>> The Red Hand Files – ISSUE #235 / MAY 2023:
Why the fuck are you going to the King’s coronation?
JON, BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA
I see that you will be attending the coronation as part of the Australian delegation. Are you a Monarchist? Why go?
ADRIAN, CAMPERDOWN, AUSTRALIA
The coronation. Seriously????
ROGER, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Nick Cave going to the coronation??! What would the young Nick Cave have thought of that?!
MATT, LEEDS, UK
Dear Jon, Adrian, Roger and Matt,
I’ll make this a quick one because I’ve got to work out what I am going to wear to the Coronation.
I am not a monarchist, nor am I a royalist, nor am I an ardent republican for that matter; what I am also not is so spectacularly incurious about the world and the way it works, so ideologically captured, so damn grouchy, as to refuse an invitation to what will more than likely be the most important historical event in the UK of our age. Not just the most important, but the strangest, the weirdest.
I once met the late Queen at an event at Buckingham Palace for ‘Aspirational Australians living in the UK’ (or something like that). It was a mostly awkward affair, but the Queen herself, dressed in a salmon coloured twin-set, seemed almost extraterrestrial and was the most charismatic woman I have ever met. Maybe it was the lighting, but she actually glowed. As I told my mother – who was the same age as the Queen and, like the Queen, died in her nineties – about that day, her old eyes filled with tears. When I watched the Queen’s funeral on the television last year I found, to my bafflement, that I was weeping myself as the coffin was stripped of the crown, orb and sceptre and lowered through the floor of St. George’s Chapel. I guess what I am trying to say is that, beyond the interminable but necessary debates about the abolition of the monarchy, I hold an inexplicable emotional attachment to the
Royals – the strangeness of them, the deeply eccentric nature of the whole affair that so perfectly reflects the unique weirdness of Britain itself. I’m just drawn to that kind of thing – the bizarre, the uncanny, the stupefyingly spectacular, the awe-inspiring.
And as for what the young Nick Cave would have thought – well, the young Nick Cave was, in all due respect to the young Nick Cave, young, and like many young people, mostly demented, so I’m a little cautious around using him as a benchmark for what I should or should not do. He was cute though, I’ll give him that. Deranged, but cute.
So, with all that in mind, I am looking forward to going the Coronation. I think I’ll wear a suit.