Tuesday, June 5, 2012

C.S. Lewis On Queen Elizabeth II

On June 2nd, 1953, an Englishman sat watching the coronation of his queen. Due to his dislike for crowds, he had decided to take advantage of the accesability first fully televised coronation. This Englishman was C.S. Lewis and a month later he expressed his thoughts on the event in a letter to a friend (Letters, 3:343):

"You know, over here people did not get that fairy-tale feeling about the coronation. What impressed most who saw it was the fact that the Queen herself appeared to be quite overwhelmed by the sacramental side of it. Hence, in the spectators, a feeling of (one hardly knows how to describe it) — awe — pity — pathos — mystery.

The pressing of that huge, heavy crown on that small, young head becomes a sort of symbol of the situation of humanity itself: humanity called by God to be His vice-regent and high priest on earth, yet feeling so inadequate. As if He said, ‘In my inexorable love I shall lay upon the dust that you are glories and dangers and responsibilities beyond your understanding.’

Do you see what I mean? One has missed the whole point unless one feels that we have all been crowned and that coronation is somehow, if splendid, a tragic splendor."

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