With the coronation in England, we certainly saw a lot of pomp and ceremony going on. It is something that the British and royal family are really big on. Ceremonies are sort of prearranged scripted actions that hold a lot of meaning, while pomp is added to make the ceremonies as big, exciting and colourful as possible.

There was a horse drawn coach, all in gold, for the new king and queen. Then three other coaches for the immediate family. As many as 7,000 military personnel were in full regalia marching, riding horses or standing guard with flags everywhere. There were 19 military marching bands playing away and one of those bands was riding horses. Now, a band marching and playing musical instruments takes a lot of practice, especially doing it on horses. That is quite a feat of dexterity and I bet a few of the members got bruised lips in the process. Someday I expect they will have a band riding electric skateboards or one-wheel scooters.

The King and Queen returning from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace in the Gold State Coach. Katie Chan/Wikimedia Commons

Pomp is one of the words you just don’t hear very often, and it is almost always associated with ceremony. I have never heard anyone say they plan to pomp up their house or automobile. But it is big, especially in certain countries and cultures. It’s as if people say let’s make the event as big, as colorful and as impressive as possible. Oddly enough, some countries do this with military parades to show the world just how many troops, missiles, and guns they have.

It is also interesting to see all the elaborate costumes these royals have. They are also part of the pomp. You must wonder at some of them. Someone one day must have said ‘let’s make a robe for the king and queen and we will make them so big and long, that we also need a bunch of kids to carry their trains, so they don’t drag on the ground’. These aren’t clothes you would walk around the house in or wear while you are trying to mow the lawn or weed the garden. They are show clothes, meant to impress, not work clothes.

If you stop to think about it, all clothes are costumes in their own way. Most people don’t think about that when they get up in the morning and put their clothes on for the day. Yet if you were to visit other parts of the world, you might be the only one dressed the way you are because different cultures and countries have different clothes. Some even dictate what clothes you can and cannot wear.

Here in Canada, there are some fancy restaurants and events where, if you are male, you are expected to wear a suit and tie. In fact, many of our political institutions demand it. If you want to be an MLA or MP, you are expected to wear what they consider appropriate attire, namely a suit and tie. I really find this odd. It is a form of elitism. I could never be a politician because I don’t even own a suit and I really have problems with ties. They look like symbolic nooses to me, and I just don’t understand their purpose. Why would you wear a rope around your neck that you could be strangled with?

Humans do have some mighty strange customs and standards. Next time you go out, look at what people are wearing and from their clothes try to figure out who they are and what they do. What costume did they decide to wear for the day? Are they professional people, office workers, outdoor workers, not working, seniors or retired? Also how long did it take them to get dressed in their costume for the day — and what did it cost them?

Some people get dressed in mere seconds, while others take literally hours and spend a lot of time shopping and at places to get their hair and nails done. They spend a lot of time and money on grooming, dressing, and adding to their pomp.

Just imagine all the hours that were spent on it for the coronation, not just for the king and queen but for all the other troops and people involved in the show or simply attending it. There was a whole lot of pomp and ceremony going on.


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