Henri Cartier-Bresson frames us as sincere, laughable in our earnestness at the Coronations, jubilees and balls of various English monarchs. An old woman perches, one haunch on each shoulder of two policemen who look like they’re trying to remember the austereness of the occasion. Her back is ramrod straight to counteract the indignity of her positon, but also to help her crane to see the new king, George VI, crowned in Trafalgar Square. Of course, Cartier-Bresson came armed with all the anti-monarchist scepticism of the French Republic, but he was also an ardent communist. At the time, this was a new, radical political theory which held all the promise of revolution and equality for Europe; the English, far from embracing a progressive way of seeing the world, were still living under monarchs as they had since time immemorial. Through l’oiel du siècle, we look quaint – we look absurd.