The farce is over — the “idle and useless pageant” has gone by — the doll has been dressed, dizened, and exhibited — a host of gawping idlers have been gratified with a spectacle, while the madness of the moment has been improved by the political beasts of prey to the strengthening of their fangs and claws. Now, that we have time to breathe, let us enquire “why was this waste made?” What single benefit is likely to accrue, either to the Queen or to the Country, from this idle show — this obstruction of public and private business — and this palpable waste of the national resources, at the precise moment when we are up to the very neck in the mire of national bankruptcy.
Not my words, but I must say I empathise with the sentiments. Although, of course, they are not contemporary words — there’s a clue in there.
The words are the opening lines to an editorial which appeared in the Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser in the wake of Queen Victoria’s coronation in 18381‘The Coronation. | Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser | Saturday 30 June 1838 | British Newspaper Archive’. 2023. Britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk <https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000090/18380630/007/0004> [accessed 6 May 2023].
I am not one for these public spectacles and tried to avoid it by going for a circular walk from Lockton. Along with many, many others. It’s always good to see a steam train, even though it had been named for the day as “The Coronation” and Levisham station was adorned with red, white and blue bunting.
To return to Queen Vic’s coronation, the editorial concludes:
We love the Queen. We desire not that her reign should be one of anarchy and ruin, and therefore, we boldly tell to her the truth. The nation is beggared. The poor are starving. — The people are discontented. — Their just complaints become louder and louder every day. Their long tried patience is fast waning, and unless justice be done by returning to the first principles of that constitution which she has sworn to uphold, inviolate, and the laws be made BY ALL for the benefit of all, a mighty whirlwind overhangs the fine prospects of this empire, whose fearful vengeance no power can avert.
- 1‘The Coronation. | Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser | Saturday 30 June 1838 | British Newspaper Archive’. 2023. Britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk <https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000090/18380630/007/0004> [accessed 6 May 2023]