Three Methow Valley residents had a brush with royalty on Saturday.
First, let me applaud Bev Jensen, Jocelyn Murray and Carolyn Sullivan for going public about not only watching the coronation of Charles III, but also planning an entire tea party around it. (I’ve found that one of the benefits getting older is being unabashed about one’s guilty pleasures. If you want to watch the coronation of King Charles, you go, girls. I’ll just be over here listening to my Isaac Mizrahi memoir audiobook.)
So there they were, Bev, Joceyln, and Carolyn, dressed to the nines (although wearing neither hats nor fascinators, much to my disappointment), quaffing tea, tucking into scones, and living their poshest lives, when Jocelyn pulled out a gold spoon that had been given to her mother on the day of the coronation of Elizabeth II, which, as you all certainly know, took place on June 2, 1953.
Crooking her little finger, Jocelyn dipped the spoon into the bone china cup and swirled it precisely twice, allowing the Earl Grey to mingle with the lemon. Jocelyn set the spoon back on the saucer with only the barest whisper of a clink, a maneuver generally only mastered by the aristocracy.
Meanwhile, on the TV screen where the coronation was being broadcast, Anderson Cooper pulled out a spoon that looked suspiciously like the one with which Jocelyn had stirred her tea.
This was no coincidence. As life imitates art, and art imitates life, and Anderson Cooper imitates both, the spoon displayed at Charles III’s coronation was allegedly made during the 12th century for King Henry II or King Richard I, and has been used to anoint monarchs with holy oil ever since.
No one is quite sure of the Coronation Spoon’s exact provenance because no electronic record was stored in the cloud, because there was no cloud, except for the ones in the sky, very much like the ones producing rain at the coronation of Charles III, causing the masses outside Buckingham Palace to don clear rain slickers, the likes of which never seem to appear on U.S. soil.
The provenance of Jocelyn’s spoon, however, is very well-established. “When my mother was pregnant with me in the spring of 1953, one of her friends was living in England. She gave the spoon to my mother as a baby gift for me,” Jocelyn says.
Jocelyn, who was born two weeks after Elizabeth II was crowned, says that the replica spoon has accompanied her on all her moves throughout her life. “I’ve taken it everywhere. It’s one of the few constants in my life.”
As Jocelyn was gathering up her things to go watch Charles III’s coronation she thought “Oh wow, I could show the gals that I have this replica of the spoon used at the last coronation.”
To see the original Coronation Spoon featured during the coronation broadcast, Jocelyn says, was “an electrifying experience.” The tea and scones were jolly good as well.