Have you seen the coronation crowns on top of Oxford Street's bus stops?
What do you think? Potent royal symbolism? A joy to behold? Fawning frippery?
To be honest, we're not sure what to make of the three replicas of St Edward's Crown that have been installed on Oxford Street. They are symbols of privilege and wealth, decorating a transport network in financial decline. They are bombastically royalist yet borderline naff. In other words: nothing could be more British.
The three crowns sit atop bus shelters either side of Oxford Circus. Or, at least, two of them do. The one to the east of the Circus appears to have been nicked. Somebody, somewhere is going to be telling the ultimate "remember when we got pissed and stole the crown jewels" story for the rest of their lives.
Happily, the crowns were installed at no expense to the taxpayer, but are funded by the New West End Company. You'll find the two remaining ones outside John Lewis, west of Oxford Circus, during the coronation period... hopefully.
The crowns are the latest in a long line of unlikely objects to appear on London's bus shelters. Back in the noughties, Londoners were puzzled by a spate of spiky spuds on the 55 route. Then, around a decade later, someone left copies of Hellraiser VHS tapes on top of the shelters. This is why we love London.
See also: Crowndels on the tube network.
Update 8 May 2023: The crown on the bus stop outside John Lewis seems to have been stolen. This is the second one to vanish, following the theft and re-installation of the crown east of Oxford Circus.