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.
‘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
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.