I’m writing this piece as we approach the coronation of King Charles III at the weekend. It wasn’t that long ago, 14th November 2022 in fact, that we featured an article on picture postcards published by the King Insurance Company. The cards pictured the Kings of England from Egbert in 829 ‘the first King of all England’ until William IV in 1830. The Company did not last long (1901 – 1915) and is now part of Aviva’s heritage.

My mind then wandered to some of the cards in my collection published at the time of previous coronations. Here, for example, is The Royal Exchange amply decorated to celebrate the coronation of King George V on 22nd June 1911. The Royal Exchange Assurance Company’s head office was in the Exchange at the time.

Not to be outdone, just across Cornhill the Commercial Union Assurance Company and Scottish Widows were doing their own bit, decorating their respective offices.  

Not far away at No. 1 King William Street the London Assurance Company’s office was lit up for the occasion. I’m a little mystified by the reference to George I as his coronation was on 20 October 1714, 6 years before London Assurance was formed in 1720.  Next door at 6 Lombard Street the Scottish Provident Institution was joining in the fun.

Back to the Royal Exchange to finish off. Here is the Exchange celebrating the coronation of our dear late Queen Elizabeth II on 2nd June 1953. The clue to the date is, of course, the capitals E R but I’m wondering why the banner says “’God Save The King”. Perhaps the Exchange management did not have time to order a “God Save the Queen” Banner. Any ideas?

I will be looking out to see how many City insurance offices, if any, take the same trouble to decorate their buildings in celebration of King Charles III’s coronation.

In the meantime, all at Insurance Museum send our very best wishes to His Majesty and Queen Camilla for the 6th May 2023.



Post by Reg Brown, Chairman of the Insurance Museum


May 4th 2023

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