We have loved seeing how you all celebrated the King’s Coronation in May 2023.  We didn’t have room in Essex WI News for all your celebrations so here are you reports and pictures in full.


Our April meeting fell between St.George’s Day and The King’s Coronation so we decided to celebrate both. We were pleased to welcome three new members to our meeting. We had the flags flying in the hall and the tables were decorated with vases of red roses and many members wore red and white. We had delicious fruit punch and some appropriately decorated cakes to enjoy.


On 7th May, our members were invited to an afternoon tea Garden Party at the home of one of our members, Gina Burton, to commemorate the Coronation of the King.  There were sausage rolls, sandwiches and cakes galore, bunting and flags, and not forgetting some very well-dressed guests.  A hat competition was held, with a clapometer to decide the winner.  A wonderful time was had by all, and we were so pleased that the sun shone on us after all the rain the day before!

We also made a topper for each of the post boxes in our village.



We had an fabulous evening celebrating the forthcoming coronation with crowns, tiaras, cake and bubbles. We looked amazing in our red, white and blue.


What a really fabulous afternoon celebrating with our Coronation Tea. A sumptuous afternoon tea served by Huff’nPuff, (thanks to Kate and Zoe), with prosecco, a quiz,, a pin the diamond on the crown game, and competition for the best made crown. Thanks to all the committee for the planning and support as a great time was had by all. We also welcomed our lovely Jan Curtis. 


This is Janet, one of our members, enjoying the day!


Our meeting took place the day before the Coronation of King Charles III it was followed by a special Afternoon Tea together with a themed raffle of Coronation prizes. Members were invited to make and wear a tiara for our competition which produced a variety of designs! A very enjoyable afternoon was had by all!


The bunting was unfurled, cakes were baked and flags waved as Thorpe-le-Soken members celebrated the King’s Coronation with a bumper coffee morning.

Villagers joined in the fun with a burst of sunshine inspiring our green fingered guests to visit the popular plant stall.

It was lovely to see WI members from neighbouring groups visit us and we were, as ever, grateful for their support. Some even displayed their own gifts and crafts.


At our April meeting we held a Coronation Lunch, followed by our AGM.
Thirty members took part in the lunch, which was very enjoyable with lots of chatter and laughter.
This was followed by our AGM. All existing committee members were happy to stand again for another year.
The afternoon concluded with the National Anthem sung with gusto, along with waving of the Union flag.


The celebrations for the Coronation started early at Harold Wood.  Wearing our best tiaras, we had a royal themed quiz, tea and cake and a Royal themed raffle.  It was a super night with our new and long standing members and to end the evening we sang God Save the King.

It felt very special to celebrate this historic moment together.


Coronation time had nearly arrived and 3 days before we had our celebration following the AGM.  What a happy occasion it was with a glass of wine and a beautiful cake made by Sandra, who always comes up trumps when we need a special cake.  Add to that the hard work of the committee and others.  It all made for a great afternoon and plenty of time for a good old natter and probably some reminiscing!


Our AM in April was spiced up by our coronation celebrations while members enjoyed cakes and prosecco. The Royal quiz got everyone really thinking and it was great to see a table mainly made up of visitors winning by a whisker! There were smiles all around as members chatted and tucked into the delicious cupcakes. We finally toasted King Charles and Queen Camilla, with us all leaving the meeting with an extra skip in our step!


After the formal business was completed we went on to celebrate Rhona’s 80th Birthday and the King’s Coronation.  Our hall was decorated with Union flags as was our tables.  Members were encouraged to wear something, red, white and blue.  We had a fun quiz based on Royality which was prepared by Phil Westlake who is the husband of one of our members.  After the quiz we enjoyed a glass of prosecco which was provided by Rhona in honour of her birthday and a wonderful cream team. Of course, a discussion took place as to what went first on the scone Cream or Jam.  


A few days late but today we celebrated King Charles’s Coronation. The hall had been decked out with flags and bunting. Members were asked to wear red white and blue.


Our ladies celebrated the King’s Coronation in style in a marquee decorated for the occasion. Everyone sat down to a cream tea in their red white and blue outfits.  There were sandwiches, cakes and of course scones with clotted cream all served on tiered plates and pots of tea. We have lots of clever ladies in our group. Tina is one and she knitted a King Charles which took pride of place on the table. All the ladies took home a small box containing a 50p piece with the new Kings Charles III head on. The boxes were made by Joan another of our clever ladies. Everyone had a day to remember.


Members then toasted King Charles III and sang God Save Our Gracious King, whilst the winner of the best decorated hat, Linda, as judges by Laura, was awarded a prize.



At our May meeting we had a right royal knees-up and celebrated the Coronation with some delicious food: Coronation chicken vol au-vents, cup cakes decorated in red, white and blue, and the Queen’s favourite “fridge” cake using the recipe advertised in WI Life, all displayed beautifully together with Union Jack flags, serviettes, plates and even themed flower decorations!   The food was absolutely delicious and was washed down with Buck’s Fizz (well, you’ve got to, haven’t you!).  We toasted the new King Charles III and the evening was rounded off with a Coronation Quiz.  Thanks to Marion Cook (Events Coordinator, left) and Jean Grimshaw (Treasurer, right) who were instrumental in the food preparation but huge thanks also to others on our committee who helped to make this such a fantastic and memorable evening.   


members were so pleased to welcome King Charles to our special Coronation WI meeting in May. He really enjoyed our speaker, Eve Regelous, who told us about her life as a celebrity agent. The King stayed for the celebration buffet and fizz afterwards that we funded with our Coronation Grant. God Save the King!!


At our AM on Tuesday 16th May our competition was “create a crown or tiara” one of our members Chelle Gray made this gorgeous cake and donated it to the WI.


For the last few months we have been planning for the Kings Coronation on the 6th of May.  Our monthly meeting was taking place on the 3rd of May and unfortunately coincided with our AGM, making it a very discombobulating evening. 

 A very frantic decoration of the hall started off.  We then had to halve the programme. with our AGM at the beginning, followed by a toast to the king and a rendering of God Save the King!

We continued with a Coronation Quiz and refreshments including prosecco, bucks fizz, soft drinks, cakes and of course our famous tea and coffee.  

Julie Finch made a fabulous Union Jack cake and several ladies made luscious cakes to suit everyone’s palette.

Sandra Billinger was given the honour of cutting Julies’ lovely cake.  Sandra has decided to stand down as treasurer this year, but we are so pleased she will carry on as a deputy to Carol Ware.  

At our Aprils Crafty Chat meeting we took to making crowns.  We also made a variety for ladies to choose when they arrived at the meeting. 

Our Quiz went very well and the winners, Gwen Stevens, Kay Watt, Claire Archer, Annette Berry and Sue Thompson each won a box of Black Magic chocolates.

A big thank you goes out to all the ladies that helped with the decorations, tea, coffee and cake making.  It was a great start to the Coronation Weekend.


Business out of the way it was time for our Coronation Party and a toast to the King. One of our members had made a lovely coronation cake which was delicious. The top layer was a victoria sponge and the bottom layer the Queen Mother’s favourite fruit cake recipe.The room was decorated with bunting made at a previous meeting where we had all embroidered our names on to a flag. We had Arthur Edwards Royal Photographer for The Sun give us an excellent talk on his career as Royal Photographer.


At our May meeting we all enjoyed a lively and informatve talk by Julie Chandler – ‘Crowning Glory’. We were reminded that the recent Coronation was a spectacle not seen for 70 years and were given a whistle stop tour of the highs and lows of the 41 British monarchs and 38 Coronations (King William and Mary had a joint ceremony; Edward V was the Prince in the Tower and Edward VIII abdicated) since King Edgar the Peaceful (9th century) until present day – King Charles III. We learned that the Crown Jewels have been variously lost, melted down and sold off by various members of Royalty or by the Roundheads necessitating the making of a new set with regalia in 1660-1 for Charles I and these items have been used in Coronations ever since.

Lots of red, white and blue (and even a tiara!) were in evidence in celebration of the Coronation and we rounded off the meeting with a prosecco toast to the new King!


We held our first afternoon meeting in May, which we combined with a tea party to mark the coronation of King Charles III.  We invited guests including from nearby WIs and nearly sixty people attended.  We started with our WI business, then sang the National Anthem and had a prosecco toast.  Homemade cakes and savouries were then served with tea and coffee.  There was time to visit our craft and book stall, chocolate tombola and raffle before a local singing group entertained us with songs from the 60s.  We also had a competition for the best decorated crown, tiara or head dress, which was won by Lynn White (pictured) wearing a crown entered by Judy Crees, both attending from Tollesbury WI.  We had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.


At our May meeting, members celebrated King Charles III Coronation with a Toast to the King! Celebration Cakes were served in the break with tea and coffee. 

The Bunting around the Keene Hall was made by our Sewing/Handicrafts group (a few members pictured) which meets once a month at Galleywood Library.