19. Weekly Newsletter

The Coronation Weekend

The Coronation of The King and The Queen was conducted at Westminster Abbey on Saturday (6th May). The service incorporated longstanding traditions and pageantry with forward-looking adjustments in front of 2,300 guests. Over 100 heads of state were in attendance for Europe’s only royal family who continue to host coronations. Over 7,000 troops and 19 military bands were involved in the procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. This was followed by an appearance of working royals on the Palace balcony in front of huge crowds with a Royal Air Force flypast concluding events on Saturday. 20 million Britons viewed the Coronation on TV which makes it the most viewed event of 2023 thus far.

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Crown Princess Victoria were in attendance for the service at Westminster Abbey and a pre-Coronation reception at Buckingham Palace. On Sunday, the ‘Coronation Big Lunch’ was launched to bring together communities from across the UK for street parties. In the evening, a special Coronation Concert was staged at Windsor Castle hosted by Hugh Bonneville with international stars such as Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Andrea Bocelli appearing alongside acts from across the Commonwealth. The Prince of Wales spoke of the deep pride Queen Elizabeth II would have felt during the Coronation and stated that “Pa, we are all so proud of you” to the 20,000 strong crowd at the concert.

Newspapers & Politics

The UK’s front page news cycle over the last seven days was dominated by the Coronation of King Charles III with international media also prominent across London. The event was marked with tributes from across the world, business and members of the public. The council elections also gained coverage in the run-up to the Coronation as the ruling Conservative Party lost ground across England with almost one third of council seats lost. Some of the newspaper front pages over the last week were:

  • The Times: ‘Pa, we are all so proud of you’ (Prince of Wales tribute to King Charles III)
  • Financial Times: US faces ‘constitutional crisis’ over debt ceiling deadlock, Yellen warns
  • The Observer: Labour winning back swathes of Brexit voters, data reveals
  • Sunday Express: Happy And Glorious (Coronation)
  • The Daily Telegraph: I come not to be served but to serve (King Charles III)
  • Financial Times Weekend: Tory recriminations begin after crushing losses in local elections
  • Daily Mirror: He will not only wear the crown, he will bear the weight of history… and hopes of a nation
  • The Guardian: UK and US in challenge to tech firms over growing power of AI
  • Financial Times: ECB slows rate rise campaign but warns fight against inflation not over
  • The Independent: UK plan for Charles III to help lead Brexit detox with Europe
  • Financial Times: LSE (London Stock Exchange) chief seeks higher pay for bosses to stem listings exodus

The latest national polling by the BBC, using data from the May 2023 council elections, suggest that Labour would achieve 35% (0% change since 2019) of the vote in local elections. Whereas, the Conservatives would hold a 26% vote share (-9% since 2019) and the Liberal Democrats would have 20% (+4% since 2019). Labour gained an above average performance in wards that heavily voted in favour of Brexit in 2016 which illustrated a reversal of post-Brexit voting trends.

English Council Elections

On Thursday (4th May) 230 unitary, metropolitan and district councils were up for election with a new voter identification law implemented to require a photo ID for voting. In the South of England the Liberal Democrats made strong gains in traditional Conservative councils. The Midlands and the North of England saw the Labour Party take control of key council across the two regions. The results were:

Councils:

Labour ~ 71 (+22)

Conservative ~ 33 (-48)

Liberal Democrat ~ 29 (+22)

Independents ~ 2 (+1)

Residents’ Association ~ 2 (0)

Green ~ 1 (+1)

No Overall Control ~ 91 (+12)

Councillors:

Labour ~ 2,674 (+536)

Conservative ~ 2,296 (-1,061)

Liberal Democrat ~ 1,628 (+407)

Independents ~ 875 (-79)

Residents’ Association ~ 88 (-24)

Green ~ 481 (+241)

Others ~ 37

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