Coronation Big Lunch attendees hopeful after human crown world record attempt in Orpington

Handout photo dated 07/05/23 of Coronation Big Lunch attendees at Broomhill Common in Orpington, forming a giant crown. A total of 539 people were counted in the attempt. Issue date: Monday May 8, 2023.
Coronation Big Lunch attendees at Broomhill Common in Orpington forming a giant crown Credit: PA

Coronation Big Lunch attendees in south-east London believe they may have set the record for the “largest human image of a crown” after more than 500 people donned purple, yellow and white and joined in on coronation weekend. Those who attended the Big Lunch coronation tea party at Broomhill Common in Orpington were invited to participate in the record attempt, with the template taking inspiration from the Wye Crown in Kent, carved into a hillside to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902. Steve Sangster, 40, from Orpington, chairman of the Knoll Residents Association, said the idea to go for the record came after the community produced a portrait image of Queen Elizabeth II using candles in 2022. “The idea of the record attempt came from the Queen’s death in terms of the twinkling stars,” he said. “Someone said ‘Oh, it’s probably some sort of world record, the largest image of the Queen’, and that got us thinking maybe for our next event we’ll do something along those lines. “We wanted to look forward to the coronation really with a different sort of vibe, we wanted it to be a celebration. “That idea of a community coming together to create a visual image, a temporary historical marker, if you like, was our vision for it.”

(left to right) Secretary Nick Baker, Vice Chair Brian Bates, Chairman Stephen Sangster and David Horder, who set up the resident group Credit: PA

It took 45 minutes to produce the final image, with people encouraged to pause their picnics and join in by donning ponchos to fill out the crown. “We called people by colours, first of all, got into position, and then of course, people start getting out of shape, they’re not filling out certain parts of it,” said Mr Sangster. “So we’re trying to communicate, we had a PA system, I was there with the drone thinking, ‘OK, we need to fill this bit out, you know, we need more purples’, trying to get people up off the picnics and the seating to come and get involved in it. “But yeah, it worked out in the end.” Mr Sangster said they will need to submit their evidence and wait a number of weeks before their record is confirmed, but he believes 539 people were counted.

A total of 539 people were counted in the attempt Credit: PA

However, he also emphasised the importance of bringing people together, regardless of their passion for the royal family. “Whether you’re a royalist or not, it’s an excuse to get the community together,” he said. “It doesn’t happen all that often sadly, and everyone on the day says ‘Oh we’ve got to do this twice a year’ because there’s so many new interactions, so many new friendships and connections and ideas that come out of these events. “It’s such a boost to the local community.”

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