King Charles III's Coronation: What we know so far

state opening of parliament 2022
King Charles III's Coronation: What we know so farWPA Pool - Getty Images

King Charles III's Coronation will be held on Saturday 6th May 2023 at Westminster Abbey in London, Buckingham Palace has announced.

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 2022 – two days after the official ceremony. This is in addition to the bank holiday already in place on 1st May, the government has said.

Charles ascended to the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on the 8th September. It marks the formal investiture of a monarch's regal power.

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."

Charles will be 74 at the time of the ceremony, the oldest a new monarch has ever been crowned.

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.

king charles iii at the funeral of his mother, queen elizabeth ii
CHRIS Jackson GETTY IMAGES - Getty Images

Will there be a bank holiday?

Yes, it has been confirmed that an extra bank holiday will take place on Monday 8th May 2022 – two days after the official ceremony. This is in addition to the bank holiday already in place on 1st May, the government has said.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it would allow people to "come together and celebrate".

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.

However, breaking with tradition, this is the first time that the ceremony will take place on a weekend, since Edward VI's in 1902.

During the ceremony – which has the codename 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.

st edward's crown
Getty Images

Camilla will also be anointed and crowned, as was the Queen Mother when she was crowned Queen in 1937.

Who is invited to the King's Coronation?

The palace hasn't comment further on the size of the event, amid reports the King would prefer a toned-down affair with reduced costs, considering the cost of living crisis. There have also been suggestions of it lasting just one hour, with around 2,000 dignitaries in attendance, compared to the three-hour-long ceremony and 8,000 signatures at Queen Elizabeth II's coronation.

coronation day
Fox Photos - Getty Images

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.

coronation of queen elizabeth ii
Universal History Archive - Getty Images

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.

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.

queen elizabeth ii wearing the imperial state crown and carrying the orb and sceptre, leaving the state coach and entering buckingham palace, after the coronation original publication picture post 6537 the coronation of queen elizabeth ii pub 1953 photo by hulton archivegetty images
Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Imperial State CrownHulton Archive - Getty Images

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.

2nd june 1953 queen elizabeth ii seated upon the throne at her coronation in westminster abbey, london she is holding the royal sceptre ensign of kingly power and justice and the rod with the dove symbolising equity and mercy photo by topical press agencygetty images
Topical Press Agency - Getty Images

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).

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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