Members of the Cabrini family in London, and indeed further afield, will be watching the Coronation Procession of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on television on Saturday 6th May. It may be interesting to learn that we will be following in the footsteps of Mother Cabrini, who watched the coronation processions of not one, but two English Kings. They were Edward VII, the great great grandfather of King Charles and George V, the great grandfather of Charles, and she was there in person!

In 1902, Mother Cabrini was setting up the first London school in Brockley, when she and some sisters watched the procession for Edward VII and Queen Alexandra on 9th August. Preparations for the coronation were in full swing when she arrived at Victoria station from Paris, with her companions, on 5th August. She wrote: 

owing to the approaching ceremonies of the coronation of King Edward and Queen Alexandra, it was difficult to find lodging in the great metropolis, where there were already assembled representatives from every part of the world’.[1]

Fortunately, they were able to stay with Servite Sisters. They were invited to view the Coronation Procession at the house of one of the King’s courtiers. This was probably a friend of the Countess Spottiswood Mackin, a well-connected heiress from the United States, who helped Mother Cabrini in Paris. Mother Cabrini was impressed by the procession. She wrote to the superior in Rome:  

‘The family of one of the king’s courtiers invited me to their house to view the celebrations for the King, I accepted straight away, and I was able to view the imposing coronation procession’.[2]

In 1911, Mother Cabrini was in Honor Oak and took sisters and children to see the procession of George V and Queen Mary pass through nearby Camberwell, on 23nd June 1911. The house annals record the following: 

‘Some of our friends who live where the King and procession passed invited Mother to go to their house. Mother General was happy to be able to take some of us sisters and the children. The royal procession was truly solemn in every sense of the word’.[3]

~ many thanks to Maria William for this article

Photo Source: By The Library of Congress – Royal Progress, London, 1911 (LOC)Uploaded by LongLiveRock, Public Domain, By The Library of Congress – Royal Progress, London, 1911 (LOC)Uploaded by LongLiveRock, Public Domain,

[1] Travels of Mother Cabrini, London to New York, August 1902, Travels of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini : foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus : Frances Xavier Cabrini : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive (218-9).

[2] To Gesuina Diotti, 12.8.1902, Epistolario, p51, my translation.

[3] ‘Memorie della fondazione del collegio in Forest Hill, Woodville Hall, Honor Oak Road’, p.80, (AG) my translation.

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