Introduction: Independence day ceremonials in historical perspective

David Cannadine

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Independence Day ceremonies deserve serious scholarly attention and should be set in a longer historical time-frame and broader geographical perspective. There was more variation in practice than is generally recognized but common characteristics and general themes emerge. The ceremonies marking India's independence in 1947 provided a prototype and model. The consensus displayed at Independence was in many ways superficial and the pomp and partying concealed continuing tensions and paradoxes. This article also considers observances in the metropolis, including the elaborate funerals of Churchill, Mountbatten and the Queen Mother, with their sense of recessional and retreat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-665
Number of pages17
JournalRound Table
Issue number398
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development


  • Decolonization
  • Independence
  • Ornamentalism


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