King Charles III’s coronation, a symbolic ceremony that combines a religious service and pageantry, is scheduled to take place eight months after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing away.
Charles III immediately became King upon the September passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, at her rural Balmoral residence. He was officially named Britain’s new monarch in the days that followed, and his coronation, which has been months in the making, has come closer.
What is a coronation?
The Royal Family has stated that the coronation is both a “solemn religious service” and “an occasion for celebration and pageantry.” It will be a spectacularly extravagant event attended by dignitaries from around the globe and viewed by billions.
The term “coronation” is derived from the Latin word “corona” which means a crown. However, there is much more involved than simply placing the crown on the sovereign’s head. It is a symbolic gathering of the monarchy, the church, and the state for a religious ceremony in which the monarch swears allegiance to both God and country. According to Buckingham Palace, it “will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.”
When is it and what will be happening?
Charles, who has been heir to the monarchy for seven decades, will be officially crowned in a magnificent and profoundly religious ceremony. The ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey on May 6, and the King, who will be crowned alongside Camilla, the Queen Consort, will be the forty-first reigning monarch to be crowned there since 1066.
The procession will leave Buckingham Palace at 10:20 BST and proceed along The Mall to Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, and Parliament Street before turning into Parliament Square and Broad Sanctuary and arriving at the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey. The Diamond Jubilee State Coach will transport King Charles and Camilla to Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace.
The coronation will commence at 11 a.m. UK time, and Charles III will be the 40th monarch to be crowned at Westminster Abbey. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will preside over the ceremony.
The traditional ceremony
The pillars of the ceremony are the recognition, oath, anointing, investiture, crowning, and homage.
The recognition occurs when the sovereign stands in the abbey’s theater and introduces themselves to the people. After taking the coronation oath, which is a promise to rule according to the law, do justice with kindness, and keep the Church of England going, the monarch is anointed with holy oil by the archbishop.
This portion of the ritual is regarded as the holiest and was not televised in 1953. Ahead of Charles’ big day, Archbishop Welby explained why the King won’t be seen, writing in the official souvenir program that the moment is “a symbol of being commissioned by the people for a special task in which God’s help is needed.” He added: “It is a moment when The King is set apart for service: service of the people of this country, and service of God.”
The next step is the investiture, during which the sovereign is clothed in coronation robes and given the monarchy’s symbols, such as the orb, coronation ring, and scepters, among others.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the St. Edward’s Crown is placed atop the monarch’s head before princes and peers offer their respects to the monarch in what is known as homage.
At the conclusion of the coronation, the couple will ride the Gold State Coach in the Coronation Procession. It has been used at every coronation since William IV’s in 1831, making it 260 years old.
Uniform and the crowns
During the ceremony, the monarch will receive a heavy crown made of pure gold. To greet the people of London from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, however, the King will have to pack away the St. Edward Crown and assume the Imperial State crown instead.
The Queen Consort will be anointed with the crown of Queen Mary. This crown was constructed for Queen Mary, wife of King George V, in 1911 for her coronation. The crown is crafted from precious gold and set with jewels. Now, the crown of Queen Mary is being resized to suit the new Queen Consort.
Who will be attending?
According to the BBC, approximately 2,000 individuals have been invited to the formal ceremony. As anticipated, numerous members of the Royal Family will be present.
After speculation as to whether or not he would be invited, it has been verified that Prince Harry will attend the coronation of his father. Meghan Markle, his wife, will not attend. The coronation is scheduled for their son Prince Archie’s fourth birthday.
Political figures and world leaders from around the globe will be present. There will also be British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron. President Joe Biden will not attend, but his wife Jill Biden will represent him. In addition, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will be present. Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh, is also scheduled to attend the ceremony on May 6.
According to the BBC, 850 members of the community have been invited in recognition of their charitable efforts.
As information about the day was published by the palace, it became clear that the event would not be as large as the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth, reflecting the modern era and the current cost of living crisis. ABC reports that the estimated cost of the coronation is 100 million pounds.
The price tag, paid for by taxpayers, was difficult to swallow for those struggling to place food on the table in Britain.
The celebratory weekend with a holiday
On May 7, the day following the coronation, thousands of events will be held across the country as part of the “Coronation Big Lunch,” while Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Take That will headline the “Coronation Concert” at Windsor Castle in the evening.
“The Coronation Big Lunch helps you bring the celebration right into your own street or back yard,” said Peter Stewart, chief purpose officer at the event’s organizing body, the Eden Project.
“Sharing friendship, food and fun together gives people more than just a good time – people feel less lonely, make friends and go on to get more involved with their community,” he added in a statement.
The concert will be witnessed by volunteers from the King and Queen’s charity affiliations as well as several thousand members of the general public chosen through a BBC-run national ballot. However, some royal supporters have criticized Ticketmaster’s handling of the May 7 ticket sales. After the final day of the long weekend, the public will be enjoying a public holiday in the UK.