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Celebrating the Coronation in Chelmsford

Happy and glorious coronation banner

We know many of you are looking forward to the Coronation of Their Majesties The King and Queen on 6 May. The Coronation weekend is coming up fast with just over a week to go, so we’ve gathered this guide to celebrations taking place across Chelmsford to mark the event.

City Centre celebratory decorations

For those coming to our city centre over the Coronation weekend, we’ll have bunting up in the High Street to mark the occasion. The Coronation flag, featuring the emblem created by Sir Jony Ive, will also be flying from the Civic Centre on Duke Street.

Over by Central Park, our distinctive willow crown, created to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, will be adorned with stunning solar red, white and blue lights from 2 May.

Riverside Leisure Centre and Essex County Cricket Club will also be lit up to celebrate the crowning of King Charles III.

Fun Days and Big Lunches

Many community events and Big Lunches are taking place across Chelmsford next weekend. You can check out your local Parish or Town Council website or social media channels for information on planned events or search via the Coronation events map.

Map icon

Here’s an overview of just some of the many community events planned.

At Little Waltham Memorial Hall and Taylors Park a Coronation Event and Picnic will be held on 6 May. During the event you can watch the Coronation on a big screen and enjoy varied activities, including a fancy dress competition.

You can also watch the Coronation live at a Family Day on 6 May at Runwell Sports and Social Club. Taking place from 11am–4pm, the event will feature the televised Coronation, garden games, crafts, face painting and balloon animals. Don’t forget to bring your own picnic!

South Woodham Ferrers Town Council is holding a Coronation Big Lunch event behind the Village Hall, 12pm–5pm on 7 May. The event includes plenty of food stalls, bouncy castles, a birds of prey display, and varied live acts including an ABBA tribute band. You may even notice some royal-looking guests in attendance!

SWF Town Council Big Lunch Poster

Danbury Village Coronation Fete takes place from 1pm–6pm on 7 May at the Dawson Fields behind Danbury Leisure Centre. Expect a picnic area, food stalls, live entertainment, inflatables, a giant assault course, craft market, face painting and community competitions.

Traditional afternoon teas

What better way to celebrate the crowning of a new monarch than the quintessentially British tradition of afternoon tea?

You can enjoy delightful afternoon teas over the Coronation weekend from Phoebe’s Pantry in Compass Gardens or The Hive Café in Oaklands Park.

Takeaway afternoon tea boxes allow you to enjoy delicious sandwiches and scones, traditional cakes, and colourful Union Jacks from the comfort of your own home as you watch the Coronation.

Tea in a box from Phoebe’s Pantry ranges from £35 for two people to £45 for a family feast. You can also order an 8” Victoria sponge with red, white, and blue buttercream frosting and fresh berries for £25. Pre-order your takeaway tea by messaging them on Facebook.

Takeaway tea from The Hive Café is £16.95 for adults and £8.95 for children. The Hive Café will also be offering in person afternoon tea with bottomless hot tea on 6 May. Slots are available at 10am, 12.30pm and 3pm. Order your takeaway box or book a table by messaging them on Facebook or emailing enquiries@hivecafechelmsford.co.uk.

Special Service at Chelmsford Cathedral

On 5 May, a special service will be held at Chelmsford Cathedral to celebrate The Coronation of His Majesty The King.

Beginning at 5.15pm, the service will feature readings, prayers, and music from the Cathedral Choir, all specially selected for this historic occasion.

The service is ticketed, and spaces are still available to reserve. The service will also be live streamed from the cathedral’s Facebook page for those who can’t attend in person.

Chelmsford Cathedral - credit Rodger Tamblyn
Credit: Rodger Tamblyn.

Chelmsford Cathedral’s regal coronation display

From 2–8 May, you can visit Chelmsford Cathedral to explore a regal coronation display exploring the history and symbolism of the coronation ceremony.

The display will also feature creative contributions from the pupils of The Cathedral School. While visiting, you can write a message of congratulations to Their Majesties and add it onto the Cathedral’s community board. Following the Coronation, Chelmsford Cathedral will send the board of messages to Buckingham Palace.

Ring for The King

On 6 May, Chelmsford Cathedral will join churches and cathedrals across the country in a Ring for The King to mark the Coronation.

From 9.30am, the cathedral’s bell ringers will be attempting a full peal of 5,000 changes, lasting a whopping three-and-a-half hours.

All 12 bells will ring out from the cathedral tower during the session. Do stop by the Cathedral grounds to enjoy the melodic peal.

Exploring coronations and street parties at Chelmsford Museum

Chelmsford Museum will be looking back at the UK’s last coronation – that of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 – in a coronation-themed display.

Fashions of 70 years ago will be explored, with 1950s dresses on display, including some of the styles which would have been worn at the Coronation Ball held in Shire Hall in 1953.

The display will also explore the uniquely British custom of street parties, featuring part of the gallery dressed for a street party with plenty of coronation memorabilia.

Also among the items being displayed at the museum is a replica of the miniature bible used at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Lynton Lamb, its binding is intricately decorated with gold leaf.

For the little ones, a brand-new museum trail explores objects with royal links in the museum’s collections. Children will learn about royal monograms, coats of arms and crowns as they hunt for Jubilee napkins, a palace coat of arms, and an orb among other varied items. Stickers are up for grabs for those who successfully complete the trail!

Visit Chelmsford Museum from 4 May to see the royal display.

Chelmsford Festival’s Big Lunch in June

We know some of you will be celebrating the Coronation weekend with your own street parties on 7 May. Please show us your celebrations and share your street party or Big Lunch photos with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Don’t forget, as part of this focus on bringing neighbours together, Chelmsford Festival will be holding a Big Lunch in Central Park on 10 June. The event will celebrate the Month of Community, extending the Coronation’s community legacy.

Chelmsford Festival Poster

The Big Help Out

Big Help Out Monday 8 May banner

One of the most meaningful ways you can celebrate the Coronation is by volunteering your time.

In honour of The King’s decades of public service, His Majesty is asking people to spend a day volunteering in the nationwide The Big Help Out initiative, starting on 8 May.

We’ve been working with Chelmsford CVS to highlight some of the best volunteering opportunities across the district. Find out about these and how you can get involved in The Big Help Out in our City Life article.

You can also search opportunities on the Chelmsford CVS website, the Volunteer Essex website and via the Coronation events map.

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Cherelle Nightingill
Cherelle Nightingill

Cherelle writes about Chelmsford Theatre, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford Museum, the Mayor of Chelmsford and culture and events in the city.