Everything We Know So Far About King Charles III’s Coronation
Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, Charles III became King. Since then, he’s settled into his new role as sovereign—but there are still a few more months to go before we witness his official coronation.
Below, everything we know so far ahead of the historic day.
When will King Charles III’s coronation take place?
Tradition dictates that the country will remain in mourning for an appropriate period of time following the passing of the former monarch—as a result, the Coronation of King Charles III is still several months away. On October 11, however, Buckingham Palace confirmed that it will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2023. The date falls less than a month before the 70th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. (She acceded to the throne on February 6, 1952, but wasn’t crowned until June 2, 1953.)
Will there be a bank holiday for King Charles III’s coronation?
Yes, there will be an additional bank holiday for King Charles III’s Coronation, as was the case for Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation. Even though the upcoming Coronation will fall on a Saturday, the government has confirmed that the following Monday, May 8, will be a bank holiday.
Where will King Charles III’s coronation take place?
Westminster Abbey has been the setting for British Coronations for the past 900 years and Charles III’s will not deviate from the established model, at least in this sense.
What will King Charles III’s coronation look like?
In other senses, however, Charles III’s Coronation will look markedly different from his mother’s. In the press release confirming the Coronation date, Buckingham Palace added that while the ceremony “has retained a similar structure for over a thousand years, and next year’s Coronation is expected to include the same core elements” it will also recognize “the spirit of our times” and “reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future.”
According to The Telegraph, plans have been drawn up under the codename Operation Golden Orb, and will reflect the new sovereign’s vision for “a smaller, more modern monarchy.” Sources have told the publication that the ceremony will be shorter than the three hours allotted for the Queen’s Coronation. It will also be less expensive—as the government pays, the King has reportedly expressed the wish that the service be considered “good value”—and it will include more representatives from different faiths and community groups, in order to more accurately reflect the nation’s ethnic diversity.
Other aspects of the ceremony will align more closely with the Queen’s coronation: King Charles III will take the Coronation oath, be anointed with consecrated oil, receive the orb and scepters, and the Archbishop of Canterbury will place the glittering St Edward’s Crown on his head.
Buckingham Palace confirmed further details in a press release circulated on January 21. This included the fact that the King and Queen Consort Camilla would arrive at Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace as part of the King’s procession, and depart it with an even larger ceremonial procession, the Coronation procession, which will feature other members of the royal family. Afterwards, they will appear together on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to conclude the day’s events.
Will Queen Consort Camilla be crowned alongside King Charles III?
Yes, following Queen Elizabeth II’s declaration in 2022 that it was her “sincere wish” that the former Duchess of Cornwall take the title of Queen Consort when Charles accedes to the throne, she will be crowned alongside the monarch. She’ll become the first Consort to be crowned since the Queen Mother in 1937, and will have Queen Mary’s diamond-encrusted crown placed on her head. (As a man, Prince Philip was not entitled to a similar honor.) It was initially speculated that she would wear the Queen Mother’s platinum crown, decorated with 2,800 diamonds including the controversial 105-carat Koh-i-Noor, but Buckingham Palace later confirmed that it would not feature in the Coronation.
Who will be present at King Charles III’s coronation?
More than 8,000 guests attended Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, but King Charles III’s is expected to be significantly smaller, with around 2,000 dignitaries present. Among them will be members of the royal family, representatives from the Houses of Parliament and the Church, and prominent politicians from the Commonwealth and around the world.
Will King Charles III’s coronation be broadcast live?
Yes, it will be. Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, the first ceremony of its kind to be shown on TV, drew an estimated 27 million viewers in the U.K.—a number that could easily be surpassed this spring. In the U.S., the cable broadcasters that offered live coverage of the Queen’s funeral—NBC, CNN, ABC, and Fox News among them—are expected to air the coronation, although exact details remain unconfirmed.
Will there be other events to celebrate the coronation over the long weekend?
Yes, celebrations are expected to continue in the days following the Coronation. On January 21, Buckingham Palace announced that there will be a Coronation concert at Windsor Castle on May 7, in which both contemporary artists and global musical icons will come together to mark the occasion. They’ll be joined by an orchestra, dance troupes, A-list actors delivering “spoken word sequences” and the coronation choir, comprised of amateur singers from across the country, who’ll be joined by a virtual choir made up of vocalists based in the Commonwealth. (A new documentary has also been commissioned about the coronation choir, which will show how the group was formed and delve into the lives of its members.) The centerpiece of the concert is titled “Lighting up the Nation,” and will see the UK’s best-known landmarks illuminated with projections, lasers, and drone displays. The event will be broadcast live on BBC One, but there will also be thousands of free tickets available to win via a public ballot.
The other community events to look out for? The Coronation Big Lunch, which—much like The Big Jubilee Lunch in 2022—will encourage neighbors to unite for joyous street parties on May 7, and The Big Help Out on May 8, in which members of the public are invited to volunteer in their local areas. Expect further details and guidance to be released in due course.
What is the Coronation emblem?
The events that have been organized will be publicized under a new official Coronation logo. On February 10, Buckingham Palace unveiled the design, which has been created by Apple’s former chief design officer Sir Jony Ive and his creative collective, LoveFrom. “The emblem pays tribute to the King’s love of the natural world, unifying the flora of the four nations of the United Kingdom; the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales, and the shamrock of Northern Ireland,” read the accompanying press release. “Together, the flowers create the shape of St Edward’s Crown, with which His Majesty the King will be crowned during the Coronation service at Westminster Abbey. The emblem has been designed using the red, white, and blue of the union flag.” Expect to see it on bunting at street parties, as well as on the official merchandise that’ll be released to mark the celebrations.
Originally Appeared on Vogue
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