King Charles has been Britain’s monarch since last year, when his beloved mother Queen Elizabeth II passed away at Balmoral on September 8 at the age of 96 – ending her 70-year reign.
With plans well under way, Buckingham Palace has announced further details on the ceremonial, celebratory and community events that will take place over the Coronation weekend.
Charles ascended to the throne immediately following the death of Her Majesty, but his coronation will not be until May 6, 2023.
Camilla, Queen Consort, will also be crowned at the same time during the historic event.
The royal coronation ceremony, in particular, is an event that dates back over a thousand years and is set to take place inside Westminster Abbey, with Charles opting for a slimmed down occasion, with a guest list of only around 2000 people.
He will be the 40th reigning monarch to be crowned in the Abbey. Charles will be 74 at the time of the ceremony, the oldest a new monarch has ever been crowned.
The guest size is much smaller compared to Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, where more that 7000 people packed into Westminster Abbey.
In January, Buckingham Palace announced details for King Charles III’s version of the tradition, which will be followed by two more days of celebration, and will include a concert at Windsor Castle and community-building events.
But what does the coronation mean for the public, when exactly is it, and will Prince Andrew be there? And what about Prince Harry and Meghan – will they make an appearance following the Duke’s fallout with the Royal Family?
Here is everything you need to know:
Charles’s coronation will not be until May. The crowning of the King inside Westminster Abbey is set to be a historic occasion featuring regalia and highly symbolic ceremonies that have not been seen for 70 years
When is the Coronation?
The Coronation will take place on Saturday, May 6, at Westminster Abbey.
It will be a bank holiday weekend, allowing Britons to celebrate on Monday, May 8 as well.
The Queen’s Coronation took place nearly 70 years before, on June 2, 1953, but she actually became monarch in February the previous year, following the death of her father George VI.
Will the Coronation be on television?
The coronation itself will be televised.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct the “solemn religious service” of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla’s coronation, which will take place in the morning and will be televised by the BBC.
However, specific details of when and where will be available closer to the big day.
A worldwide audience of hundreds of millions is expected to watch.
Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, was the first coronation to ever be aired on TV and sparked an explosion in ownership of televisions around Britain.
Around 27million people watched the ceremony, with a further 11 million listening on the radio.
What time will the coronation start?
It has not yet been confirmed what time the King’s Coronation will take place.
However, Queen Elizabeth II’s ceremony began at 11.15am and lasted nearly three hours.
However, the Mail on Sunday previously revealed that the service will last for just over an hour, rather than more than three.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have confirmed they have been invited to the King’s Coronation – but have refused to say whether they will be attending
Will Harry and Meghan be at the Coronation?
Though they’ve stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family, Harry and Meghan are still both technically royal and family to King Charles.
They have confirmed they have been invited to the King’s Coronation – but have refused to say whether they will be attending.
The Mail understands that Harry and Meghan’s former UK home, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor – which the King is said to have taken from them – will be available for them to stay in should they fly to England to attend.
Harry received an email from the Palace about the event, their spokesman said, despite the fallouts with the Royal Family and his ‘trauma chat’ on Saturday.
The Duke of Sussex sat down for an intimate chat with controversial ‘trauma therapist’ Gabor Maté over the weekend and poured his heart out about topics ranging from his ‘positive’ experience of psychedelic drugs to how wife Meghan Markle ‘saved’ him.
The conversation heaped more misery on his dad King Charles with a series of shocking admissions also which included him claiming that speaking about his trauma over his mum Diana’s death was an act of service to the world.
This comes following the release of Harry’s book Spare and the bombshell Netflix docuseries the royal couple starred in a few months ago.
So, while there is a rift between Harry and the rest of the Royal Family members, only time will tell whether the couple will fly across the pond for the monumental day.
During the coronation, Charles will swear to be the ‘defender of the faith’, not ‘defender of faith’ – a change that was previously speculated
What will actually happen at the Coronation?
Charles will be crowned alongside Camilla, the Queen Consort.
The occasion is expected to be a smaller affair than the late Queen’s ceremony.
A Buckingham Palace statement said in October: ‘The coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.’
It added: ‘The coronation is a solemn religious service, together with an occasion for celebration and pageantry.
‘The ceremony has retained a similar structure for over a thousand years, and this year’s coronation is expected to include the same core elements while recognising the spirit of our times.
‘For the last 900 years, the ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey, London. Since 1066, the service has almost always been conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.’
The guest list may also be slashed from 8,000 to 2,000 and discussions have been held about having a more relaxed dress code.
The King is also set to ditch the various outfit changes that his mother had to make.
Whilst some lengthy traditions that featured in 1953 are set to be axed, the highly sacred moment of the anointing of the monarch will be retained.
A canopy of golden cloth will be held over Charles’ head during the anointing, so that no one else can see.
Charles will swear to be the ‘defender of the faith’, not ‘defender of faith’ – a change that was previously speculated.
The King will wit in the Coronation Chair, which dates from the start of the 14th Century.
After being anointed, Charles will have the crown of St Edward placed on his head, officially crowning him as King Charles III.
The 1762 Gold State Coach, which was refurbished at great expense for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, will also be part of the Coronation procession.
Prince William will also take on new titles at the Coronation, including being formally named as the Prince of Wales.
What do we know about the music?
The King has personally chosen the music for the ceremony, which will feature 12 newly-commissioned pieces, including an anthem from Cats composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Part of the service will be sung in Welsh, and soloists will include world-famous Welsh opera singer Sir Bryn Terfel.
There will be Greek Orthodox music in memory of the King’s father, Prince Philip, who was born in Greece.
A gospel choir will also perform, as will choristers from Westminster School.
The BBC announced that 10,000 free tickets are up for grabs for the star-studded coronation concert at Windsor Castle. The national ballot for the live televised musical extravaganza opened on February 10
With the announcement of street parites, there could be similar scenes to 1953, which saw thousands of celebrations take place around the country
What will happen after the Coronation and will there be street parties?
After the service Westminster Abbey, the King may head to Buckingham Palace to stand on the balcony with senior members of his family.
The Bank Holiday weekend means that most Britons will be able to celebrate the crowning of the King for two further days until they go back to work on Tuesday.
Coronation Big Lunches, thousands of street parties, and The Big Help Out will bring communities together over special Bank Holiday Coronation weekend.
It should be noted that Street parties and coronation events require a road closure, so it is important to check with your local council or borough on how you can organise one.
Big Lunches take place across the UK annually and last year they raised more than £22 million for local charities.
Here is what is planed for each day:
- Saturday 6th May 2023 – The Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey
- Sunday 7th May 2023 – The Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle
- Sunday 7th May 2023 – The Coronation Big Lunch
- Monday 8th May 2023 – The Big Help Out
King Charles will wear St Edward’s Crown, which was made in 1661 for the coronation of King Charles II
What Crown will the king wear?
King Charles will wear St Edward’s Crown, which was made in 1661 for the coronation of King Charles II.
It is made of solid gold and features more than 400 gemstones, including six sapphires, and 12 rubies. It weighs nearly 5lbs (2.23kg).
St Edward’s Crown is a replacement for the original that was among the Crown Jewels that were melted down and sold off when the monarchy was abolished in 1649.
Why was May 6 chosen?
Reportedly, King Charles wanted his Coronation to be held around the same date as his mother’s 1953 coronation, which took place on Tuesday 2nd June.
Instead, 6th May was reportedly chosen in consultation with the government, the Church of England and the Royal Household.
It is not yet clear which members of the Royal Family will be attending. However, Prince Andrew did make an unexpected appearance at the Royal Family’s annual Christmas Day 2022 walkabout
Will Prince Andrew be at the Coronation?
The Palace has not yet revealed who will be going to the King’s coronation, including which members of the Royal Family will be there.
The brother of the monarch would ordinarily have been expected to be among the attendees at Westminster Abbey.
But Prince Andrew is no longer a working royal following the scandal surrounding his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his settlement with sex accuser Virginia Roberts.
However, he did make an unexpected appearance at the Royal Family’s annual Christmas Day 2022 walkabout, which was seen by some as an olive branch to the disgraced Duke of York.