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Gloucestershire Business News

Celebrating the 800th anniversary of coronation of Henry III

A superb programme of events will take place this Saturday as part of the Gloucester History Festival to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the coronation of Henry III at Gloucester Cathedral.

As well as re-entactment of the enthronement, attractions to mark the occasion include a King's Tournament featuring famous knights, medieval dancing and the chance to meet knights and ladies of the Court.

Gloucester schoolboy Fraser Martin, 11, will play the role of Henry after winning the 'Search for a King' competition.

He will be joined by his footmen Harry Morris, 8, and 11-year old Toby Sellers.

Fraser said: "I am really excited about being king for the day and am looking forward to being crowned in the cathedral.

"I've had a costume fitting - it looks just like it would have been at the time. I get to wear a red cloak, some really weird trousers and the shoes are great, really old looking."

The re-enactment of the coronation parade will process through Gloucester city centre at 12.30pm on Saturday.

The 'king' will be carried aloft on a ceremonial chair from Blackfriars Priory, along Southgate Street towards The Cross, turning on to Westgate Street before making its way to the Cathedral via College Street.

The Henry III coronation re-enactment will be presided over by The Right Reverend Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester.

King Henry was crowned as a nine-year old boy at St Peter's Abbey, the old name for Gloucester Cathedral, following the death of the infamous King John.

The event in 1216 was the last time an English or British monarch was crowned outside of London and Westminster Abbey.

Following the coronation and enthronement ceremony, there will be a planting of a yew tree in the cathedral grounds as part of a national initiative to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

At 2pm, the new 'King Henry' will be entertained by his new subjects, played by the Plantagenet Medieval Society, on Cathedral Green.

Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council, said: "The coronation of Henry III is a truly historic occasion that Gloucester can lay claim to.

"It is important that we celebrate our heritage as a city, especially when it is of national significance."

The timetable for Saturday's proceedings is as follows:

10.00am Museum of Gloucester exhibition - Henry III: Good King or Bad Ruler?

10.00am Medieval market in the Gloucester Cathedral Cloisters opens

10.30am Children's activities in the cathedral

12.30pm Coronation parade begins at Blackfriars Priory

1.15pm Coronation and enthronement ceremony in the cathedral

1.45pm Planting of the Yew tree

2.00pm Medieval entertainment on Cathedral Green

7.30pm Talk at Blackfriars Priory by Marc Morris - Henry III: Kingship and Crisis

For more information, visit www.gloucestershistoryfestival.co.uk.

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