...By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Insurance company Aviva has looked back into its archives to showcase past coronation celebrations.
Aviva’s archives contain commemorative adverts and insurance proposals for previous coronations, including a letter from June 1911 that requested insurance for a state coach for coronation celebrations for George V and Mary.
The coach was insured for £3,000, which is equivalent to over £285,000 today, and was insured by General Accident Fire and Life Assurance Corporation, one of Aviva’s ancestor companies.
Aviva’s archives also include insurance proposals for events involving between 250 and 10,000 guests, with “food, drink, fire, and explosion risks” covered.
The archives also feature documents and posters related to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, such as an advert from 1953 by Norwich Union, which eventually became part of Aviva, announcing that launching a pension scheme for employees was the best way to mark the occasion.
Aviva’s archive also has details of insurance policies for motor cars for Queen Elizabeth II, ranging from Daimlers used for official visits to Land Rovers, private cars, and Ford vans used on the royal estates, as well as golfing and livestock insurance taken out by her father, King George VI.
Anna Stone, Group Archivist for Aviva, said that Aviva’s archives house delightful documents that track how fashions and trends have changed over the years, as well as how some things have remained the same.
Aviva’s archives provide glimpses into how royal celebrations were organized and how they have evolved over time, highlighting Aviva’s role in the process.
The archives also contain details of the Hand In Hand Fire and Life Insurance Society insuring the royal wardrobe in 1702, where coronation robes and hangings were stored.
Aviva’s heritage offices were decorated in 1831 for the coronation of King William IV, with the London office of Union Assurance featuring “ornamental lamps, prettily arranged”.
Aviva’s archives offer a unique insight into the company’s history and its relationship with the royal family, as well as the importance of insurance in the success of major events such as coronations.