After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, many Royal fans are wondering: when is King Charles III’s coronation and what will this once-in-a-generation event entail?
Moments after the Queen’s death on September 8, 2022, Charles was proclaimed King. Due to royal tradition, days later on September 10, 2022, the Privy Council proclaimed the sovereign. The clerk of the council said, “Charles III, by the grace of god of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of his other realms and territory, King, head of the commonwealth, defender of the faith, to whom we do acknowledge all faith and obedience with humble affection, beseeching god by whom kings and queens do reign to bless his majesty with long and happy years to reign over us. God Save the King.”
However, His Majesty’s coronation, that is, the formal ceremony in which he’s crowned King, isn’t as immediate. According to Daily Mail, the new King is set to break coronation conventions and be significantly different from when his mother was crowned. “The King has stripped back a lot of the Coronation in recognition that the world has changed in the past 70 years,” an insider told Daily Mail. The coronation has been planned for years under the name “Operation Gold Orb.” Read below on when his coronation will be, how long the coronation will be, where the coronation will take place and how many guests will attend.
When is King Charles III’s coronation? Buckingham Palace confirmed the date of King Charles III’s coronation will be on May 6, 2023. Royal tradition dictates that the country will remain in mourning for an appropriate period of time following the passing of the former monarch and many sources speculated that the coronation would take place a couple of months following Queen Elizabeth’s passing. Queen Elizabeth, herself, ascended to the throne on February 16, 1952, but was crowned 16 months after her father King George VI passed.
King Charles III’s coronation isn’t expected to be as far away as Queen Elizabeth’s. The Telegraph predicted before Buckingham Palace’s announcement that King Charles III’s coronation would take place in the spring or summer of 2023. There was also speculation that the coronation would take place on the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation or the day after on June 3, 2023.
How long will King Charles III’s coronation be? King Charles III’s coronation will be significantly shorter than Queen Elizabeth’s coronation but celebrations will take place over three days, from Saturday, May 6, 2023, to Monday, May 8, 2023. The new King’s ceremony will only take place for just over an hour while Queen Elizabeth’s took over three hours. The ceremony itself is supposedly shortened due to the King’s age and a reflection of a more modern monarchy. The events of the three-day-long celebration are as follows:
The coronation service will take place at Westminster Abbey on the morning of Saturday, May 6, 2023. According to a press release from Buckingham Palace, “Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort will arrive at Westminster Abbey in procession from Buckingham Palace, known as ‘The King’s Procession’. After the Service, Their Majesties will return to Buckingham Palace in a larger ceremonial procession, known as ‘The Coronation Procession’.
The statement continues: “Their Majesties will be joined in this procession by other Members of the Royal Family. At Buckingham Palace, The King and The Queen Consort, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will appear on the balcony to conclude the day’s ceremonial events.”
Bringing together “global music icons and contemporary stars together”, per an official statement, Sunday, May 7, 2023, will be the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle. It’ll be a public event attended by volunteers from The King and The Queen Consort’s many charity affiliations. “Alongside the stars of the concert, the show will also see an exclusive appearance from The Coronation Choir. This diverse group will be created from the nation’s keenest community choirs and amateur singers from across the United Kingdom, such as Refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups and deaf signing choirs.”
On this day, neighbors and communities across the UK will be invited to share food and fun together as part of the Coronation Big Lunch. Thousands are expected to come together across the kingdom, from uniting over cups of tea to street parties.
The Big Help Out takes place on Monday, May 8, 2023, with the aim to shed light on the benefits of volunteering and is being organized by The Together Coalition and a wide range of partners such as The Scouts, the Royal Voluntary Service and faith groups from across the United Kingdom.
“In tribute to His Majesty The King’s public service, The Big Help Out will encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas. The aim of The Big Help Out is to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation Weekend,” the Palace said.
Where will King Charles III’s Coronation take place? King Charles III’s coronation will take place at Westminster Abbey where the coronation is traditionally held. The subsequent activities will take place at Buckingham Palace for the traditional waving at the balcony with Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William, Kate Middleton who took their place as the Prince and Princess of Wales. They’ll be accompanied by their children George, Charlotte and Louis.
How many people will attend King Charles III’s coronation? It is expected that over 2,000 people will attend King Charles III’s coronation. The number is significantly less than Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation when over 8,000 people saw her take the crown in 1953. People who are not guaranteed spots at the coronation include members of Parliament and peers. Sources told The Telegraph that the people who are invited will be representatives of different faiths and community groups. Commonwealth leaders and diversity of religions will be prioritized among the congregation. The King is also said to have expressed a wish that it reflects the ethnic diversity of modern Britain. Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Mather told Daily Mail the reasoning behind the new invites, “There are about 700 peers, well they won’t all be there,” he said. “The same with MPs: they won’t all be present because he’s not being crowned for them. He’s being crowned for the people.”
Invitations to King Charles’ coronation were sent out and were designed by heraldic artist and manuscript illuminator Andrew Jamieson. The invitations released by Buckingham Palace include a floral pattern and the text reads, “The Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla,” the letter heralds. “By command of the King the Earl Marshal is directed to invite [name] to be present at the Abbey Church of Westminster on the 6th day of May 2023.” The decorations present “an ancient figure from British folklore, symbolic of spring and rebirth, to celebrate the new reign,” the palace said. It also includes two birds perched on the letter C, which is flanked by Charles and Camilla’s coats of arms. The Queen Consort’s crest has been updated to reflect her installment as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter last summer, courtiers said.
The King and Queen also gave very special roles—including one to their grandson Prince George. “Throughout the Coronation Service on 6th May, Their Majesties will each be attended by four Pages of Honour. The Pages will form part of the procession through the Nave of Westminster Abbey,” Buckingham Palace announced. “The King’s Pages of Honour will be His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, Master Nicholas Barclay and Master Ralph Tollemache. The Queen Consort’s Pages of Honour will be Her Majesty’s grandsons, Master Gus and Master Louis Lopes and Master Freddy Parker Bowles, and Her Majesty’s great-nephew, Master Arthur Elliot.”
Historically, the coronation was considered a sacred ceremony between a monarch and their people in the presence of God, but Charles will do away with tradition and invite his counterparts from around the world. A source told The Mail on Sunday: “I believe the rule began because a Coronation is meant to be a monarch’s private event with God. At the Queen’s Coronation, there were no crowned monarchs, only the protectorate rulers like the Queen of Tonga. It’s been a tradition for centuries.” With that in mind, here is a highlights reel of who’s attending.
Prince Harry will be attending but his wife, Meghan Markle, will not. According to a source quoted in Us Weekly, Charles was “sad” his daughter-in-law wouldn’t be there. “Charles is sad that Meghan will not be in attendance. Charles was hoping the coronation would be a chance to better connect and maintain healing between them,” a source said, “but is thrilled [Prince] Harry will be in attendance.”
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, that the Duke of Sussex will be at the ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey on May 6. “Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6th May. The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet,” they said in the statement, with later information arising that Meghan would be celebrating Archie’s fourth birthday on the same day.
As the direct successors to the throne, Prince and Princess of Wales William and Kate will be in attendance at the coronation, as well as their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, barring an unexpected medical emergency.
The King and Queen gave very special roles—including one to their grandson, George. “Throughout the Coronation Service on 6th May, Their Majesties will each be attended by four Pages of Honour. The Pages will form part of the procession through the Nave of Westminster Abbey,” Buckingham Palace announced. “The King’s Pages of Honour will be His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, Master Nicholas Barclay and Master Ralph Tollemache. The Queen Consort’s Pages of Honour will be Her Majesty’s grandsons, Master Gus and Master Louis Lopes and Master Freddy Parker Bowles, and Her Majesty’s great-nephew, Master Arthur Elliot. Here’s everyone we know that’s attending the momentous occasion. Details regarding Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis’ involvement have not been confirmed.
Charles’ siblings Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward will likely attend. Anne’s husband, Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, and Edward’s wife, Duchess Sophie—as well as their respective children—are expected to be at the coronation also.
Andrew’s daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie will likely be at their father’s side, however, Charles “did not invite” Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, per Us Weekly.
The White House announced in April 2023 that President Joe Biden would not be present but congratulated Charles on his achievement. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will attend in her husband’s place.
In a statement on April 14, 2023, pop star Katy Perry announced: “I am excited to be performing at the Coronation Concert, and helping to shine a further light on the British Asian Trust’s Children’s Protection Fund, whose work includes on-ground initiatives to fundraising, with the aim to find solutions to child trafficking.”
The “All Night Long” singer, Lionel Richie, said in a statement, “To share the stage with the other performers at The Coronation Concert is a once-in-a-lifetime event and it will be an honor and a celebration.”Andrea Bocelli and the iconic British pop group Take That are also set to perform.
As the daughter of Princess Anne, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall are expected to attend the event.
Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco “will definitely go” to the coronation, per Page Six. “I’m certain that it’s going to be an incredible ceremony and a very moving one,” Albert told People in January. “We’ve maintained contact since His Majesty became king, but I haven’t talked to him personally since [Queen Elizabeth II]’s funeral.”
The beloved royal couple will be representing Denmark.
The Swedish royal and his eldest daughter, heir to the throne, confirmed their attendance on April 11, 2023, in a statement issued to Twitter.
In his role as Chief Scout.
Luxury fashion designer and daughter of Sir Paul McCartney.
Legendary Australian singer-songwriter, author, and poet among other creative pursuits.
Editor in chief of British Vogue.
How will King Charles III’s coronation differ from Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation? King Charles III is expected to cut back different aspects and rituals of the traditional coronation to reflect the monarchy in a modern setting. According to The Daily Mail, the presentation of gold is likely to be axed from the ceremony where ‘an ingot or wedge of gold of a pound weight’ was presented to the monarch by the Lord Great Chamberlain before being placed upon the altar. A source told the outlet, “In an age where people are feeling the pinch, this is not going to happen.” In the same vein, King Charles III reportedly expressed the wish that the service is considered “good value” and the service will not be as expensive as expected.
According to King Charles’ Coronation liturgy from the Church of England, Prince Harry will not have an official role in the coronation. However, Prince William will. The Prince of Wales will read The Homage of Blood while Prince Harry isn’t mentioned in the program at all. William is set to read back to his father, “I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God.”-1
What will King Charles III wear at the coronation? Charles himself will forgo traditional garb in favor of his Naval uniform, rejecting the monarch’s traditional coronation breeches and stockings. Monarchs in the past have donned the “Supertunica” which is a gold robe to be worn during the coronation, and he will be wearing one that was originally created for King George and a royal sword belt and glove that belonged to his grandfather. The King actually opted for a silk undershirt by the Royal Warrant-holding shirtmakers at Turnbull & Asser, and opera slippers by Gaziano & Girling of Savile Row. Caroline de Guitaut, the deputy surveyor of the King’s Works of Art at the Royal Collection Trust told the BBC, “It was the King’s personal decision” to reuse all of these items.
According to Crisscut Magazine, Charles will be wearing jewelry that is estimated at $4.2 billion. The gemstones include the “St. Edwards Crown, Sovereign’s Ring, Imperial State Crown, Sovereign’s Sceptre with dove, Sovereign’s Sceptre with the cross, Sovereign’s Orb, Gold Ampulla, the Spurs, and the Sword of Offering.” The iconic St. Edwards Crown is made of solid gold and has more than 400 gemstones, including rubies, garnets and sapphires.
What is the dress code at King Charles III’s coronation? The dress code for King Charles III’s coronation is reportedly more relaxed than Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. According to The Daily Mail, discussions were held where they wanted to relax the requirement for peers to wear so-called “coronation robes”. A cloak of crimson velvet, the rank of the peer is indicated by rows of ermine—a stoat’s white winter fur and black tail end—on the cape. Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Mather, who started the plan for King Charles’s coronation told the outlet, “No coronation robes. Give them to a museum where they belong. It’s not going to be a tweed jacket and pair of jeans—but morning suit or lounge suit.”
Will Camilla be crowned as Queen Consort with King Charles III? Camilla will be crowned alongside King Charles III during his coronation ceremony. Camilla will be crowned as Queen Consort for the first time since the Queen Mother in 1937 (Prince Philip did not take the King Consort title due to the longstanding tradition that “King” is reserved for the reigning monarch). Camilla will be crowned with a platinum crown, decorated with 2,800 diamonds including the 105-carat Koh-i-Noor.
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