Coventry celebrates its royal connections ahead of the King’s Coronation
A 500-year-old tapestry and Princess Diana’s Mini Metro are among the main attractions on a royal trail, which visitors to the city can follow as part of the Coronation Weekend celebrations.
Coventry has nearly 1,000 years of links to royalty, and residents, as well as visitors to the city are being encouraged to discover its rich history over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Visit Coventry has launched a new campaign to celebrate history and heritage in the city, and put together a list of places to visit that showcase how royal connections have shaped the city’s past, present and future.
Coventry has been no stranger to Royal Visits and last welcomed King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort in 2021 – but Coventrians and visitors to the city can explore royal connections dating back to the 11th century.
Coventry was granted to Leofric, Earl of Mercia, in 1043 by King Canute. Lady Godiva was the wife of Leofric and a statue of Lady Godiva was unveiled in the city centre in 1949.
Visitors can still see the statue today in the heart of Broadgate, which will host a free family street party for the city on May 7.
Coventry’s Charterhouse has recently reopened its doors, but was itself visited by royalty 638 years ago. The Charterhouse gained its first royal patrons in King Richard II and his queen, Anne of Bohemia. The king laid the foundation stone of the new church of Carthusians on a visit in September 1385.
Charterhouse will be renewing its Royal connections with a live streaming of the Coronation on May 6 and day of family of activities.
Visitors to St Mary’s Guildhall in the city centre can marvel at the Coventry Tapestry, which is over 500 years old and thought to be the oldest tapestry still in its original location in Britain.
The tapestry depicts a couple though to be Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou, who both had a close relationship with the city of Coventry.
Queen Elizabeth II laid the foundation stone at the new Coventry Cathedral in 1956 and returned in 1962 for its consecration. The cathedral remains one of the country’s most impressive pieces of architecture and will be holding a service in celebration of the Coronation on May 7.
By visiting Coventry Canal Basin, the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and Coventry Library, visitors to the city centre can follow in the footsteps of King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, on their visit in 2021.
The 1980 Austin Mini Metro L which was once owned by Diana, Princess of Wales, has been on display at Coventry Transport Museum since 2022.
It was owned Princess Diana until 1981 and is thought to have been a gift from the then Prince of Wales. Diana visited the city herself in 1985, when she toured Remploy’s factory on Torrington Avenue.
Paul Jones, managing director at Visit Coventry, said: “Coventry is steeped in royal history and you can see the positive impact the monarchy has had on the city at some of our most impressive attractions.
“The weekend is a great opportunity to visit the Coventry and immerse yourself in its history. There is something for everyone from medieval history to iconic 20th century vehicles.
“It’s set to be a fantastic weekend of celebration all across the city.”
A free garden party at Coombe Country Park will take place around the formal gardens on May 7, with Victorian ribbon games, street food, a funfair and more.
The Quicken Tree at The Heart of England Conference and Events Centre has a packed programme of food, fun and family activities throughout the Coronation Weekend.
To find out more about what’s on in Coventry over the Coronation Weekend visit www.visitcoventry.co.uk/the-kings-coronation-in-coventry