by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel
For millions of people around the world that are seventy years old or less, the only English monarch they ever knew was Queen Elizabeth II. For the British their national anthem of God Save the Queen has changed now to reflect allegiance to her son Charles. For viewers in our country that woke at 5am to watch the coronation of King Charles III they were watching history being made before their eyes. Media attention covered the planning and execution of this event and tourists from around the world flocked to England to be part of the festivities and “royal watching”. The invitation only guest list came to about 2,000 attendees, which was smaller than for the Queen’s coronation that had 8,000 guests. There will be many changes coming after Charles ascension to the throne. One obvious change will be in the British currency, which now features the image of the Queen on both paper and coins. Since there are billions of pounds in circulation, that money will continued to be used until new money is printed with Charles’ portrait. I’m sure many people will save some “old money” just to have the Queen’s image as a souvenir of her 70 year long reign. To change the image slightly the picture of Charles will face to the left opposite of his mother’s right facing one. For anybody that has received a letter from a friend living in England, the stamp most often had a photo of Queen Elizabeth on it. Her image first appears on postage back in 1967 and was the first monarch to have that honor. Now designers will create a picture of King Charles III to add to its line of historic stamps in circulation and mostly likely keep ones of the Queen as a tribute to her long reign. Speaking of the Queen, when I visited England many years ago when our daughter was studying during her semester abroad there it was interesting to see the royal crest on many businesses hanging prominently over the doorway. Whether it was a chocolatier shop, a bakery or a factory that made fine china, an ornate sign hung over the doorway to proclaim the Queen also ordered their products. It was a unique feeling to buy a pastry and think that these were perhaps the same kind the Queen ate with her afternoon tea!
While I was visiting, I learned many words and expressions that the English used that were different from those in America. Since I sent time with college students many of the new words were about food. In England cookies are called biscuits, French fries are called chips and our carnival food cotton candy is known as candy floss. My daughter and her roommates lived in a flat and not an apartment. Taking turns they took out the rubbish, which was a clear description of what we call garbage. Lastly when it turned to watching a popular sport on television the British love their football, which we know as soccer. Enjoying the experience of attending university in London, their professor would assign loads of homework each evening. His reminder to them at the end of class was not to lollygag (waste time) when they got home and start their assignments! One of things I learned quickly when it came to spending money there is what the difference was between a pound and a quid. In essence, a quid is a slang word, like we use the word buck, to mean a dollar. Therefore, the value is the same. So much to learn about British culture that watching the pomp and circumstance of the coronation of King Charles III back in May was a new experience for American viewers that probably came away with a new understanding of the royal family’s traditions.