Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Fascinators and flags: Victoria gets ready for the coronation

Greater Victorians are looking for everything from special frocks to bunting and souvenir teacups as they prepare for this weekend’s coronation of King Charles III
House of Lily Koi owner Shai Thompson, left, and sales rep Karen Takacs with the store's stock of fascinators, a headpiece often worn in the U.K. for high-society events. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

At House of Lily Koi in Sidney, a steady stream of customers is turning up looking for fascinators.

At Limey, The British Shop in downtown Victoria, they want bunting and flags, as well as souvenir plates.

You’d almost think there was a coronation on the horizon.

Karen Haarsma, manager of Limey, The British Shop, said the store has been stocking up on decorations for people hosting parties to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, as well as cups, saucers, plates, mugs and spoons featuring an image of the King for those looking for a keepsake.

A shipment was delayed until mid-week. The store had a wait list of interested customers. And there are a lot, said Haarsma, who is from Hampshire in southern England and hopes to stay awake to watch the live event early Saturday.

“I would like to be in the moment watching it with everybody else in the U.K.”

The coronation ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey in London, starting at 2 a.m. Pacific time on Saturday. Around 2,000 people are invited to watch the ceremony in person. More than 8,000 guests watched when Queen Elizabeth took the throne on June 2, 1953.

At House of Lily Koi, a luxury consignment clothing shop in Sidney, owner Shai Thompson is busy with customers wanting to dress up for the occasion. Many are looking for “fun and playful” fascinator hats to look the part of a royal, she said.

“They want to be able to be with their friends and capture the moment in time.”

At Murchie’s Fine Tea and Coffee, a special coronation black tea blend is for sale, featuring a dominant ­Darjeeling flavour and black teas from ­Yunnan and Ceylon, said manager Michelle Mavis.

Special-edition coronation tea ­towels in a royal blue are selling well, Mavis said.

Government House and the legislature will be illuminated in the colours of the coronation, along with other landmarks across the country. A new path through the woodlands of Government House is being developed in honour of the occasion.

A garden party celebrating the coronation will take place at Government House in the summer, but a date has not been announced.

Bruce Hallsor, past chair of the Victoria branch of the Monarchist League of Canada, plans to travel to Ottawa to watch the ceremony with lieutenant governors and Supreme Court judges. There will be a swearing of oaths to the King following the coronation.

“I’m excited to be part of it. It’s not very often that the crown passes from one monarch to another and this is an important celebration,” Hallsor said.

He said the ceremony goes back more than 1,000 years and will be watched by millions of people around the world, “because it will be a spectacular event, but also one with deep ties to ancient history.”

[email protected]

>>> To comment on this article, write a letter to the editor: [email protected]