residents Pauline Taylor and Margaret Killett browsing Pauline’s Coronation scrapbook from 1953.

Connie (96), a resident at Lawrence Mackie House in Wellesbourne, commented: “I thoroughly enjoyed myself at our afternoon tea celebration. It was a great day and lovely that my sister could come along too. I will be getting involved in communal activities more often now!"

Generations also came together when residents at Queensway Court, were joined by children from St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School to participate in royal-themed activities including decorating cupcakes, making union jack paper chains, and taking it in turns to sit on King Charles’ throne.

Emma Williams, Independent Living Scheme Manager at Queensway Court, said: “We were delighted to host this event, to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III. It was a fantastic opportunity to connect the different generations and bring everyone together for this special occasion. Both residents and children really benefit from spending time together and sharing their different experiences and outlooks on life. We really value our weekly visits with St Patrick’s school and it’s clear to see it’s a really positive experience for both our residents and the children.”

Josie, a resident at Queensway Court, commented: “I really enjoyed the occasion as I knew some of the children and it was lovely to see them having fun, decorating cakes and making us all smile.”

Francis Burrows, Director of Support and Service Development at Orbit, said: “We were delighted to host these events for our residents, to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III and his wife, Camilla. It was a fantastic opportunity for residents to socialise and enjoy the friendly atmosphere, and benefit from the variety of treats and entertainment on offer. I would like to thank those who spent their time and effort arranging these successful events and to everyone who attended.”

Some of our Independent Living residents were also fortunate enough to be celebrating the second Coronation in their lifetime.

Pauline Taylor, from Helgate Court, and Olivia Ogilvie-Stewart from Culworth House, both enjoyed the festivities whilst sharing their memories from Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953.

Pauline said: “I was a girl of 13 back in 1953. Rationing was coming to an end and everyone was really excited to be able to celebrate. I remember eating jam sandwiches and we were one of the few families back then who owned a television so we were able to gather round and watch it together – I remember being amazed by the spectacle of the carriage and parade even though it wasn’t in colour!

“Dad had painted huge five-foot crowns outside the front of the factory where he worked, and as children we were all given a special prayer book and bible at school with the Coronation crown on the cover.

“Even things like milk bottles had special tops with union jacks printed on them. It feels so special to be able to experience two Coronations in one lifetime.”

Olivia shared: “I have lived in Warwickshire most of my life and I had been studying ballet since I was two. In 1953, I was selected to perform at the pageant as a lead peacock. We trained for a long time and the Coronation ballet performance took place at the castle every evening for two weeks. I really loved it – I had an amazing costume with peacock feathers!”

Olivia collected memorabilia from the celebrations, including a souvenir programme which cost two shillings and was signed by many important people who attended.

“I remember going to a friend’s house where a lot of us gathered to watch the Queen’s Coronation on the TV, as not many people had one. I thought it was a very stirring occasion. This year, I will be with my family and friends at Culworth House, where we will be watching the King’s Coronation on the big screen in our communal lounge.”

“I think we are very lucky to have a royal family,” Olivia continues. “And I feel very lucky to celebrate two coronations, especially living through World War Two. It feels very special to be able to watch another monarch being crowned in my lifetime.”