25 April 2024

The piano stool bringing coronation history to St Paul’s East Kew

Kirralee Nicolle

15 September 2022

Parishioners at a Melbourne Anglican church recently learned a piece of furniture in the building originated from an important event in Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

Following news of the former Queen’s passing on 8 September, St Paul’s East Kew parishioner Gillian Clezy said she informed fellow members of the church of the significance of the piano stool.

“The conversation [about the Queen’s passing] began at church, and I said to the [pianist], did you know you were sitting on a seat from Westminster Abbey every time you play?” Ms Clezy said.

Ms Clezy said her father was an architect in the public service and steward for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, and that she also attended the event and assisted with the set up as an 11-year-old.

Ms Clezy said her father assisted in the design of arches, decorations and the seating plan for the event.

Read more: ‘May Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II rest in peace and rise in glory’

She said that for his work, her father was given a stool and a chair from the event as well as a medal thanking him for his service to the monarch.

Ms Clezy said the stool found its way to St Paul’s alongside another donation she had made to the church.

“I gave them a piano when I downsized my house, and I wanted to keep the piano stool, so I thought the royal stool can go with the piano,” she said.

Ms Clezy said her son was now in possession of the chair below.

She said she had lived near Windsor Castle as a young woman and remembered King George VI, the Queen Mother and the young princesses Elizabeth and Margaret well.

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