MONROVIA-The British Embassy near Monrovia has expressed delight that President George Manneh Weah is attending the official coronation ceremony of King Charles III and the Queen Consort.
The British Consulate, via it official Facebook account said Wednesday: “The British Embassy is delighted that His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah has accepted the official invitation to attend the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty the Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey on 6 May, 2023.”
The post from the British Embassy seems to allay speculations being made by some individuals in the public sphere that President Weah was not invited to the ceremony.
This is not the first time for individuals, mainly opposition politicians in Liberia to engage in such a trivial argument – some even argued back in November 2022 that the Liberian leader did not receive an official invitation to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup which was held in Qatar.
However, Pres. Weah, who departed Liberia on May 2, 2023, is expected to join other world leaders for the historic coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at Westminster Abbey in London.
The coronation is a symbolic coming together of the monarchy, church, and state for a religious ritual during which the monarch makes vows to both God and country.
Charles’ accession took place when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle, United Kingdom back in September 2022. Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s longest ruling monarch having ruled for 70 years and 214 days.
His ascendancy to the throne is a normal practice that characterized the British Monarchy – the constitutional form of government by which a hereditary sovereign reign as the head of state of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories.
Liberia and the United Kingdom relations date back as far as 176 years ago when the UK became the first country to acknowledge Liberia’s sovereignty in 1848. Liberia has a history of border disputes with the British colony of Sierra Leone as well as cumbersome British loans which have at times compromised Liberia’s sovereignty.
During his regime, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Liberia’s first President, spent time travelling Europe and the Caribbean, making state visits to gain recognition for his newly independent nation.
During President Robert’s 1848 visit to England, Queen Victoria received him and his wife, on board one of the Queen’s royal ships, and they were greeted with a seventeen-gun salute.
The most recent state visit from the United Kingdom to Liberia was on 23 November 1961, during which Queen Elizabeth II visited President William Tubman.