Portsmouth links to coronation of Queen’s father in 1937

COLOURFUL Point, Old Portsmouth, 1920  so full of character it inspired an overture
COLOURFUL Point, Old Portsmouth, 1920  so full of character it inspired an overture
The Royal Pier Hotel, now Rees Hall.

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Regular contributor Simon Hart takes us back to 1937 for today’s page and the coronation of George VI.

He begins a note to me in his inimitable style: ‘I remember my late Auntie Glad recalling the excitement felt in Portsmouth in 1937 for the coronation, especially as the events included a Spithead review.

KINGMAKER Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury who crowned George VI. He once worked in Portsea parishes

KINGMAKER Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury who crowned George VI. He once worked in Portsea parishes

‘Her earrings swung as her head moved during the recounting of this pleasant memory.’

Glad then presented Simon with an enamel pin badge she bought at the time as a souvenir. ‘It came from a shop in Fawcett Road,’ he recalls.

It will be 80 years in May since the current Queen’s father became king and Simon has dug out four coronation facts relating to Portsmouth:

n William Walton (1902-1983) composed the Crown Imperial march for the coronation. He also wrote the overture Portsmouth Point in the 1920s based on the Thomas Rowlandson painting

PROUD The Frank W Wood painting of the 1937 Spithead review

PROUD The Frank W Wood painting of the 1937 Spithead review

n Cosmo Gordon Lang was the Archbishop of Canterbury who crowned the king. His previous appointments included providing spiritual guidance in Portsea in the 1890s

n On May 22, 1937, the Coronation Review of the Fleet took place off Spithead. This was the culmination of the coronation celebrations

n Frank W Wood (1862-1953) described himself in 1907 as ‘naval artist, Portsmouth’. He painted the 1937 Spithead review, a work held in the Royal Collection.

The battleship HMS Nelson off Spithead for the 1937 Fleet Review. Anchored in the background are two Queen Elizabeth Class battleships and two cruisers of the London Class. Picture: Imperial War Museum

The battleship HMS Nelson off Spithead for the 1937 Fleet Review. Anchored in the background are two Queen Elizabeth Class battleships and two cruisers of the London Class. Picture: Imperial War Museum

HISTORY King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on May 12, 1937 by Sir Gerald Festus Kelly (1879-1972)

HISTORY King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on May 12, 1937 by Sir Gerald Festus Kelly (1879-1972)