Found – a 1953 Communist Party booklet criticising the amount of money being spent on the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The figure of 20 million pounds is probably about a billion now but it may not be totally accurate. The name Beavermere is a compound of the two major Press Barons of the time- Beaverbrook and Rothermere. The style is that of a contemporary gossip column:
Lord and Lady Beavermere will be staying at Claridge’s during Coronation week. Claridge’s will be more than usually expensive because there are so many people like Lord and Lady Beavermere competing for room. The reason why they are stopping at Claridge’s is because the Beavermeres, like the others, have let their town mansion. Living in Lord Beavermere’s house is the Rajah of Muddlecore who is paying £1000 for the week so as to be on the Coronation route. So, despite the expensiveness of Claridge’s, the Beavermeres can afford to do themselves well.
On May 12 they will have to get up early because they are going to Westminster Abbey and it will take a long time to put on their ceremonial clothes. Apart from her tiara and other jewels – which include some priceless heirlooms – Lady Beavermere’s court dress and red velvet cloak trimmed with ermine has cost over £400. My lord’s outfit, however, has cost only a modest £100.
At the Abbey, they will be among the privileged few who will witness the historic ceremony of the Coronation. Like those humbler individuals who will wait for the procession in the street, they will find the ceremony very tiring. However, luncheon and a rest in the afternoon will refresh them for the main business in the evening. First, they must attend the Duchess of Doubledial’s dinner-party (250 guests at £5 a head). By ten o’clock they must be at the ball which has been arranged by that famous political hostess, Lady Mosssfield. After that, they have promised to look in at two or three other parties, so by the time they get to bed – say four a.m. – they are almost as tired as their chauffeur.
But if everyone can’t have quite so expensive a day as Lord and Lady Beavermere there are plenty of arrangements being made for everyone to take part in celebrations. In fact, the Coronation is going to be a really grand affair…