SAY what you like about our nation of saucepan-banging, marmalade- eating, tracksuit bottom-wearing inhabitants, we know how to put on a show.
Prefixing the “Great” back into Britain, Sunday night’s Windsor Castle extravaganza was as eccentrically bonkers as it was beautiful.
From a giant, blue whale drone in the sky to The Royal Shakespeare Company, Katy Perry, Miss Piggy and, improbably, a poem from Jimmy Nesbitt, this Coronation Concert had it all.
Except, that is, some home-grown A-list talent.
Because, it transpired, some of our biggest superstars were too busy washing their collective glossy hair to turn up for (new) King and country.
No Harry Styles, then. No Adele. No Spice Girls. (Victoria Beckham, surely, hammering in that final nail to poor David’s long-held knighthood ambitions.)
Not even honorary Brit Kylie Minogue could be arsed to sing over reported “Commonwealth sensitivities”. She should be so lucky.
There wasn’t so much a whiff of Elton John (although he is midway through the planet’s longest farewell tour), and Paul McCartney didn’t deign to come out and warble Here Comes The Son. Even a Beatles hologram might have been nice.
Instead, we had Olly Murs, Kermit the Frog and Lionel Richie, singing “Easy like a Sunday morning” on a Sunday night.
Oh, and three members of Take That. And Ms Perry singing about the Fourth of July.
“I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love,” announced the King, before DJ Pete Tong, somewhat incongruously, kicked off proceedings.
Pete later explained that ol’ raver Charles had requested “Ibiza classics”. What a man.
Somehow, though, it all worked. In glorious Technicolor.
This was a hopscotch, mismatch of brilliant, diverse talent who rallied together and, in the words of every football manager, gave it their all.
The atmosphere inside the castle grounds was electric.
Grandparents hoisted grandkids on their shoulders, royalists proudly waved their little Union Flags and hi-top-wearing Gen Z smiled beatifically and swigged from paper cups of cider to a recital of Bach’s Prelude In C Major.
With 20,000 music lovers united against the ultimate of backdrops, stranger swayed beside stranger.
New friendships were formed, numbers swapped and selfies, so many selfies, were taken.
It was the type of concert where you could have left your iPhone on your seat, and it would have remained un-filched.
“This is truly magical,” smiled the lady beside me. “I feel so honoured to be here.”
She was entirely right. It WAS magical.
Sitting behind me was Felicity Kendal, and to my right, Anna Friel.
Both were bopping along and as excited as the rest of King Charles’s non-famous subjects to snap the new monarch taking his seat five rows back.
Bear Grylls lost his wristband, and couldn’t get back to his seat until he found it again. He didn’t moan.
It didn’t matter who you were, the Coronation Concert wasn’t about ego, or status.
It was about our new King and Queen — and the perseverance of the monarchy thanks to a life-affirming celebration of all that it is to be British.
The NHS, charity workers and those, the everyday heroes who don’t sell out arenas or sell copies of The Sun, were honoured.
The very lifeblood of Great Britain.
Lots has been made of the £200million bill for this Coronation.
But hospitality alone raked in more than £350million over the course of this triumphant three-day bank holiday.
And not one of the 100 countries tuning in to watch the festivities could have failed to be won over by our ridiculous, fun-loving, mischief-making nation.
The tourism boom off the back of this will be felt for months, if not years, to come.
Somehow, against the odds, we pulled it off.
Harry, Adele, Kylie . . . you missed the gig of your lives. More fool you.
ANNE’S A REAL TALKER
PRINCESS Anne last week gave a masterclass in interviewing.
Unlike many a celeb/politician, the no-nonsense royal refused to duck or obscure, even when confronted with the most awkward of questions.
Quizzed about the relevance of the monarchy – in the wake of a Commonwealth poll suggesting popularity of the Firm is waning following the death of the Queen – she gave a measured, honest response.
Similarly Anne, a woman I wouldn’t like to cross, gave her frank take on topics ranging from slavery to a slimmed-down monarchy.
In a world rife with cancel culture, her refusal to stay mute on thorny topics is notably refreshing.
We should all be More Anne.
HOW TO TACKLE RACISM
EVERYBODY’S favourite Spurs player* Son Heung-min was seemingly racially abused by a Crystal Palace fan on Saturday.
An investigation has been launched by both clubs after footage circulated on social media of the cretin man making obscene gestures at the South Korean ace.
It’s not enough.
If the FA and Premier League are serious about clamping down on racism, the only way to get tough is, well, to get tough.
Crystal Palace should have a point deducted – as should all clubs whose fans behave abominably.
Pretty sure we’d soon see the end of racism, then.
*Harry Kane perhaps excepted.
VIDEO that shows a trans-gender Starbucks employee throwing out a woman for apparently misgendering her has gone viral.
So, presumably, the next time a Starbucks worker hands me a coffee cup with Clammy/Tammy/Chloe written on it, I, too, can kick off.
OUR PENNY’S FROM HEAVEN
WHAT an absolutely stonking shift from Penny Mordaunt.
Forget her show-stealing outfit which was, btw, VERY Britney Spears circa Toxic 2003.
Imagine the MONTHS of planks, press-ups and shoulder presses it must have taken to get her sword-fit.
DOGGY LOVE TO DIE FOR
A POLL suggests 62 per cent of pet owners share a bed with their cat or dog.
I am one of the 62. And I am, it turns out, also likely to die a long and painful death from some sort of hideous disease.
Because, while exposure to mites from our furry pals can strengthen the immune system, killjoys now say sharing a bed also runs with it the risk of serious infection.
Apparently spooning Dora the miniature dachshund (an exceptionally clean, self-grooming creature) increases the chance of potentially dangerous microbes being transferred.
Such bugs can cause conditions including mange or even Lyme disease.
Nope. Not even a bout of Lyme, sprinkled with a liberal dose of cholera and typhoid, could stop me bed-sharing with my mutt from heaven.
ON the subject of dogs, specifically mine, it turns out grandparents don’t just spoil their human dependants.
My folks recently babysat Dora for ten nights when I was in LA for work.
Every day, without fail, I’d get updates from my dad about Dora’s food intake, bowel movements and ball-chasing skills.
“She really loves minced beef (20 per cent fat) with melted butter,” read one text.
“But would not touch the tinned chicken. So she’s having some steak tonight. With butter.”
Erm. Cut to collecting Dora . . . and being greeted by Jabba the bloody Hutt. Officially 0.5kg heavier, little Fatty is now on her strict beach-body-ready diet.
THE BBC gets a lot wrong. But its coverage of Saturday’s Coronation was nigh-on pitch perfect, with Clare Balding as calm, empathetic and unflappable as ever.
Her commentary, gently peppered with archaic facts, quirks and throw-away asides, was everything our national broadcaster should be.
And the very reason we have a licence fee.
A few technical hitches aside – this is the BBC after all – it’s little wonder more than 18million of us tuned in.
MUCH debate over the dangers of AI, and how robots will soon replace mankind.
But for as long as artificial intelligence can produce gems like this, of what Henry VIII would look like now, bring it on.