Coronation Day

Hand-Colored Commemorative Print of George Prince of Wales, later King George V (LEO Design)

Today in England—for the first time in 70 years—a new British monarch will mount the throne: Charles III.  Charles has been Prince of Wales for 65 years, from the age of 10 (although he would have to wait another 11 years for his investiture, in Caernarfon Castle in Wales in 1969).  I will be-up early this morning to witness the festivities.  No one can put-on a pageant like the Brits (except, perhaps, for the Vatican).  I am eager to see the beauty, precision and planning—all on glorious, eye-popping display.  And I anticipate that many people will be surprised at the highly religious dimension to the coronation—especially since the majority of us have never witnessed an English coronation ceremony (the last one celebrated in 1953).

I do not possess an image of Charles, either as King or Prince of Wales.  But I do have this hand-colored print of George, Prince of Wales (who later became King George V).  It was printed on or about 1901 to commemorate his elevation to the title.  He was a navy man, about 36 years old at the time.  Queen Victoria was recently deceased (another long-reigning monarch) and her son, Edward, moved-up from Prince of Wales to King of England.  Edward VII had disapproved of his mother's unwillingness to familiarize him with affairs of state—the tasks and issues which he would be required to handle himself one day.  So Edward kept his son, George, close-at-hand throughout his short, nine year reign.

George had an older brother, Albert Victor, who was expected to take the throne.  But, when George was 27 years old, Albert Victor died of pneumonia, moving George to second in line of succession.  George became King George V in 1910—upon the death of his father, Edward VII (after whom the Edwardian Era is named).  If you saw the first Downton Abbey movie, you will remember the excitement and anxiety of the Crawley family as they prepared for George's visit to their home.

This print is from my private collection.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248