I have seen His Royal Highness King Charles in real life just once.

It was somewhere many miles out at sea; he was serving on HMS Minerva as a humble sub-lieutenant.

I was even humbler, serving on the Guided Missile Destroyer HMS Devonshire.

However, one sunny day in the warmer climes, I was standing alone on the ship’s bow as we passed HMS Minerva very closely, and who would be doing the same standing alone in the bow of his ship, young Prince Charles.

No, I never waved or shouted Yoo-hoo.

Now that humble sub-lieutenant is Admiral of the Fleet, King Charles III, Commander in Chief of Britain’s armed forces, and I write books!

Northwich Guardian: King George VI coronation in Northwich High Street, May 12, 1937King George VI coronation in Northwich High Street, May 12, 1937 (Image: Paul Hurley)

Yesterday, HRH was crowned King of England and its colonies. So perhaps time to look at past coronations with a few anecdotes, starting with the death of Queen Victoria.

Edward VII (1901 to 1910), crowned on August 9, 1902

His son George was then crowned king. He reigned for just nine years and died aged 68.

His body lay in state in Westminster Hall, where a quarter of a million people filed past. On May 20, he was buried in St Georges Chapel, Windsor.

George V (1910 to 1936), crowned on June 22, 1911

George reigned for 26 years, and his death was quite contentious.

In 1928 he became seriously ill with a chronic lung disease and was warned by his doctor to be very careful for the rest of his reign.

Northwich Guardian: 1911 Coronation Procession in High Street, Winsford1911 Coronation Procession in High Street, Winsford (Image: Paul Hurley)

A palace rumour is that he was advised to spend time in Bognor Regis recuperating, to which he replied, ‘Bugger Bognor’.

Eight years later, he was extremely sick and dying. The royal physician injected him with an overdose mixture of cocaine and morphine into his jugular vein in order to end his life as painlessly as possible.

His son Edward was next in line to the throne.

Edward VIII (Jan - Dec 1936) was king for 325 days but was never crowned

The reasons behind it are pretty well known. Like the current Harry, Duke of Sussex, he met and fell in love with an American divorcee.

In those days, it was much more serious than today, and he was obliged to either give her up or abdicate.

Northwich Guardian: Dierden Street, Winsford, dressed for the coronation in 1953Dierden Street, Winsford, dressed for the coronation in 1953 (Image: Paul Hurley)

He chose the latter, and dare I say it; like the present Duke of Sussex, he made many mistakes, but which were much more severe.

He came close to being arrested for his Nazi sympathies and behaviour.

George VI (1936-1952), crowned on May 12, 1937

He was married to Elizabeth, and she reigned alongside him as Queen Elizabeth. They were highly respected, especially through the Second World War.

They declined the offer to travel to the safety of Canada. Spending the war travelling the country and standing with the people, many of whom had suffered the effects of Hitler’s bombs, including the bombing of their own Buckingham Palace.

Northwich Guardian: Queen Elizabeth II coronation celebrations in Castle Street 1953Queen Elizabeth II coronation celebrations in Castle Street 1953 (Image: Paul Hurley)

They had two daughters Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth, and Princess Margaret.

Elizabeth II (1952 – 2022), crowned June 2, 1953

Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-serving monarch who died on September 8 last year. Her husband Prince Philip pre-deceased her on April 9, 2021.

The death of Her Majesty meant her eldest son Charles became King Charles III. It was his coronation yesterday (Saturday, May 6, 2023).

Across the country, street parties are being held, flags will be flying, and the British military will give their usual first-class ceremonial parades.

Northwich Guardian: Coronation 1953Coronation 1953 (Image: Paul Hurley)

So all that is left to say is that Long Live King Charles and Queen Camilla, his mother, Queen Elizabeth, will be a hard act to follow, but I wish him all the best in the task before him.