Ahead of the coronation of King Charles III, around 400 servicemen and women from 33 Commonwealth nations and six British Overseas Territories took part in a joint parade at the Pirbright Army Training Centre in southeast England.
The troops were presented with a commemorative coin in recognition of their efforts, and have been training for several days ahead of the ceremonial procession for the coronation on May 6, 2023.
According to Squadron Leader Mitchell Brown of the Australian Armed Forces, the troops have had a fantastic time integrating and exchanging patches, coins, and memorabilia with one another.
However, King Charles III’s coronation has been largely viewed with apathy in Britain’s former colonies, and campaigners from 12 Commonwealth countries have written to the monarch urging him to apologize for the legacies of British colonialism.
Among the signatories was an Australian senator, who said Charles should “begin a process of repairing the damage of colonization, including returning the stolen wealth that has been taken from our people.”
Buckingham Palace said last month that Charles supported research into the historical links between Britain’s monarchy and the slave trade.
In India, which was once the jewel of the British Empire, there is little interest in the coronation, and some people may not have even heard of King Charles III. Similarly, in Kenya, memories of Britain’s harsh response to the Mau Mau rebellion in the 1950s are still raw, and many Kenyans will not watch the coronation “because of the torture during colonialism, because of the oppression, because of detentions, because of killings, because of the alienation of our land,” according to a political analyst and journalism professor at the University of Nairobi.