On this day, a century ago, the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary took place in Westminster Abbey.
Among the guests was a Papal Legate, Monsignor Eugenio Pacelli, Under-Secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, the future Pope Pius XII.
"In 1910, [sic] Monsignor Pacelli was again back in London where he represented the Holy See at the Coronation of King George V. This trip demonstrated some remarkable ingenuity on his part. While unpacking, he discovered that a bottle of iodine in his toilet kit had spilled on the pope's salutation to the new monarch. Pacelli made the best of what must have seemed a disastrous accident. He calmly swabbed more iodine over the entire document before presenting it to the king. It seemed to the monarch and to all who looked at the document as though it had been written on extremely ancient papal parchment."
--Shepherd of Souls: A Pictorial Life of Pope Pius XII, by Margherita Marchione, Paulist Press, 2002, page 25.
(The story is hard to believe. The author has the date of the coronation wrong, and I'm assuming the story is false.)
See page 23 for a picture of Monsignor Pacelli in London. The other men in the photograph are not identified, but the seated cardinal is probably Merry del Val, Pacelli's mentor in English matters.
"He was but twenty-six when he was chosen by Merry del Val to accompany him as secretary to London. The lithe and agile cardinal with the aristocratic bearing was the Pope's legate to carry the papal condolences to King Edward VII on the death of his mother, Queen Victoria. . . .
"Then, when he was thirty-two, 'Merry' asked him to go again to London as secretary. This time the ravishing London-born Spaniard had been chosen by Pius X to be the papal legate to the Eucharistic Congress of Great Britain. He was the guest of the Duke of Norfolk, the highest ranking Catholic in England. He stayed in the Duke's mansion at St. James Square. And so did his secretary. . . .
"And still a third time the welcome invitation came to go to London, and again it was on a great occasion. This was in 1910. [sic] On the recommendation of the amiable 'Merry', he was chosen by Cardinal Granito Pignatelli di Belmonte, . . . to be his secretary. The occasion was the coronation of King George V."
--Speaking of Cardinals by Thomas B. Morgan, Ayer Co., 1946, pages 246-247.
These are some articles about the Coronation from the New York Times, June, 1911:
London in Festive Array. The article describes a dinner at Buckingham Palace three night before the Coronation. Among the guests were John Hays Hammond, the personal representative of the President of the United States, and Mrs. Hammond. They had arrived in London earlier in the day "in a royal saloon attached to a special train from Dover". Also on the special train was the Papal Legate.
Coronation Dinner a Scene of Splendor. A dinner at Buckingham Palace two nights before the Coronation.
Coronation is Most Splendid in All History. The article, by Marie Corelli, has pictures at the bottom.
On the Way to the Abbey.
The Abbey Ceremony.
The Return Procession.
Taft Greets the King.
Crowds See Illuminations. At ten o'clock on the night of the Coronation, a "ring of bonfires around London burst into flames".
Coronation Day is Celebrated Here.
King George Thanks Taft.
King Reviews 188 Warships. Two days after the coronation, the King George V and Queen Mary traveled to Portsmouth to review 170 British warships and eighteen foreign vessels, including the USS Delaware. The great ships formed a parallelogram six miles long and two miles across.
Royal Thanks to Roosevelt.
Click http://tinyurl.com/6bp7oyn>here for images of the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary.