King Charles III's Coronation will be held on Saturday 6th May 2023 at Westminster Abbey in London. 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.
Camilla, Queen Consort, will also be crowned at the same time during the historic event, which is the first to take place in nearly 70 years following the late Queen's long reign.
To celebrate the Coronation, it has been confirmed that an extra bank holiday will take place on Monday 8th May 2023 – two days after the official ceremony. This is in addition to the bank holiday already in place on 1st May.
Charles ascended to the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on the 8th September 2022. It marks the formal investiture of a monarch's regal power. Charles will be 74 at the time of the ceremony, the oldest a new monarch has ever been crowned.
The ceremony will "reflect the monarch's role today", according to a statement from Buckingham Palace. It also said the Coronation will "look towards the future while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry."
Keep reading for details on:
The Coronation guest list
Official Coronation invitation
Full weekend plans
How to get involved
The Coronation Emblem
What crown King Charles will wear
What will happen at the Coronation
The procession route
King Charles III's Coronation date: Coronation weekend plans revealed
Official plans for King Charles III's Coronation have been released by Buckingham Palace. "Across the Coronation Weekend, there will be further opportunities for people to come together in celebration of the historic occasion," says an announcement from the Palace.
Keep reading for the full list of events taking place over the Coronation weekend:
Saturday 6th May, 2023
The Coronation Service will take place on the morning of Saturday 6th May 2023 at Westminster Abbey. It will begin at 11am. The King and the Queen Consort will arrive at Westminster Abbey in procession from Buckingham Palace, known as 'The King's Procession'.
Following the ceremony, the King and Queen Consort will return to Buckingham Palace in a larger ceremonial procession, known as 'The Coronation Procession'. They will be joined in this procession by other members of the Royal Family. The day will end with the Royal Family appearing on the balcony. Read here to see which members of the royal family are expected to appear on the Palace balcony.
Sunday 7th May, 2023
On Sunday 7th May 2023, a special Coronation Concert will take place at Windsor Castle. Broadcast by the BBC, the concert will bring global music icons and contemporary stars together in celebration of the historic occasion. The concert will be attended by members of the public, as well as charities supported by the Monarch. The Concert will begin mid evening and will last for approximately two to three hours.
During the concert, there will also be a special 'Lighting up the Nation' segment, which will see the country join together in celebration as iconic locations across the UK are lit up using projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations.
The Coronation Big Lunch will also take place on Sunday 7th May. From street parties to garden get-togethers, neighbours and communities across the UK are invited to share food and fun together.
Monday 8th May, 2023
The Big Help Out will be held on Monday 8th May 2023 — the additional bank holiday. Organised by The Together Coalition and 25 of the UK's biggest charities, The Big Help Out will highlight the positive impact volunteering has on communities across the nation. From rolling up your sleeves to help a local group, to volunteering at a food bank, this is the chance to lend a hand in your neighbourhood. Read more about The Big Help out here.
Coronation procession route
On the morning of the 6th May, King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, will travel in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach in a procession to Westminster Abbey. Created for Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Her late Majesty's reign, the coach has only ever been used by the Queen. The outside features a gilded crown on the top carved from oak from HMS Victory, while the interiors have been crafted from woods, metals and materials from buildings and places with specific connections to Britain.
Known as 'The King's Procession', the carriage will depart Buckingham Palace through the Centre Gate, before proceeding down The Mall. It will then pass through Admiralty Arch and along the south side of Trafalgar Square, down Whitehall and along Parliament Street to the Abbey.
According to royal.co.uk, The Coronation Procession will include Armed Forces from across the Commonwealth and the British Overseas Territories, and all Services of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, alongside The Sovereign's Bodyguard and Royal Watermen.
After the ceremony, their Majesties will take the same route back to Buckingham Palace. 'The Coronation Procession', which is set to be much larger in scale, will see the King and Queen travel in the Gold State Coach.
More than 6,000 men and women of the United Kingdom's Armed Forces will participate in the historic event. Described as the largest military ceremonial operation for 70 years, the Coronation will see sailors, soldiers and aviators from across the UK and Commonwealth take part in the magnificent procession. Later in the day, military personnel will conduct a flypast of more than 60 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force flying over The Mall in London.
"I am incredibly proud of our brilliant military personnel who are preparing to honour centuries of military tradition by taking to the streets, skies and seas to pay tribute to our new King and Queen and mark the Coronation next month," Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said.
For more information about the Coronation procession route, visit royal.co.uk.
Official Coronation invitation: details and design
The official invitation for King Charles III's Coronation has been released. Designed by heraldic artist Andrew Jamieson, the original artwork for the invitation was hand-painted in watercolour and gouache. It features the motif of the Green Man – an ancient figure from British folklore, symbolic of spring and rebirth – to celebrate the new reign. Crowned in natural foliage, the Green Man is formed of leaves of oak, ivy and hawthorn and the emblematic flowers of the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, a British wildflower meadow borders the invitation, featuring lily of the valley (Queen Elizabeth II's favourite flower), cornflowers, wild strawberries, dog roses, bluebells, and a sprig of rosemary for remembrance. The border also includes a bee, butterfly, ladybird, wren and robin to celebrate the King's love of nature.
Why was 6th May chosen as the Coronation date?
Some initial reports suggested King Charles' Coronation would be held around the same date as his mother's 1953 coronation, which took place on Tuesday 2nd June – but an earlier date has been chosen.
6th May was reportedly chosen in consultation with the government, the Church of England and the Royal Household.
Although Buckingham Palace has not announced the exact reason for the May 6th date, there are some symbolic references to family members.
Firstly, the coronation of George VI, the King's grandfather, was in May. 6th May is also the birthday of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's son Archie, the King's grandson, who will be turning four on the day. It's also the same date as the late Queen's sister, Princess Margaret's wedding anniversary.
Where will the Coronation be held?
The ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey and will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, following tradition. Since 1066, the ceremony has almost always been carried out by the Archbishop.
During the ceremony – which has the code name Operation Golden Orb – the King will be anointed with holy oil, receive the orb, coronation ring and sceptre, be blessed and then consecrated by the Archbishop. Monarchs traditionally sit in the 14th-century King Edward's Chair, and he will be crowned with the St Edward’s crown.
Camilla will also be anointed and crowned, as was the Queen Mother when she was crowned Queen in 1937.
Can you take part in the King's Coronation?
Yes, you can take part in the King's Coronation — but you have to be related to someone who took part in a previous coronation.
As part of a 700-year-old tradition, anyone whose ancestor has taken part in a past ceremony to carry out similar duties at this year's event. According to gov.uk, His Majesty wants the event to be rooted in tradition but reflective of today. It will replace the Court of Claims, which fulfilled a similar role for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953.
Who is invited to the King's Coronation?
The official Coronation invitation will be sent out to around 2,000 guests — a considerably smaller affair compared to Queen Elizabeth II's 8,000 Coronation guests. There have also been suggestions of it lasting just one hour.
The late Queen's coronation took place on 2nd June 1953, and was the first to be televised which was a move encouraged by Prince Philip, in order to help modernise the Royal Family and ensure popularity with the public remained. It was deemed to be a success after attracting a record-breaking number of viewers from across the world. Charles was also at the event watching, aged just four.
The Duke of Norfolk, who as Earl Marshal is responsible for organising the ceremony. He has reportedly been tasked with making it a simpler, shorter and more diverse ceremony that reflects modern Britain, according to the Mail on Sunday. "The King has stripped back a lot of the coronation in recognition that the world has changed in the past 70 years," a source told the paper.
How to watch the Coronation on TV
The BBC will cover all of the ceremonial events as they unfold. The Coronation Ceremony on Saturday 6th May will be the centrepiece of live coverage, including the early military movements, formal processions, service at Westminster Abbey, atmosphere on the streets of London, the balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace, and much more.
You can watch the King's Coronation on:
• BBC One
• BBC Two
• BBC iPlayer
• There will also be accessible coverage for people who are blind or partially sighted on Red Button
King Charles III's Coronation Emblem revealed
Buckingham Palace has unveiled King Charles III's official Coronation Emblem, celebrating the historic beginning of the new reign.
The graphic, designed by Sir Jony Ive using an iPhone, pays tribute to the King's love of the natural world. Featuring Union Jack colours, it depicts the flora of the four nations in the shape of St Edward's Crown: the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and the shamrock of Northern Ireland.
The emblem will feature throughout the historic celebrations in May, including the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey, Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle, street parties, and community gatherings around the country. It will also be used for all official merchandise commenting the special occasion, featuring on mugs, plates and tea towels.
The star-studded Coronation Concert will take place at Windsor Castle on Sunday the 7th of May.
Broadcast live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio, BBC Sounds and supported across the entire BBC network, the Coronation Concert will bring together musical icons, contemporary acts, a world-class orchestra, entertainers, and a selection of spoken word sequences delivered by stars of the stage and screen.
What crown will King Charles wear?
King Charles III will wear the St Edward's Crown when he is officially declared as the King during his Coronation. This will be the first and only time that Charles will wear this particular crown. Made of solid gold and weighing five pounds, it contains 444 gemstones, including rubies, sapphires, garnets and tourmalines.
It was originally made for the coronation of the Charles II in 1661 and is stored safely in the Tower of London. The crown was also worn by his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. King Charles will also wear the Imperial State Crown during the Coronation service.
According to Historic Royal Palaces, the Imperial State Crown is made of gold and set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls, and four rubies. The crown contains some of the most famous jewels in the collection. These include the Black Prince's Ruby, the Stuart Sapphire, and the Cullinan II diamond.
The Imperial State Crown was originally made for the coronation of King George VI in 1937, replacing the crown made for Queen Victoria in 1838.
What flowers will be at the Coronation?
While we won't know until the day, we expect to see some of the King's favourite blooms, delphiniums, make an appearance.
In a social media post coinciding with the Chelsea Flower Show 2020, the then-Prince Charles revealed that he loves to grow them thanks to their glorious eye-catching colours. "For me, the magnificent, gloriously appareled delphinium, with its impeccable bearing and massed in platoons, holds pride of place in my botanical affections."
To mark the special occasion, we may also see the symbolic blooms of Britain. Many countries around the world have adopted a flower as part of their national emblem, and King Charles could include these at his Coronation.
England is represented by the Tudor rose, while the thistle is Scotland's national flower. Sunshine-yellow daffodils are the national flower of Wales, with Northern Ireland having the three-leaf shamrock as its national flower.
What happens at a coronation?
According to royal.uk, the "coronation ceremony is an occasion for pageantry and celebration, but it is also a solemn religious ceremony and has remained essentially the same over a thousand years". But what happens at a coronation?
The Coronation of King Charles III follows an enormous amount of preparation. During the ceremony, the new King will take the coronation oath. The form and wording have varied over the centuries.
Following this, the new Sovereign will then be 'anointed, blessed and consecrated' by the Archbishop, whilst seated in King Edward's chair (made in 1300, and used by every Sovereign since 1626). According to reports published by The Telegraph, the King could become the first monarch in Britain to be publicly anointed with holy oil at the ceremony.
At Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953, the sacred pouring of the oil was done in private behind a gold cloth canopy. However, the Royal School of Needlework is believed to have already started work on an alternative canopy with a see-through top, allowing people to witness the special act for the very first time.
After receiving the orb and sceptres, the Archbishop will place St Edward's Crown on the King's head. Camilla, Queen consort, will then also be crowned in a similar but simpler ceremony.
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