Work has been underway for months to prepare the parks to host such a momentous occasion, involving hundreds of members of Royal Parks staff and contractors. Preparations have included the cleaning of statues and monuments in the parks including the Queen Victoria Memorial, the repainting and re-gilding of Canada Gate – the grand entrance to The Green Park outside Buckingham Palace, the removal of bollards and railings along the ceremonial route, the planting of 2000 marigold bulbs in the flower beds and borders and re-seeding of grass areas.
Other points of note:
On Saturday 6th May, The Mall’s distinctive ‘red carpet,’ lined with union and Commonwealth flags will host the outgoing King’s Procession and incoming Coronation Procession.
Big screens in Hyde Park, The Green Park and St James’s Park will broadcast the procession and Coronation service live. Volunteer Rangers from The Royal Parks will be on hand at the screening sites to assist the public with queries.
On Sunday 7th May, there will be a free live screening of the Coronation Concert in St James’s Park.
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The Royal Parks has also produced a special mini-series podcast: The Royal Parks Coronation Cast which looks back at coronations past and reveals what goes in to hosting a Royal celebration. The episodes take listeners on a journey through the iconic spaces which form the backdrop to major ceremonial occasions and feature interviews with key people involved in planning for them, as well as someone who attended the last Coronation in 1953.
Arwyn Davies, Ceremonial Operations Manager said: ‘We’re incredibly excited to be hosting such a historic occasion within the Royal Parks. Our teams have been working hard for months to prepare and we really hope it’s a memorable day for everyone who joins us, with the parks as the perfect backdrop.’
On Monday 8th May, as part of The Big Help Out, The Royal Parks are hosting a special volunteering opportunity in The Green Park. Volunteering veterans and newcomers alike are invited to plant a selection of native wildflowers, covering the area of the floral tributes to the late Queen Elizabeth II. The flowering plants will create a lasting tribute and provide vital food for foraging insects. A selection of blue and purple flowers will be planted in a river-like formation to mark where the River Tyburn once ran through the park. To sign up, visit our Big Help Out webpage.
Bryony Cross, Volunteering and Programmes Manager said: ‘The Big Help Out is an incredible initiative and a great chance for us to showcase the fantastic volunteering opportunities we have at The Royal Parks.’
‘If you’re new to volunteering, or horticulture, this will be a great opportunity to give it a go – we’d be delighted to welcome you.’