Diana eavesdrops on the Coronation

There were three of us in this carriage
and I tip my head to hear
what might remain unspoken.

It’s not the rain, the looming clouds,
bedraggled fans, heads bowed,
umbrellas jabbing strangers’ heads.

It’s the sense of being broken,
the sincere attempt to care,
the clinging belief, knowing

that with monarchy as with God
the feeling of meaning isn’t
really there, but a token.

About the Poem

This poem responds to the UK Coronation of King Charles III on 6.5.23 against a background of extensive Republican protests. It imagines the late Princess Diana present as a ghost in the Coronation Carriage. A famous interview with Diana talking about Charles’s affair with Camilla (who is now Queen) contained the line, ‘there were three of us in this marriage’ which the poem alludes to.

About the Author

Mark Blayney is based in Cardiff, UK. He won the Somerset Maugham Award for Two Kinds of Silence and works as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, giving one-to-one writing tutorials in universities. Recent fiction and poetry collections are Doppelgangers and Loud music makes you drive faster with Parthian, and The view from my shed with Dreich Chapbooks. He was an inaugural Hay Festival Writer at Work and has won a Wales Media Award for his journalism.

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