0Thursday. 22nd June [1911]—3 Savile Row
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22 June 1911 — 3 Savile Row
Thursday. 22nd June [1911]. This was the great day—the Coronation. We got up at 5.30 a.m.—breakfasted at 6—& started for the Abbey at 6.30. Nela Du Cane was in her evening costume with veil & feathers in her head– Eda, Miss Chaffey & I in ordinary morning dress with a bag containing sandwiches wherewith to sustain nature as we did not know at what hour we should return. As Nela had a carriage pass to drive to the Abbey we went with her round by Berkeley Square by Hyde Park to Hyde Pk Corner & was just crossing to Gros: Place when we stopped by the troops which had been bivouacking in the Park & were marching off to take up their positions near the Abbey—this delayed us a long time as we had to wait till the whole lot had passed. However we curbed our impatience & when once we got on we got easily by Victoria Street to the Abbey. At the barrier erected at the end of Victoria St we 3 civilians stepped out of the carriage & let Nela go on alone– We found our seats in the stand outside S Margarets—not very good ones as they were rather far back & we suspect that our good friend Lord K. had forgotten us till the best seats were gone. However we settled ourselves & whiled away the hour from 7 a.m. till the procession appeared by watching the crowds & the people in the neighbouring stands & the troops taking up their positions & unslinging their wallets with their rations. At intervals we sang God save the King & cheered lustily. At length about 11½ a roar announced the arrival of the processions– Many state coaches had previously driven by with respective Ambassadors & grandees to be deposited at the Abbey but all was quiet & clear when the Royal Princes came in various processions of state coaches & last of all a roar coming slowly down Parliament street as the glass coach came along announced the arrival of the King & Queen. The weather was overcast & at intervals a few drops had fallen during the early morning but at the moment the sun shone & the effect was imposing. Lord Kitchener rode by the side of the King—& all the Generals & ADC many of wh were Indian Princes in fine costumes & dazzling jewels followed– The bells of St Margaret & the Abbey pealed loudly & the enthusiasm was great. Where we were we could not see the Abbey door so after the Procession had passed we had nothing to do but to wait till all was over. Not far from our seats was Mr & Mrs Davey who have lately settled at Venice in an apartment in Pal. Vendramin. We chatted with them—eat our provisions—& going down into Parliament Square took a little exercise– We observed that the troops did likewise as they stacked their muskets & fell on the contents of their bags. We were able to descend from our stand & take a turn in Parliament Square to stretch our legs & relief the monotony of our long waiting. At length there was a stir among the troops & everybody resumed their places & the distant sound of the guns saluting & the peal of the bells proclaimed that the King & Q. were crowned & in due time the guard of honor with all the ADCs Indian & other formed up & waited for their Majesties to come out of the Abbey & head the Procession returning to the Palace. The enthusiasm of the multitude was great & a great roar went up as the big glass coach passed along up Parliament St. The rest of the Royal guests followed slowly after stopping to allow the head of the procession to get along wh it seemed to do slowly—then reappeared the state coaches & peers & peeresses in their robes looking for their carriages & people like ourselves who had spent so many hours pent up in the stands began to move homeward. We had to pass the Lords & go by the streets at the back of the Abbey to get away on the other side by Victoria St. By showing the pass wh Lord Kitchener had given us we got across to St James’ Park where there was no crowd & so up to Pall Mall. As we went along past the lower end of Green Park we could hear the cheers that were going up as the K. & Queen appeared on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. With Lord K’s pass we had no difficulty in crossing the Pall Mall opposite Marlboro’ House & getting home to Savile Row about 3.30. Very glad to rest & refresh with tea. There were the illuminations in the evening which I was very anxious to see but by the time dinner was over I was so tired that I had to give up going out to hurry to my bed—& so I ended this day about which we had all thought so much. The crowds were said not to have been very dense anywhere & all the precautions taken by the police to avoid accidents, such as placing barriers in many streets wh could be closed if necessary, seem to have frightened many people & to have caused them to keep at home.

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