What an incredibly special week we’ve had and, once again, I can’t help but think being British is like having a kind of superpower.
We are so lucky to have the stable and robust constitution we do and we are very fortunate to have, in Charles as in his late mother, a Head of State we can be proud of.
Sure his life is one of privilege, power and wealth but it’s how you use it that really matters.
Prince Charles first spoke about the environment – and single use plastics in particular – in 1970. Not many were doing that at the time, four years before I was born, and he received his fair share of criticism for being rather ‘wacky’ but his views have certainly aged well.
Equally, the Prince’s Trust has helped over one million young people since its’ foundation in 1976 and many from our area have benefitted from it. What a legacy that is before he even starts his role as King.
The Coronation service itself was superb and my favourite moment remains when the King was de-robed, kneeling before God for the anointing. It was almost medieval in its imagery and, for me, extremely moving.
I met our future King for the first time only last year when he came to Winchester to unveil the Licoricia stature in Jewry Street. It was this we discussed when I was honoured to meet him again last week just days before his Coronation on a visit with the Queen to Westminster. He remembered his visit to the City fondly.
On the eve of the big day, I joined hundreds of guests in Winchester Cathedral from across the County for a very special service to mark the Coronation.
Our great Cathedral has never looked better and we were treated to an Order of Service carefully worked up with echoes of the Edward (The Confessor’s) Coronation which took place in Winchester in 1043.
By all accounts we did them rather well before the move to Westminster Abbey by William the Conqueror so I think the Dean and her team here, who deserve great credit for Friday’s service, should put in an early bid for William’s Coronation.
Concluding on kingly matters, and Sunday’s sunshine paved the way for some really special street parties across our area. The one I saw in Saxon Road, in Hyde, epitomised the scene of traditional patriotic England.
And the concert at Windsor on Sunday night couldn’t have been a better showcase of music and arts in which Britain leads the world – even if Take That’s Mark Owen does need a haircut.
Nobody is pretending we don’t have challenges in modern Britain - and I understand some want to major on them because it suits a glass half empty negative mindset driven by partisan consideration – but ours is a very special country with so much in its favour.
And we live in an incredibly beautiful and prosperous part of England that we should neither take for granted or assume can never be changed by decisions taken locally.
Which takes me, finally, to the local elections - in theory at least - fought on what’s best for our local wards and with an outcome that will last four years for those elected - and those who elected them.
Many congratulations to all local councillors returned last week. Some interesting choices were made, and I think it a shame Winchester again missed the chance to have more diversity on the council, but I will work as always with those of all parties and none for the benefit of my constituents.