Broadway, Cotswolds and the Coronation
A Guide to the Royal Cotswolds and Cotswold Coronation Celebrations
The Coronation of King Charles III will take place on Saturday 6th May 2023 at 11am in Westminster Abbey, London. There will be an additional Bank Holiday on the 8th May.
Broadway always marks such occasions in style and plans are being made for a celebration which, as always, will centre on the village green right outside our front door. On the Sunday a combined Coronation and Mayday celebration will run between 11am and 4.30pm. Details are below and you can follow the latest on the parish website.
In this blog, we take a look at the long and varied history of royalty in the Cotswolds.
The Cotswolds is a beautiful part of Britain and its rolling hills, picturesque countryside, and charming towns & villages appeal to members of the royal family just as much as they to visitors from around the world. Over the centuries, many members of the British royal family have had connections to the Cotswolds. Some have owned land here, made official visits - or visited unofficially to experience events such as the Cheltenham Festival at the Racecourse.
The Broadway Hotel is a Grade II listed 16th Century building, a time that coincides with some of the most significant royal connections to the Cotswolds. In the medieval and Tudor periods, the wealth from the wool trade made the region an economic powerhouse, and home to some of the most powerful and influential families in England. One such family was the Seymours, who owned several estates in the area, including Wolf Hall in Wiltshire and Thornbury Castle. In the 16th Century, the Seymours became a part of the royal family when Henry VIII married Jane Seymour. Jane would go on to become the mother of Henry's son and heir, Edward VI, although she tragically died in childbirth.
Sudeley Castle, closer to Broadway, was the home of Katherine Parr, Henry’s last wife and is in fact the only private home in the UK with a Queen at rest in a chapel in the grounds. In 1592, Queen Elizabeth I visited Sudeley Castle, as part of her royal progress to celebrate the victory against the Spanish Armada. She stayed for three days in a lengthy - and expensive - celebration that has been called one of the longest parties in history.
Queen Victoria, another long reigning and highly successful monarch, visited several country houses in the area, including Blenheim Palace.
In the late twentieth century, a ‘Royal Triangle’ emerged, reflecting the fact that Prince Charles, Princess Anne and other members of the royal family loved in neighbouring Gloucestershire. Most famously, Charles and Diana settled at Highgrove House, near Tetbury. The couple bought the property in 1980, and over the years, they worked to transform it into a beautiful and sustainable home, complete with organic gardens, orchards, and a lake. Essentially, Highgrove is where Princes Harry and William grew up. The death of Princess Diana in 1997 cast a shadow over Highgrove, but the King has continued to use the house as a place of retreat and a base for his charitable work. Highgrove is now the country retreat of Charles and Camilla. Incidentally you can visit the King’s famous organic garden, but do book ahead.
Today, the Cotswolds remains a popular place to live for celebrities and members of the royal family, as well as for tourists from around the world who are drawn to its natural beauty, historic sites, and charming towns & villages. Whether visiting the grand country estates of the past or exploring the picturesque countryside, there is no doubt that the Cotswolds holds a special place in the hearts of both the British people and the royal family.
Cotswold villages often celebrate royal events and occasions. There’s usually a charming mix of community events and symbolic highlights, usually involving afternoon tea along the way. In the case of Broadway, a beacon lighting at Broadway Tower is a tradition that has marked national events for many years.
The Broadway Parish Council has announced the following programme over the weekend of the Coronation:
FRIDAY 5TH MAY
10am - Children selected by Broadway First & St Mary’s School judge the Coronation shop window competition
7.30pm - Community to gather at Broadway Tower for the lighting of the Beacon
8.30pm - Beacon lighting
9pm - Procession down to Broadway with torches
SATURDAY 6TH MAY
10am - The Hunt will process through Broadway
9:30am - 2pm - TV footage of the Coronation & Broadcasts on the Green
3pm - Cream Tea at the Lifford Hall (bookings only)
4:30pm - TV family film screening of 'Sing" on the Green
9-10am - Cupcake decorating on the Green
Bring along your own OR come and decorate 6 cupcakes for the Coronation, DO expect them to be eaten afterwards as part of the community picnic!!
10.45am - Judging of the Coronation Cupcake Competition
10-4pm - Climbing wall, activity bus and circus skills on the green (FoC)
10-4pm - School PTAs & Catering will be on the green throughout the day
11am - Churches together service on the Green
12 noon - Come together for our community to picnic on the greens
1pm - Morris dancing performance
1.45pm - Circus skills performance
2.30pm - Maypole dancing with schools
3.30 pm - Circus skills performance
6:30pm onwards - TV Coronation concert on the Green