Nearly 400 Fellows, staff members, and students gathered for a special event dedicated to the Coronation of King Charles III on Friday, on the 5th of May.
The celebration was held in Second Quad where a close-knit Oriel community had a marvellous time enjoying the celebratory refreshments, accompanied by a Jazz band ‘Pink Champagne Jazz Trio’.
A cake baked for the event was cut by Oriel’s Provost, Lord Mendoza CBE, who made a speech, expressing his gratitude to the College’s Butler, and the kitchen, front of house, and conferences teams. He encouraged guests to raise their glasses with a toast ‘To the King, our Visitor’.
All the visitors had an opportunity to taste delicious ‘Coronation quiche’, sandwiches, and cupcakes masterfully cooked by Oriel’s chefs. Even a heavy spring downpour, towards the start of the event, did not dampen spirits and the celebrations quickly resumed once the sun came out.
Oriel’s Domestic Bursar, Tim Verdon, says: “We are very proud to celebrate this historic event in honour of our Royal Visitor (Charles III).”
Margaret Jones, Oriel’s Treasurer, added that “the Coronation is a great opportunity for the Oriel community to get together and celebrate”.
She continued: “We enjoyed hosting Queen Elizabeth II, our Visitor, at the College a number of times, and we look forward to welcoming the King to Oriel in the future.”
The University of Oxford has a long history of links with the British Royal Family, especially with Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who served as the College Visitor of Oriel College, Christ Church, University College and St Antony’s College. The Queen was an impartial overseer of the colleges in this largely ceremonial role, that has now transferred to the King. Her late Majesty’s visits to Oriel, which took place in 1948, 1976, 1983, 1990, 2000 and 2013 are remembered with great fondness.
On another note, you may have noticed that an Oriel alumnus, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Revd Michael Beasley (1993, DPhil Clinical Medicine) played a central role in the Coronation service as Bishop Assistant to The King on the 6th of May.