May 6, 2023 has been designated an epoch-making day for the present and future history of Great Britain. It is the day when, with all the pomp and tradition of the institution of monarchy, Charles III will be crowned King of the United Kingdom. Former Prince of Wales, Charles, will become the sovereign of one of the great powers of humanity, governing within the limits of a constitutional monarchy and as the leader of the Anglican Church over England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, as well as symbolically representing the dozens of states in the Commonwealth.
Why, at almost a geometric distance between May 1st, International Workers’ Day, and May 10th, Romanian Royalty Day, did Avenor College choose to be part of the institutions that value and celebrate this event, apparently strictly related to British princely custom, history, and secular traditions of the Kingdom?
THE BRITISH EDUCATION SYSTEM
In the first instance, this decision can be interpreted as owing to the type of education assumed by the nature of the curriculum, but also by the formative values adopted by Avenor. Avenor College is affiliated with the British education system, for which it has a great degree of admiration and knowledge, and considers that, through the force of tradition spanning over a thousand years, as well as through the continuous power of innovation and reshaping, especially after 1980, the British school is probably the most reputable and desirable educational model in the world. Valuing and following the values and much of the content of British education, Avenor College is entitled and intrinsically motivated to celebrate Coronation Day.
The history of the British education system is organically linked to the history of the monarchy. From the earliest universities attested in the early Middle Ages and encouraged by the line of kings and queens until contemporary times, we have indisputable evidence that the sovereigns of the United Kingdom have encouraged education, humanist spirit, free and critical thinking. With very few exceptions, British sovereigns have been educated personalities in relation to the eras they illustrated, many of them encouraging culture, libraries, schools, and arts. The last in this illustrious line is the future crowned king, Charles III, a bright personality in relation to his completed studies, permanent curiosity for spiritual enlightenment, solid culture, concern for fellow human beings, and nature.
THE ROMANIAN MONARCHY
Another reason, at least for a culturally open part of Romanians, is that the Romanian monarchy is undoubtedly linked to the British monarchy. The most illustrious case is that of Queen Mary, a historical figure who entered the autochthonous mythological heritage, granddaughter of Empress Victoria, forced to reach a “world’s end” country, and to make this country a veritable homeland, which she served constantly, tending to its wounded soldiers during World War I, consolidating the Great Union in 1918, and guiding its messages through numerous diplomatic diligences worldwide.
WHO IS THE MONARCH CLARLES III
The filiation and historical and cultural connections would probably stop here if we did not go deeper into things and study symbolically WHO is the monarch whose coronation we will celebrate on May 6. And here, recent history and the facts of contemporaneity prove to be much more evident.
History and perhaps fortunate destiny make Romania, for over two decades now, have its most successful ambassador in the person and personality of former Prince Charles and current monarch. Prince Charles has distant kinship ties to Transylvania, with one of his great-grandmothers of noble descent buried in a cemetery in the region of Transylvania. Charles has been drawn to Transylvania since 1998 and developed a great passion for its places, people, and still wild nature. In a perfect symbolic convergence, Charles found in Transylvania the embodiment of his cherished personal values: secular family traditions, architectural gems, rural spaces unspoiled by modernity, ancestral crafts and customs, forests and unspoiled meadows, species of flowers and butterflies that have disappeared from his native land, and which, as an amateur but passionate botanist, he admired and collected.
This family interest has turned into a tenacious passion. And we, Romanians, have become the most fortunate beneficiaries of Charles’s passion for Transylvania and subsequently for all of Romania. Prince Charles has since given a new face to the villages with fortified mediaeval churches, by encouraging UNESCO projects and patronising some of them on behalf of the British royal family. A tour of the bouquet of villages around Sighișoara or Brașov with such historical wonders, once in ruins (Biertan, Mosna, Copsa Mare, Malancrav, Alma Vii, etc.), can be as valuable as a tour to the castles of the Rhine or the Loire. Charles’s project to model friendly rural tourism through the rehabilitation of old village houses and the preservation of ancestral hospitality customs has put Transylvania on the world tourism map. His repeated calls for the respect of natural heritage, mountains, forests, the Danube Delta, offering in return the example of his own country, which lost its forests due to reckless exploitation, have alerted serious environmental organisations and political decision-makers.
Romania has shown gratitude on many occasions for Charles’s continuous efforts to support and promote the country. But more than the solemn occasions where presidential or parliamentary speeches were made, Prince Charles appreciated the Doctor Honoris Causa title awarded by the University of Bucharest, an occasion on which he gave an exceptional speech, reiterating his themes and passions: Transylvania, Romania, nature, and culture. And on another occasion, a painful one this time, the death of King Michael, Prince Charles spoke with simplicity and affection about the admiration he had for him throughout his life. Charles has always considered King Michael a model of modesty, spiritual cleanliness, and authentic patriotism.
THE OFFICIAL INVITATION AND ITS SYMBOLISME
In anticipation of the great celebration, Coronation Day, the Royal House has turned to the most famous heraldist in England to create an invitation to the long-awaited event. At first glance, the invitation seduces with the vivacity of its colours, the diaphanous graphics, and the impression of grace. Usually, these princely invitations are much more formal, and it is evident that their addressability seems extremely selective. In this case, the impression is that of an invitation addressed to the whole world, as, most likely, the style of the future sovereign will be strongly reformist. From a careful, princely section to a much broader addressability. Tradition and modernity in a perpetual balance. Upon closer examination and perhaps with the help of learned sources, the invitation offers a whole symbolism more or less occult. There are species of flowers and plants associated with the entire space of Great Britain, but also symbols of family, from princely coats of arms to more common members. There is also the Anglican Church to which King Charles will be a guide, but also references to a whole universe of pre-Christian spirituality specific to Celtic civilization. It is an intrinsic call for openness and tolerance in which all religions, all social strata, and all the people are absorbed. The British press is already talking about the symbolism of the little sprite at the bottom of the illustration, The Green Man, as he is called, a protective deity from Celtic civilization. And because history is or is not a series of coincidences, representations of the Green Man can be found carved on the facade of the Cistercian church in the village of Richiș near Biertan. A Cistercian church, part of several monastic edifices in this order, brought to Transylvania by the first Teutons from Saxony. A real interweaving of cultural matches that connects the invitation for Coronation Day over time to a Transylvanian church.
On May 6th, it will be Coronation Day. Charles will be, as they say, anointed king. Romania has “anointed” him long ago as its ambassador with exceptional rights.
That’s why Avenor College joins this celebration started by a country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and became a celebration with universal connotations.