Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths and his music composer wife Joanna Marsh at their bedecked home in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The coronation of King Charles III in a historic ceremony in London on Saturday has become the talk of the town with the UAE’s British expats marking a truly celebratory weekend.

With the coronation, the biggest ceremonial event in seven decades, King Charles III went down in history books as the oldest British monarch to have the 360-year-old St Edward’s Crown placed on his head as he sat upon a 14th century throne in London’s Westminster Abbey.

For Britons out here, it was an unmissable event, a festivity almost as they bedecked their homes, held parties and watched the coronation with pride and joy.

Reason to celebrate: Clockwise from top: Paul Griffiths, Caroline Grey, Sarah Lindsay, AWS Ismail, Joanne Marsh and Mohammed Marria. Image Credit: Gulf News

I cooked Toad in the Hole and we had Lemon Meringue Pie: Paul Griffiths

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, told Gulf News: “We started the day by hanging up some traditional bunting, then spent the morning in eager anticipation, preparing some traditional British fare for a few friends to eat on our laps huddled around the TV.”

He said, “I cooked Toad in the Hole with onion gravy, then we had Lemon Meringue Pie which was something my mother used to make on Royal occasions, followed by homemade Scones with jam and cream. We couldn’t take our eyes off the screen for the whole event - the music was absolutely divine and the whole occasion served as a reminder that when it comes to pomp and circumstance, no nation does it better.”


The music was extraordinary and deeply moving: Joanna Marsh

For his wife and well-known British composer Joanna Marsh, the music was particularly appealing.

“There is no country that does pageantry like the UK. They really know how to put together an impressive and flawless ceremony that oulls in history and ritual while uniting the diverse communities in a very modern way,” she said.

“The music was the extraordinary and deeply moving element of the whole thing. Performed by some of our top musicians, with new music written by some of the most able composers working today and master works from our British musical heritage, it was a great joy to see music valued and doing such an important job at the coronation,” she added.

We did a British-themed lunch: AWS Ismail

Another British expat AWS Ismail, Director, Marc Ellis, said, “It was great to have witnessed such a historic moment. It’s been over 90 years since the last coronation and I wanted to make sure I did not miss it.”

He said he had invited a few of his friends at his place so they could celebrate together. “We did a British-themed lunch while we celebrated. Congratulations King Charles!” he added.

How strong our national pride is still: Sarah Lindsay

Celebrity personal trainer of ROAR and former Olympian Sarah Lindsay too had her own celebration. “I stayed at home and watched the ceremony with a roast dinner. I might go out for another today. I rarely miss the UK but when I see the whole of London out celebrating on the streets together, it reminds me of how strong our national pride still is. What I liked most about this ceremony was the reminder of how lucky we are to have such a rich and deep history.”

May the King wear the crown with grace: Mohammed Marria

Reflecting on the connotations of the coronation, Mohammed Marria of Just Wills in Dubai, said, “As the crown is placed upon the head of the new monarch, the weight of history, tradition and responsibility is also placed upon the shoulders. May he wear it with grace, honour the past, and lead with wisdom into the future.”

I loved the King's engagement with his Queen at the height of the formalities: Caroline Grey

Supermodel Caroline Grey said, “As a staunch Royalist, I have been glued to the coverage of His Majesty’s coronation. I am deeply proud of him and the working Royals for what they do for my country. I loved his engagement through a shared smile with his Queen at the height of the formalities. I think tradition and the deep values that our Royal Family hold for all of us is very important.”