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The Coronation of Edward VII

1902

The Coronation of Edward VII (French: Le Sacre d'Édouard VII), also released as Reproduction, Coronation Ceremonies, King Edward VII and as Coronation of King Edward, is a 1902 short silent film directed by Georges Méliès and produced by Charles Urban. The film is a staged simulation of the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, produced in advance of the actual coronation for release on the same day. Urban, after a failed attempt to obtain permission to film the actual ceremony, commissioned Méliès to direct the simulated version. The film, staged outdoors on a painted set, was planned as a realistic (albeit highly condensed) reproduction of the coronation; Urban procured various research details in England, while Méliès, at his French studio, cast his actors based on their resemblances to the real-life dignitaries at the ceremony. The film was completed on time for the coronation; when Edward fell ill, both the actual event and the release of the film were postponed. The film premiered on Coronation Day to great popular success in Britain and elsewhere, although at least one journalist sharply criticized Urban and Méliès for faking the ceremony. King Edward himself was reportedly delighted with the film, and it remains one of Méliès's most well-received works.
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