A not-for-profit group of 61 care homes run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT), which covers nearly 3000 residents and has a special link to the monarchy, has filmed a special video chain for His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort to wish them well ahead of the Coronation.
From faux fur to nimble knitting, the video chain shows residents and carers from OSJCT care homes miles apart, trying and passing on unique versions of St Edward’s Crown – the crown used in coronation ceremonies – which they hand-crafted especially for the historic occasion.
OSJCT has a special link with King Charles III. As reigning monarch, The King will become the Sovereign Head of one of the charity’s two historic sponsoring orders, The Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem. His Majesty met care home residents and employees at the Trust when he officially opened OSJCT Athelstan House in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, in November 2008. OSJCT care homes have enjoyed visits from several other members of the Royal family over the years, including The King’s father, when Prince Philip opened OSJCT Hayward Care Centre in Devizes, Wiltshire, in May 2015.
Bea Beevor, Activities Co-ordinator at Windsor Street Care Centre in Cheltenham, one of the OSJCT homes featured in the video chain, said: “The Coronation is a rare and exciting moment in history, which our residents are keen to witness and take part in. So, as the preparations and decorations have been coming together for the Coronation weekend, many of our residents and colleagues were very enthusiastic in taking part in a special video message to The King. Together we had fun creating our own magnificent version of St Edward’s Crown and trying it on for size. We know the real crown is very heavy, so we wish the King good luck on the big day!”
Ewa Cwiklak, Activity Lead at OSJCT, adds: “The excitement has been building as our homes and extra care housing schemes prepare to celebrate this momentous event. Taking part in special occasions like this is important for residents’ social, mental, and physical wellbeing and provides meaningful occupation and engagement. Certainly, seeing and celebrating the Coronation ceremony of King Charles III will remain in the memory of each of us!”