So, Charles III has begun his reign with a curate’s egg coronation: the good elements came down from the ritual of Edward II, the bad omissions and intrusions from his deluded advisers. Some of the innovations were completely naff. The King’s refusal to wear knee-breeches (will he now also abandon them at state banquets?) was extended to his pages of honour, who wore 18th-century gold-laced coats complemented by 19th-century trousers – the kind of solecism one expects in a Hollywood film, not at the greatest of British pageants.
If it was necessary to employ a gospel choir, reflecting American culture rather than British, why could they not have been soberly attired in academic-style robes, as such choirs often are, instead of flashy white suits, and sung from an immobile posture, on a sacred occasion, instead of gyrating as if in a cabaret? Justin Welby’s much-derided invitation to the public to swear fealty to their television screens was an embarrassed attempt to fill in the void created by the exclusion of the hereditary peers, the crass innovation that, more than any other “modernisation”, spoiled the occasion.