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Community / Community events to mark coronation of King Charles III

CELEBRATING today’s (Saturday) coronation of King Charles III and the Queen Consort is set to be a rather low-key affair in Shetland.

While Lerwick Town Hall and other official buildings will fly the union flag, there will be no official civic event marking the occasion.

Lerwick Town Hall is flying the Union flag today (Saturday).Photo: SIC

And Shetland Islands Council is one of only two Scottish local authorities that have not granted the Monday following the coronation as a public holiday.

Council convener Andrea Manson said: “On behalf of the people of Shetland, I’d like to offer my warmest congratulations to His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen on the day of their coronation.

“This is an important moment in our nation’s history and I am sure many in Shetland and further afield will celebrate this joyous occasion.”

Meanwhile, Lord Lieutenant Bobby Hunter, the representative of the King in Shetland, travelled to London on Friday as an invited guest to witness the coronation in Westminster Abbey.

Hunter said he felt honoured to have been asked to represent the United Kingdom’s most northerly community.

Staff at the Kitchen Table in Cunningsburgh have had a busy day serving High Teas on Friday ahead of the King’s Coronation. Photo:Dave Donaldson

He said: “I have met King Charles several times in Clarence House and St James’ Palace – he is a pretty affable individual I have to say, and of course he was up here in 2021 for the opening of the two fish markets.

“He certainly come here well prepared and knew what he was on about and was exceptionally good to deal with.”

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Meanwhile, the coronation of Charles III who became king after the death of his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth in September last year, will not go entirely unnoticed in the isles.

A number of organisations across the islands are putting on private parties such as the Scalloway Coronation Big Lunch.

The village’s youth centre is planning a celebration on Saturday between 12pm and 2pm featuring sea shanties, a hat dressing competition, stories, games and much more.

It is now taking place at the Scalloway hall following an electrical fault at the youth centre.

Co-organiser Sonia Inkster is passionate about reducing isolation on the island and bringing people of all ages together.

She said: “The Coronation Big Lunch has really given us something to look forward to. Rain or shine, it’s a firm fixture in our calendar each and every year – and this time it’s extra special.

Baltasound postmistress Valerie Johnson in her coronation decorated post office.

“We’ll be opening up the youth centre, putting tables on the seafront and inviting everyone to enjoy some food, music and togetherness.”

Other events include:

  • The Bridge End Kirk in Burra will have a big screen up and invites everybody in the community to join them watching the coronation on the BBC between 10am and 3pm;
  • And there will be coronation teas and picnics in a number of villages including Haroldswick and Vidlin.

Meanwhile, the country’s most northerly post office in Baltasound has been marking the big event with coronation decorations galore.

Postmistress Valerie Johnson said: “People remember that King Charles has been to Shetland a few times throughout his life. They are pleased that he has visited the outer reaches of the UK.

“My customers have been keen to get the 50p coins and stamps with the King’s head on the flower stamps which also had the small Kings head in the corner. There has been a lot of interest.

“People liked it when I put up lot of decorations for the Queen’s special Platinum Jubilee and now, I wanted to mark the King’s historic coronation.

“The King really cares about the environment and loves the outdoors and that matters to the people of Unst and Shetland.”

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