HL Deb 11 April 1838 vol 42 cc543-5
The Marquess of Londonderry

was sorry that the noble Viscount at the head of her Majesty's Government was not present, as he wished to elicit information on a subject of considerable importance. It was with great regret he perceived, from the proclamation which had appeared in the Gazette, that it was in the contemplation of her Majesty's Ministers to follow, in the ensuing Coronation, the precedent which had been set at the coronation of his late Majesty. He wished, therefore, distinctly to know, whether it was the intention of her Majesty's Ministers to pursue the same line as to the forms to be observed on this occasion which had been adopted at the last coronation, or whether those ceremonies would be observed which were formerly considered indispensable? In the present instance, he confessed he was of opinion, when a young and illustrious personage was coming to the throne—when it was unlikely that another coronation would take place for many years—when, most probably, few of their Lordships would witness another, that the ceremony should be marked by royal splendor and magnificence. In his view of the subject royalty ought not to be shorn of its beams on this occasion. Any diminution of proper splendor would not be consisten with the dignity of this great and loyal country. He would say more, that such a species of economy as would effect a small saving by omitting a considerable part of the ceremony, would be in every respect objectionable. When a gorgeous embassy was sent to a foreign nation, when the representative of majesty was present at the coronation of a foreign potentate, he could see no reason why there should be any diminution of splendor on this occasion. They were, on the contrary, bound in duty to see that the august ceremony of the coronation in this country was celebrated with due magnificence, and that the whole of the customary forms were preserved. Such being his opinion, he should think it his duty on a future day to submit a motion to their Lordships on the subject. If ever there was a moment when all parties with one accord joyfully hailed the commencement of an auspicious reign—if ever there was a moment when all parties were anxious to see the coronation celebrated in the most splendid manner that this country was capable of affording—it was the present moment. And more especially when they looked around them, and saw the desire of change and innovation which was daily gaining ground, they ought at such a period to testify their veneration for those ancient marks of outward respect which were connected with the august ceremony of the coronation. He felt very strongly on the subject, and his determination was, on a very early day after the recess, to offer to their Lordships some motion on the subject.

The Marquess of Lansdowne

regretted that his noble Friend was not present to hear the observations of the noble Earl. His noble Friend was not aware that any business would be brought forward; and, after waiting a quarter of an hour, he had gone away, having a pressing engagement elsewhere. As to the matter to which the noble Marquess had alluded, it was not necessary that he should reply to the observations of the noble Marquess, as it was the intention of the noble Marquess to bring the question forward after the recess. With respect to the arrangement, it had certainly been notified in the Gazette, that the precedent of the last reign, by which the banquet in Westminster-hall was dispensed with, would be followed. But still the matter was open for consideration.

The House adjourned to April 27th for the Easter holidays.

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