PROUD former Basildon MP Angela Smith will take her place in Westminster Abbey as one of a handful of peers invited to the King’s “spectacular” coronation.

Angela, now Baroness Smith of Basildon and Labour’s leader in the House of Lords, will join more than 2,000 guests, including foreign royalty and heads of state, for the once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Lady Smith, who served as Basildon’s MP from 1997 to 2010, will wear peers’ traditional red robes with fake fur, a nod to her campaigning against animal cruelty.

Lady Smith, who previously stood for election as a councillor in Southend’s Westborough ward before her win in Blair’s 1997 landslide, said: “It’s such a historic occasion and it’s been a long time since the last coronation.

“It’s such a honour to be part of this and I will see part of the procession, and watch it in full later at home.

“I will be fairly close to the action but will be just observing, it must be so nerve-wracking to be actually taking part.”




Lady Smith told of her pride after receiving the “beautiful” official coronation invitation from the Earl Marshal.

The invitation was designed by Andrew Jamieson, a heraldic artist and manuscript illuminator, and is centred on the motif of the Green Man, an ancient figure from British folklore, symbolic of spring and rebirth, to celebrate the new reign.

The shape of the Green Man, crowned in natural foliage, is formed of leaves of oak, ivy and hawthorn, and the emblematic flowers of the United Kingdom.

Lady Smith, who is married to former Basildon and Southend councillor Nigel Smith, has proudly displayed the stunning invite on her mantlepiece in her home.

She said: “It’s a beautifullooking invite and really is something else.



“When I found out I thought it was amazing. I really didn’t expect that, well nobody would expect to be invited to the King’s coronation like this.”

The coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday and will will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Lady Smith added: “It’ll be one of those moments where I can say I was there. My friends are all talking and asking me about it.

“If the invites anything to go by it’ll be spectacular.”