‘Joyless’ Scots may miss out on Coronation bonanza
King Charles greeted those waiting in the Mall today ahead of the Coronation
Coronation celebrations will give the economy a lift – though Scotland’s disinterest in the event may see businesses miss out on the spending spree.
Consumers are expected to spend £1.4 billion over the weekend on food, drink and merchandise, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR).
Research from SevenRooms, a guest experience and retention platform, says it could be even higher – generating up to £2.6 billion for the hospitality industry.
SevenRooms predicts that 29 million people will flock to hospitality venues over the three-day bank holiday weekend. Demand for restaurants, pubs and bars is even set to overtake that seen for the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
Supermarket chain Lidl said it has sold enough bunting to line the Coronation procession route 75 times over as street events have also lifted demand for party favourites such as savouries and cakes. Tesco said it was on track to sell 675,000 pork pies and 300,000 pots of clotted cream.
Sales of flags, bunting and paper plates have also soared, while millions are being spent on Coronation souvenirs and memorabilia.
The CRR said spending by foreign tourists could be as high as £323m with much of it spent on accommodation, restaurants and shopping in London.
Extended pub opening hours over the bank holiday should provide a boost to the hospitality sector to the tune of £104m according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
“This would boost spending on any given weekend, but the special occasion of the Coronation itself should likely compound this by providing a special spending buzz, not unlike that seen during major events such as the Football World Cup,” it said.
The boost to the economy is seen as a counter to those who complain about the cost of staging an event that will put Britain in focus around the world.
However, Scotland’s lukewarm response to the event may see its food and drink producers, as well as the hospitality sector, lose out as the country adopts what has been dubbed a “joyless” approach to the Coronation.
A YouGov poll revealed that 72% of Scots did not care about the Coronation while a survey by Lord Ashcroft, a former deputy chairman of the Conservative party, showed that 46% of Scots would prefer a constitutional monarchy and 32% would vote to become a republic. In England, 57% supported the monarchy, with 22% against.
There will be gun salutes at Edinburgh and Stirling Castles and big screens will also show the ceremony at locations including Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh and Glasgow Cathedral.
But there are few signs of the bunting and general mood of celebration evident in the south and in London in particular. In Glasgow, just one application has been submitted for a street party, and even in Edinburgh – home to the monarch’s official Scottish residence – only 11 bids to hold local celebrations have been made to the city council.
The Scottish Green members of the city council today failed in an attempt to “de-recognise” the new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh after saying there was a “lack of democratic legitimacy of the title of Duke”.
Previously held by the late Queen’s husband Prince Philip, the title was passed on to the Duke of Wessex (Edward) on his 59th birthday last March.
Ben Parker, Green group co-convenor on the city council, said: “Royal visits cost the city millions of pounds a year, cause disruption for residents and impact on council business and staff well-being”.
He added: “As a symbol of inherited wealth and power, the Royal Family goes against the values of equality and opportunity that the council claims to hold.”
Conservative group councillor Phil Doggart accused the Greens of “negativity,” adding that ignoring the history and the links between the Royal family and the city “doesn’t do us any favours”. The move was voted down by Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem councillors.
Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf, a republican, will attend the Coronation at Westminster Abbey along with the Lord Advocate and the Permanent Secretary. The SNP leader said he probably would not watch the event if he had not been invited.
A TransPennine train marked the Coronation at a naming ceremony in Edinburgh
The King will be presented with the Honours of Scotland at a separate Scottish Service of Dedication and Thanksgiving, which will take place at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh later this year.
In one of the few visible signs of the Coronation being recognised in Scotland, rail operator TransPennine Express named a Nova 1 train the ‘Palace of Holyroodhouse’ in honour of King Charles III.
The regally-named train – a Class 802 – was unveiled at Edinburgh Waverley Station, just a stone’s throw away from the 16th century palace, and set off on its inaugural journey to the sound of the Border Piper, Sandy Mutch.
No announcements have been received by Daily Business of any commemorative products being made in Scotland to mark the occasion.
Meanwhile, independence supporters have chosen to stage rallies in Glasgow and Edinburgh rather than join in the celebrations.