The 20th february 1547 was a day of celebration in London.
Their new King, Edward VI, was to be crowned in Westminster Abbey.
He was only 9 years old and must have looked tiny against all the adults in his parade. You could also ask just how much of the ceremony he truly understood. He had been raised as a future king, but he had not been expected to take the throne at such a young age. His father’s death in January of 1547 pushed him forward into the role.
He did have a council to help him in the running of the country, though Edward Seymour had been placed at the head of this council, and he was not as popular as he thought he was!
But this day was about him alone.
He travelled to the Abbey under his cloth of estate with noblemen all around him. The service of coronation is said to have been shortened because of his young age, from 12 hours to just 7 !!
After being helped onto the throne in the Abbey, he sat while Archbishop Cranmer officiated. It is said that his sister Mary thought he would tire during the service but was surprised by how attentive her young brother was.
One can wonder if she ever envisioned at that time that she would be the next person to sit on that throne in the Abbey (Jane Grey was not crowned in the Abbey).
Once he had been crowned, the procession made it’s way back to Westminster for the coronation banquet.
It is reported that the following two days were also set aside in celebrations, with jousting and much entertainment. What a 9 year old must have made of all that in his honour !!
He was the first King to have been brought up in the reformer religion, his father having split with the Catholic Church many years previously. When he became King, he became Defender of the Faith. A big title for such a young boy.
I wonder exactly how much the pressure of coming to the throne so young affected him? Did it contribute to his early death?
In history child Kings always seem to have troublesome times on the throne (think of Henry VI) and often shortened reigns (think Richard II, Edward V). Maybe coming to the throne young was more of a misfortune than a blessing. Sure they would have everything they wanted, but they often paid a heavy price for it.