London, England, May 4, 2023 / 09:00 am
The Earl Marshal of England is little known and rarely seen, but he oversees the world’s biggest spectacles. Queen Elizabeth’s funeral last year is reported to have attracted more than 4 billion viewers, making it perhaps the most-watched event in history. This was the finest moment for the current Earl Marshall, Edward Fitzalan-Howard, more formally known as His Grace the Most Noble Duke of Norfolk.
The 18th Duke spent 20 years planning the late queen’s funeral but has had far less time to arrange the coronation of the United Kingdom’s new monarch, King Charles III, which will take place Saturday, May 6. Despite making the news for dangerous driving and his recent divorce and remarriage, Fitzalan-Howard will try to be as inconspicuous as possible at the coronation, just as he was at the queen’s recent funeral, which will be difficult for a man wearing the most extravagant uniform outside the military or the Church of England.
Since 1484 the Earl Marshal has supervised royal events through the College of Arms with assistance from quaintly named characters such as Garter King of Arms and Rouge Dragon Pursuivant. The payment these heralds receive is appropriately medieval.