The Coronation Chair and other thrones in King Charles' coronation ceremony

charles iii coronation
The thrones being used in King Charles' coronationWPA Pool - Getty Images

The day of King Charles III's coronation is here – and as we watch Charles be crowned, we see the use of the historic Coronation Chair and other restored thrones, as well as marvel in the robes and crowns Charles will wear at each important moment.

As well as the Coronation Chair, Charles has chosen to reuse thrones from the coronations of his mother and grandfather, as part of his efforts to promote sustainability in the celebrations. Each of the chairs being reused has been painstakingly and intricately restored ahead of the big day.

When will the Coronation Chair be used during the ceremony?

For the moment of crowning, Charles will sit on St Edward's Chair, also known as the Coronation Chair. It has been used in coronations for over 700 years, according to the Westminster Abbey website.

The Coronation Chair was ordered by Edward I and brought to Westminster Abbey in 1296. Historians are certain that Henry IV was crowned in the chair in 1399, and it has been used when crowning every monarch since.

The Stone of Destiny sits under the Coronation Chair and is an ancient symbol of the Scottish monarchy.

coronation throne
The Coronation Chair is over 700 years oldDan Kitwood - Getty Images

During the Second World War, the chair was hidden in Gloucester Cathedral for safekeeping.

The chair has been graffitied over the years – most of which was done by schoolchildren and visitors to Westminster Abbey in 18th and 19th centuries, many of whom carved their names into the wood.

In 1914, a bomb attack thought to have been orchestrated by the Suffragettes knocked a corner off the chair.

The Chair is sitting on the Cosmati Pavement in Westminster Abbey, which was laid in 1258 by order of Henry III.

What other thrones will Charles and Camilla sit on?

When it's not the moment of crowning, Charles and Camilla will sit on Chairs of Estate and Throne Chairs, according to the Royal Family website. Both of these sets of chairs are being reused from previous coronations, as part of Charles' bid to promote sustainability.

The Chairs of Estate which will be used were made for Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. The Throne Chairs were made for the coronation of George VI and Elizabeth in May 1937.

Both sets of chairs were restored at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace, London. Camilla became a patron of the School in 2017.

coronation throne
The Royal Cypher embroidered on Charles’ Chair of EstateWPA Pool - Getty Images

The Chairs of Estate will be used for early parts of the ceremony and are made from carved and gilded beechwood in a 17th century style. During the ceremony, they are positioned on the South Side of the High Altar.

To prepare for the coronation, they have been cleaned and restored and reupholstered in new silk damask by restorers at the Royal Collection Trust.

Charles and Camilla's cyphers have been added to the front of the Chairs of Estate. The cyphers of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have been removed and will remain in the Royal Collection for safekeeping.

coronation throne
A restorer adds the final touches to Charles’ Chair of EstateWPA Pool - Getty Images

The Throne Chairs have been restored by the Royal Collection Trust’s Furniture Conservators. The original crimson velvet – which was upholstered onto the chairs for George VI's coronation – has been replaced by new velvet and trimmings, including new silk braid and fringe details.

coronation chair
An upholsterer works on Camilla’s Throne ChairWPA Pool - Getty Images

The Coat of Arms was taken from the original velvet and transferred onto the new velvet on the back of Charles' Throne Chair. The new Coat of Arms for Camilla as Queen Consort has been embroidered onto the new velvet of her Throne Chair, too.

What chairs will the congregation sit on?

One hundred congregation chairs have been made for the coronation ceremony and will be placed in Westminster Abbey.

The chairs are covered in blue velvet and feature the new cyphers of the new King and Queen. They are made from sustainable British oak, and several were made by graduates from the Snowdon School of Furniture at Highgrove, which forms part of Charles' work with The Prince's Foundation to ensure traditional skills aren't lost.

The congregation chairs will be auctioned after the event and the proceeds donated to charity.

Want to know more about the coronation? Don't miss our guides to the details of Charles' coronation outfit and the official coronation invitation.

You Might Also Like