The Coronation is more than a display of pomp and pageantry.
It’s a profoundly political act that underwrites the entire British constitution – and the laws and freedoms which Britain exported throughout the world.
In an absorbing and provocative two-part series, Britain’s foremost historian of monarchy Dr David Starkey recounts a thousand years of Coronations.
It’s a tale of intrigue, politics, conquest and murder. And it provides a stark warning to our new monarch on the pitfalls of kingship.
Part 1 - which you can watch in full above - takes us from the very first coronation of an English king in 973.
It then ventures through the Norman Conquest and the brutal power struggles of medieval Britain, to the idea of divine right to rule championed by the Stuart dynasty and its ensuing clashes with Parliament.
It ends with the execution of the first King Charles.
The Crown with David Starkey is available to watch now
Part 2charts the establishment of the constitutional monarchy we know today in which the sovereign is a symbol of the state and an object of devotion while leaving the true power to an elected government.
It shows how, by adapting to the Britain of mass democracy, the monarchy became in some respects more stable than it had ever been. But, in Dr Starkey’s gripping conclusion, he sounds an ominous note…