IT’S often been said that no-one does pomp and ceremony quite as well as the British. I think the events of the coronation weekend show that this is true – the crowning of King Charles III really was a fantastic occasion. Of course, the coronation service itself was the centre of it all, but the events all around the country showed a brilliant spirit of celebration.
I was in Wimborne Minster on the Friday evening for the civic service, led by Canon Andrew Rowland, with the Archdeacon of Dorset and Bishop Karen also in attendance. We were given a magnificent taste of what was to come on Saturday from the Minster choir, singing I Was Glad by Hubert Parry. The Archdeacon reminded us in his sermon about the King’s humility and sense of service to his country – which was reflected in the coronation service. The service retained its essential traditions, but had more modern touches.
I was in Dorset all weekend, and on Sunday and Monday I visited several community parties and get-togethers. I want to thank everyone involved in organising these events, and those who have put time and effort into decorating our local communities – whether with bunting, flags, flowers or posters. I hope you all enjoyed the weekend’s celebration as much as I did.
As a Member of Parliament, I have the privilege of working in the Palace of Westminster –the formal name for the Houses of Parliament. Although used as the seat of Government, it is actually a Royal Palace. The King does not come to visit very often, though he recently came for a reception in the oldest part of Parliament, Westminster Hall. Brought in for the occasion was the Speaker’s State Coach – an impressive 17th Century gold coach made for King William III. This is going to be on display until the autumn, and can be viewed by anyone visiting Parliament.
There are various different types of tours in Parliament. Some of them are paid tours, which happen at weekends and weekdays when Parliament is not sitting. When the House is sitting, you can book a free Inside UK Parliament tour, which you can book by contacting my office. If you book one of the early morning tours, you will be able to walk into the chamber of the House of Commons itself. This is something the King is not allowed to do! At the moment you are not able to see inside the Elizabeth Tower due to building works, but this will be open again later in the year.
Please get in touch if you are interested in visiting. The tours are popular and book up well in advance. I continue to hold regular surgeries in the constituency so contact me if there is something you need help with, or if you’d like me to visit your organisation or business. Email email@example.com or contact my office on 01202 624216. You can also follow what I’ve been doing on Twitter @Michael4mdnp or Facebook www.facebook.com/michael4MDNP or on my website www.michaeltomlinson.org.uk
Member of Parliament for Mid Dorset & North Poole