Pervez Qureshi amongst a very few British Bangladeshi to have attended the King’s Coronation
On Saturday 6th May, the whole world watched King Charles III and Queen Camilla being crowned at London’s Westminster Abbey.
The Coronation service began with around 2,200 people from 203 countries, including world leaders, foreign royalties, and members of the Royal Family.
Amongst the very few people from the British Bangladeshi community in the UK who attended was Pervez Qureshi BEM, of Brick Lane Funeral Services and Vice Chairman of Bangladesh Probashi Kallyan Parishad (BPKP).
“The invitation was sent about two months ago, and I was shocked. I couldn’t make it out whether it was real or a prank by friends because I knew that only 2000 guests would be invited and one of them would not be me. But feel privileged to be amongst the invitees.” Reminisced Pervez.
“On the day, I was there from 7.00 am. It was undoubtedly a unique event, and I was one of the privileged ones invited to attend and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was also privileged to be in the front row.
“I was there representing not just the British Bangladeshis, but the British Muslim community too. We did not talk, but only in gestures of acknowledgement.
“I think I was invited because, during the pandemic, Brick Lane Funeral Service continued to provide this vital service to the community and the community nominated me to receive the British Empire Medal (BEM).
“It has not sunk in yet that I had the privilege of attending the most prestigious ceremony in the world.” Added Pervez.
Politicians and leaders of several UK political parties including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, leader of the opposition, Sir Keir Starmer and First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf were among the guests.
Also present from the British Bangladeshi community were community champions Mohammed Afruz Miah from Oldham, and Wazid Hassan Shelim of Pride of Asia.
What happened at the King’s Coronation?
There are several stages to this two-hour service. The procession set off from Buckingham Palace at around 10:30am and moved through the streets of London where crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.
Firstly, the congregation at the Abbey pledged their allegiance to the King and proclaim him the “undoubted King”.
Secondly, after taking an oath where he promised to do the duties of the monarch, the King gets anointed with holy oil before being presented with the items of regalia.
They include the Royal Orb; representing religious and moral authority; the Sceptre, representing power; and the Sovereign’s Sceptre, a rod of gold topped with a white enamelled dove, a symbol of justice and mercy.
Thirdly, Charles gets officially crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. He placed the 360-year-old St Edward’s Crown on the monarch’s head before proclaiming: “God save the King” and trumpet fanfare sounded around the Abbey. The crown holds 444 separate jewels and gemstones, including sapphires and rubies.
Lastly, the King sat on a special coronation chair, which included the stone of destiny as he was officially crowned monarch – the first coronation ceremony in seven decades.
And then it was his wife, Camilla’s turn. She was crowned Queen in a simpler ceremony soon afterwards with Queen Mary’s Crown being placed on her head.
A military coronation flypast then took place, watched by the King and Queen from the Palace balcony.
It was formed with the Royal Air Force aerobatic team, The Red Arrows.
As the jets flew overhead, they trailed their famous red, white and blue smoke.
Who did not attend?
Meghan Markle and her children remained at home in California.
Joe Biden did not attend, keeping with precedent: No sitting U.S. president has ever attended a British coronation.
Countries not invited to send representatives include Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela and Iran.