The Oakham School Community has been celebrating King Charles III’s Coronation with current pupils taking part in activities and events across the campus and alumni participating in the festivities in London and Windsor.
Chaplain Fr Tim Tregunno led two Chapel services to commemorate this historic occasion that featured specially chosen music, Bible readings and prayers. At the Middle and Upper School service the Chapel Choir performed a beautiful version of the anthem ‘God save the King’ from Handel’s Zadok the Priest. As well as singing favourite patriotic hymns ‘I vow to thee my Country’ and ‘Jerusalem’, the congregation gave a rousing rendition of ‘God save our gracious King’. Head of History James Roberts delivered a sermon full of reflections on the historic context of the Coronation Service, from the very first Coronation in Westminster Abbey for William the Conqueror in 1066, to the ceremony itself and the anointing of the monarch.
Form 7 pupils were given the royal treatment at an exclusive afternoon tea event in School House, where they were served red, white and blue-themed cakes. Continuing the sweet theme, Lower School pupils in Ancaster celebrated by decorating tasty crown-shaped biscuits with different icing and colours.
In the Art Department, Lower 1 pupils redesigned the coronation spoon, the oldest piece of coronation regalia, and sculpted their own designs using wire and jewels. Form 1 pupils also produced flags, banners, and pom poms using a variety of materials and accessories.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend, members of the Chamber Choir joined the Oakham team choir for the County Coronation Service held in All Saints’ Church. Form 7 pupil Sargant Grace, one of the three Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets for Rutland, assisted Dr Sarah Furness, the Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland, at Coronation events. On Bank Holiday Monday Oakham School’s Catering Department served up Coronation-themed dishes, including Coronation Chicken, King Cake and Custard and scones with jam and cream. The Voluntary Action pupils took part in a litter pick around Oakham town as part of The Big Help Out.
Meanwhile several Old Oakhamians were at the heart of the celebrations in London and Windsor. During the Coronation Service, Lt Harry McEuen (’19) carried the King’s Colour as the Ensign for the 1st Battalion Scots Guards and international opera singer Dingle Yandell (’00) sang in the coronation choir as part of the octet from the Monteverdi choir. Dingle said, “It was an incredible day and such an honour; made even more so because I was also an ex-chorister and Head of School.”
“There was lots of nostalgia because that was my first time singing in a choir since 1996!”
Alexander Lambert (’17) was part of the parade carrying the Colour for the 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Thea Rivers (née Pope) (’13) works in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Royal & Coronation Unit and was part of the team who worked on inviting and welcoming the 500 overseas guests to the Coronation. She was in the back of Westminster Abbey, welcoming people on the day.
At the Coronation Concert held at Windsor Castle on the Sunday evening, bassoonist Liv Watts (‘09) performed with the Band of the Coldstream Guards.
Finally, an Oakham School umbrella made a surprise TV appearance, when Geography teacher Evan Bett spotted it amongst the crowds outside Buckingham Palace.