11-Year-Old's Alleged Critique Of King Charles's Coronation Divides Twitter For All The Wrong Reasons

Valid points about the cost of living crisis are being overlooked.
The cost of King Charles III's coronation has raised eyebrows everywhere
The cost of King Charles III's coronation has raised eyebrows everywhere
UK Press Pool via Getty Images

An 11-year-old’s supposed critique of King Charles’s coronation (and its substantial cost) has divided Twitter.

The row stems not from the arguments Jen Watkinson, from Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, made about the bill for the ornate affair, but from the age attached to the comment sent into the Guardian.

What was a point about the cost of the monarch’s coronation – said to be up to £100 million – has been twisted into a question about whether or not an 11-year-old was really capable of writing such feedback.

The message began: “I would like to share my views on the disruption and cost of the King’s coronation.

“My friends and I had our Sats delayed – along with every other year 6 pupil living in England – due to the bank holiday on Monday.

“Did anybody consider the thousands of children whose anxiety would worsen with the interruption?

“Furthermore, I would like to address the amount of money that was used for what was predominantly a party. I have read that up to £100m was spent on the coronation.

“All that money could have been given to food banks across the UK; each would have received about £40,000.”

This sum is based on the fact that there are 2,500 food banks across the UK.

The comment concluded: “Would that not have been a better way to celebrate our new King?”

The comment was shared on the newspaper’s website on Tuesday 9 May, but it really took off when a Guardian columnist Nesrine Malik tweeted a screenshot of it. By Friday, it had more than 1.8 million views.

And it wasn’t long until people were questioning the validity of the comment, although plenty of people came out batting for Jen too:

Regardless of the real author of the note, it’s worth remembering that the government has refused to comment on the expected total cost of the coronation, despite the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Ahead of the event, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “Given the coronation is a national state occasion, funding sources will include the sovereign grant and the UK government.”

However, 51% of respondents in a YouGov poll said they did not think the government should be using the public purse to pay for the event.

Labour’s Richard Burgon called for a debate in the Commons on the amount of public money spent on the event ahead of the coronation.

Meanwhile, Graham Smith, the leader of the anti-monarchy group, Republic, told the Evening Standard: “Charles is already King.

“There is absolutely no need to go through with this expensive pantomime.

“At a cost of tens of millions of pounds, this pointless piece of theatre is a slap in the face for millions of people struggling with the cost of living crisis.”

He organised an anti-monarchy protest on the day of the coronation, only to be arrested two hours before the King was due to arrive at Westminster Abbey.


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