New Romney Mayor becomes a Cinque Port Baron for the Coronation
Published: 17 May 2023
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of New Romney, Cllr Paul Thomas had the honour of being invited to attend the Coronation of Charles III, as one of the 14 representatives of the Confederation of Cinque Ports, in Westminster Abbey on the 6th May.
The Cinque Ports Confederation is a unique association of maritime towns and villages in Kent and East Sussex dating back a 1000 years. In the centuries before the Tudor Kings of England first developed a navy, the ‘men and ships’ of the Cinque Ports provided a fleet to meet the military and transport needs of their Royal masters. These small ports – many no longer operational, but still fiercely proud of their traditions, have been called the cradle of the Royal Navy.
In the past the Barons of the Cinque Ports had the right to hold a canopy above a new monarch at their coronation, although this has not been done since the coronation of King George IV. The title of Baron is solely honorary in nature. The Cinque Ports Barons are actually representatives of the 14 members of the Confederation of Cinque Ports, in most cases the mayors.
Speaking about the day, Cllr Thomas said:
“It was a great honour to represent the town of New Romney at the Coronation of King Charles III, in my capacity as Mayor of New Romney and as a “Baron of the Cinque Ports”. This “Honour at Court” reflects the service provided by the people of New Romney many centuries ago, when they provided ships and men to be at the disposal of the Sovereign. They also provided a fighting force to defend our shores from foreign attackers, as well as protecting the fishing fleets in the Channel.
Representatives from the Five Cinque Ports, Two Ancient Towns and Seven Limbs represented the Cinque Port Confederation at Westminster Abbey. It was an historic occasion, with an audience that reflected the King’s wishes to have representatives and volunteers from many diverse backgrounds. We met many ordinary people, like ourselves, who were humbled to be invited to such an occasion. To witness the service first hand, with all the Pomp and Ceremony was breath-taking, the music was absolutely incredible, a joy to hear first hand. We were also privileged to meet a number of dignitaries and stars from film, tv and music.
I think this is the only country in the world that could pull of this spectacular event and I am proud to be part of it.”
Cinque Ports Barons before the Coronation
Cinque Ports Barons in the Royal Victoria Gardens ahead of the Coronation
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of New Romney Cllr Paul Thomas on Lambeth Bridge with the Speaker of the Cinque Ports and Right Worshipful Town Mayor of Hythe, Cllr Jim Martin, and The Worshipful the Town Mayor of Folkestone, Cllr Nicola Keen
Cllr Paul Thomas waiting for the service to begin
After the Coronation in Westminster Abbey