via BBC
“So Much Money Has Been Wasted”: Student Opinion On The Coronation and Monarchy


King Charles’ coronation was Saturday 6th May, and whilst an event like this has been historically classed as a celebration, the consensus appears to be that Lancaster University students disagreed with the event.

Personally, I am not interested in suffering through hours of coronation commentary on a Saturday afternoon, and it seems that Lancaster Uni students feel the same. SCAN asked its Instagram followers whether they watched the coronation, to which a significant 73% said they hadn’t. This seems to show that a significant portion of the country has been uninterested in watching the coronation, particularly with young people.

Many students pointed out its tactless timing during a cost-of-living crisis. As the effects of rising costs have been felt particularly by University students around the country, watching the King splash the cash for a fancy crown made many feel ignored by those running the country.

Some argued this money could have been used to “aid citizens”, particularly at the back end of a winter that caused many households across the country to decide between heating their homes and eating.

The coronation was a “Waste of taxpayers money,” one student claimed, whilst another called the ceremony “Wasteful and embarrassing”.

The day of the coronation, Lancaster University posted a photo of the King and Queen consort onto their Instagram. The caption explained the significance the coronation had in Lancaster. Like his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles coronation also gives him the title of the Duke of Lancaster, which includes ownership of the castle.

However, responses in the comments section which questioned these sorts of traditions in the monarchy:

“Thanks for the invite but sorry I won’t be celebrating an archaic ceremony to anoint an undemocratic symbol of divisive class systems, whose only qualification is birth right. Not my king!” One student commented in protest.

The coronation brings about questions about the morality involved with upholding a monarchy which still has deep ties to colonisation – the royal family was the figurehead of the British Empire, representing Britain as it violently invaded countries around the world. Therefore, whilst the coronation is a tradition, student opinion seems to state that such a ceremony for the coronation is outdated.

This also seems to be the case for the new, unaffiliated Lancaster Surrealist Society, whose manifesto aims for nonconformism, have been putting posters up both on campus and in Lancaster city itself which poke fun at the monarchy:

Image curtsey of Maria Hill

Whilst the majority of students were either indifferent or outrightly critical of the event, a small proportion mentioned the community spirit created as a result of the event. Some argued that, like with any crowning of a monarch, the event will become a historical moment for the country, particularly being the monarch to come after Queen Elizabeth – the longest-serving monarch in British history.

This was a perspective I attempted to take on, as I considered the viewpoints of the older generations: it may be the only coronation they have the opportunity to witness.

Current university students will likely get to see Prince William’s coronation and potentially Prince George’s too, whereas for people around Charles’ age, this will be the only coronation they will be alive for. When looking at it this way, it becomes a lot easier for me to see why some may want to spend the day watching the event.

Celebrations were had at Dalton Square and, despite the coronation being seen as problematic by many Lancaster University students, the positivity that it may have brought to some is invaluable during this time of economic struggle.

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