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From the archives: A king’s death, a queen’s coronation

With the sad news from the UK that Queen Elizabeth II has died, it got us wondering how the passing of her father King George VI, as well as her coronation, were recorded in the pages of the Intermountain Jewish News.

News of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in the June 4, 1953 IJN.

None of it was delved into too deeply, with all the coverage in the form of “news briefs” in today’s IJN parlance. Our gut tells us that coverage of the Queen’s death and Charles’ ascension will be more extensive (stay tuned for next week’s IJN to find out). But will this be because American Jewry is more interested in the Royal family today than it was 70 years ago? Certainly gossip about the Royals, who 70 years ago were perhaps treated with more reverence, has exploded. Or does it have to do with the overall increase in connectivity, especially due to the internet? We’re inclined to think the latter, but it’s also worth noting that Jewish connections to the House of Windsor have become more prominent in recent years.

Seventy years ago, no one knew that the Duke of Edinburgh’s mother had hid Jews in Greece during the Holocaust. Then there’s the close relationship Prince Charles, ahem Charles III, has created with World Jewish Relief, becoming one of its patrons. When the former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks passed away, Charles eulogized him publicly.

News of King George VI’s death in the Feb. 14, 1952 IJN.

Nonetheless, the brief news items do show that British Jews cared deeply about their monarchs, feeling a sense of loss that our British Jewish compatriots are probably feeling at this moment. We wish them solace in their time of grief.

This online feature explores the IJN’s new digital archive, discovering the news of the week, years ago.

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