King Charles III’s ‘slimmed down’ coronation is irking the aristocracy

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Some of the aristocracy are wondering if their invitations to King Charles III’s coronation in May might be lost in the post.

Historically, peers have helped usher in the new monarch. But we recently overheard a concerned Marchioness asking “what’s the point of being a part of this institution if you don’t get an invite to the coronation?”.

Charles is said to be hoping for a more “slimmed down” ceremony than his mother Elizabeth II. At hers in 1953, Westminster Abbey was packed with over 8,000 guests, with temporary balconies built inside to seat them.

The role of the peers has long been up for debate: in the fifties, there was an attempt to dump the peers’ homage and replace it with an oath on behalf of “the common man”. Since then, hereditary peers have mostly left the House of Lords, making their position less relevant.

Builders get to work on Portcullis

 (Alamy Stock Photo)
(Alamy Stock Photo)

The Palace of Westminster’s Portcullis House, where many MPs have their offices, is set to be a building site for much of 2023 after the removal of some very expensive trees. Twelve fig trees, a gift from the US state of Florida, once filled the space but after two decades of upkeep (they used to grow sideways), they were removed last year for health and safety reasons. They had cost the taxpayer £500,000. Now the flower beds they used to live in are being taken out, meaning large sections of the building are walled off with temporary barriers. We’re told it’s hoped the works will be finished by summer.

Rod’s challenge to his fellow Knights

 (Dave Benett)
(Dave Benett)

GRAVEL-VOICED Sir Rod Stewart has risked falling out with other knights of the realm after suggesting some of them don’t do enough charity work. Last year, Stewart rented a home for a family of refugee Ukrainians, and gave two of them jobs. “I thought if I make this public, other people might do the same thing,” he told Reader’s Digest. “Mick Jagger, maybe”. Your move, Sir Mick.

Boris Kremlin jokes at Davos

Boris Johnson took centre stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos today, showing off his links with Ukraine. President Zelensky joined by video. Urging a focus on Ukraine rather than Russia, Johnson joked: “It’s hard enough to work out what’s happening in UK politics, let alone the Kremlin”. In 2013, he called Davos a “constellation of egos involved in massive mutual orgies of adulation”.

Dressed for Cirque thrills

THE Royal Albert Hall hosted the opening of Cirque de Soleil’s new show last night. Dressed up for the event were Elizabeth Hurley with son Damian, Queen guitarist Sir Brian May and Anita Dobson, and dancer Abbie Quinnen. Dame Kelly Holmes was there too, and put our attempts at dry January to shame by telling us: “I don’t really do resolutions, I do intentions”. At Curzon Mayfair, Steven Spielberg launched The Fabelmans with star Gabriel Labelle and fan Brian Cox.