Cumbrian organist 'honoured' to be invited to King's coronation

  • Watch as Kate Walby speaks to Stuart Stokell about his invitation to the coronation.

Cumbrian organist Stuart Stokell has spoken of the "honour" he feels at being invited to the King's coronation.

Stuart will be amongst 2,000 guests to attend the historic event that will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May. Two thousand guests have been invited to attend to watch a moment in history.

Stuart said: "It took two and a half seconds to conclude that I was going to go to this occasion.

"I then emailed back and said I would love to come and they emailed back again and said you are on the list. I am currently waiting on my physical invitation, I am poised by the letterbox everyday waiting on the postman to come. He has never been as popular in our house."

Stuart is a well known organist throughout Carlisle. Credit: ITV Border

Having received a BEM (British Empire Medal) a couple of years ago Stuart believed that the opportunity for him to be at the coronation would have passed him by.

He said: "I received a BEM in the New Years honours a couple of years ago for services to the community of Brampton, which is where I live.

"I thought it was too long ago since I received the BEM but I also presumed those invited would be people who have done stuff during the pandemic. It really was not expected at all."

As an organist he is a well known face throughout Carlisle. He has a keen interest on what music will be played at the coronation.

Speaking about what music may be played, he said: "There are the usual things that everyone would associate with the coronation. I do know the king has requested lots of new music, which is going to be far more interesting.

"This is because it is appropriate to the different kingdoms in the UK. They are the things I am fascinated to hear that have a modern take on what might be appropriate. The whole situation with the coronation is to make it much more accessible, so hopefully the music will be along those lines as well."

Stuart is still pinching himself that he has been invited to attend the event although with other commitments awaiting him he will only have a flying visit to England's capital.

He said: "We come back immediately after the ceremony because I have other commitments unfortunately.

"There are 2,000 people in that congregation and to get an invitation is beyond unbelievable. It is spectacular. I am so honoured and humbled of being chosen. I am really finding it a wonderful experience, I am really thrilled to be involved in it."

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