A new king is crowned

In case you haven’t been up since 4 a.m. waiting with bated breath and a full English breakfast, King Charles III’s coronation was this morning, generating fawning and furor. 

What happened: The first coronation of the social media era had similarities to the last one (crowns, beautiful horses) and differences (a sustainability focus, TikTokers). It also had an estimated ~£100 million price tag, a teensy bit more than the ~£1.7 million for Queen Liz’s.

For all its pomp and circumstance, the Coronation still might be a boost, not a bain, to the UK economy. Barclays projects the event could pump ~£180 million into the country through increased pub and restaurant activity and bringing in millions of tourists.

  • In general, the monarchy generates somewhere between £500 million and £1.5 billion for the UK economy every year, depending on the estimate—outstripping the estimated £354 million total annual monarchy-related costs footed by taxpayers.

The coronation will also drive sales at shops around the globe selling Royal merch. From classics like plates and teacups to more bizarre items like official King Charles Nespresso pods, international Royal fans are projected to spend £79 million on coronation tchotchkes.

Yes, but: Tourism dollars aside, critics have questioned the appropriateness of a display of wealth during a time when high interest rates and inflation squeeze millions of Britons dry, a record number of British families use food banks, and ~20% of Britons live in poverty.

In Canada: King Charles is our head of state, too, but the reaction to his Coronation here was more of a shrug than a celebration. At least compared to when his mum took the throne in 1952, in which 100,000 celebrated on Parliament Hill amidst fireworks and horse races

Bottom line: Support for the monarchy is at historic lows in Canada and the UK, but if the coronation (and Met Gala) prove anything, we still love gawking at folks in fancy dress.—QH