How King Charles' Coronation Will Be Different From The Queen's

·7-min read
king charles queen coronation differences
How King's Coronation Will Be Different From QueenWPA Pool - Getty Images

Towards the end of last year, news started swirling about King Charles’ ‘slimmed down’ coronation. It followed reports that he was expected to reveal a scaled back monarchy – a revelation that surfaced during the mourning period for his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8, 2022.

Buckingham Palace later announced in April 2023 that more than 850 community and charity representatives across the UK had been invited to enjoy the coronation from Westminster Abbey.

Thereafter, the Palace shared invitations went out to more than 2,000 people who will make up the congregation in the Abbey, including, of course, members of the Royal Family.

king charles queen coronation differences
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While the King’s coronation will be ‘rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry’, it ‘will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future’, as per the Palace.

King Charles’ coronation will be the first since 1953 – the year the Queen ascended the throne, aged just 25. His accession will mark the first time many of us have witnessed a change of a monarch, and the coronation that comes with it.

As the King’s coronation nears in May, after he has been the longest-serving heir-apparent (he became heir to the throne aged three), we’re taking a close look at how King Charles' coronation will be different from the late Queen's:

Was the Queen’s coronation in Westminster Abbey like King Charles’?

Yes, the Queen was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was attended by 8250 guests, whereas the King’s ceremony will have around 2000. And while the Queen’s coronation ceremony ran for four hours, King Charles’ will only last one hour.

Was Prince Philip crowned at the Queen’s coronation like Camilla will be at King Charles’?

On April 4 2023, the official invite for King Charles’ coronation was unveiled, revealing that Camilla would be crowned alongside her husband and her official title will change to ‘Queen Camilla’. Camilla was first known as Princess Consort before becoming Queen Consort upon the King ascending the throne following his mother's death.

Addressing the former Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, the invite read: ‘The coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III & Queen Camilla’.

A Queen consort was last crowned in 1937 at the coronation of King George VI, when The Queen Mother became Queen Elizabeth.

king charles queen coronation differences
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Camilla’s coronation crown was originally worn by the King’s great-grandmother Queen Mary, wife of King George V on the 70th anniversary of her death. The Palace revealed on February 14, 2023 that Camilla would wear the crown.

The statement from the Palace read: ‘Queen Mary’s Crown has been removed from display at the Tower of London for modification work ahead of the Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort on Saturday, 6 May 2023.

‘Queen Mary’s Crown will be used for the Coronation of The Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey.

king charles queen coronation differences
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‘The choice of Queen Mary’s Crown by Her Majesty is the first time in recent history that an existing crown will be used for the Coronation of a Consort instead of a new commission being made, in the interests of sustainability and efficiency. Some minor changes and additions will be undertaken by the Crown Jeweller, in keeping with the longstanding tradition that the insertion of jewels is unique to the occasion, and reflects the Consort’s individual style.’

It continued: ‘These changes will in particular pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as the Crown will be reset with the Cullinan III, IV and V diamonds. The diamonds were part of Queen Elizabeth II’s personal jewellery collection for many years and were often worn by Her late Majesty as brooches.

‘The Cullinan diamonds have been set into Queen Mary’s Crown on previous occasions. Cullinan III and IV were set temporarily in the Crown for the 1911 Coronation, and the Cullinan V was inserted when the Crown was worn as a regal circlet at King George VI’s Coronation in 1937.

‘In addition, four of the Crown’s eight detachable arches will be removed to create a different impression to when the Crown was worn by Queen Mary at the 1911 Coronation. St Edward’s Crown, which will be used for the Coronation of His Majesty The King, has now returned to public display at the Tower of London following the completion of modification work.’

Prince Philip, however, wasn’t crowned during Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

What did the Queen wear to her coronation?

British couturier Norman Hartnell submitted nine different designs to the Queen for her coronation dress, and Her Majesty accepted the eighth, but suggested embroideries in multiple colours rather than all in silver. They featured beads, diamantés and pearls. The Queen layered her cream capped sleeved dress with a purple crimson velvet and ermine robe.

king charles queen coronation differences
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By contrast, King Charles’ dress code will be more relaxed, and it’s understood he may wear his military uniform.

Will Prince Harry swear allegiance to the King?

At the Queen’s coronation all dukes who attended knelt before her and swore to ‘become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God’.

Prince William will be the only one to kneel and pledge allegiance to Charles at his forthcoming coronation ceremony. Neither Prince Harry or Prince Andrew, the Duke of York will be required to kneel before the King.

Will Camilla, Queen Consort use the Koh-I-Noor diamond?

The controversial Koh-I-Noor diamond, which came from India's alluvial mines and has been associated with oppressive rule by some Indians, was first put into the coronation crown of Queen Elizabeth's mother (The Queen Mother) in 1937. Camilla will wear Queen Mary’s crown, re-set with a 94.4-carat pear-cut diamond that’s not part of the state-owned jewels.

How will King Charles’ coronation procession be different from the Queen’s?

The Queen rode in her carriage with Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, for five miles across London following her coronation ceremony. The journey took two hours and involved 16,000 people.

king charles queen coronation differences
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King Charles’ procession route is a much shorter 1.3 miles, and he will instead ride in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.

What else is different about King Charles’ coronation?

The King’s eldest grandchild Prince George and seven other boys (who are friends or relatives of Charles and Camilla) named Pages of Honour will tend to the monarch and Camilla during the service.

They will be primarily responsible for carrying their heavy robes, a role normally assigned to teenage sons of members of the nobility and gentry, and senior Royal Household members.

king charles queen coronation differences
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It's been reported that George's younger siblings, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will accompany George and the King and Camilla as they leave the Abbey following the service.

In other news, while emojis were yet to be invented at the time of the Queen’s coronation, a royal emoji has been created for the King’s big day. It’s a cartoon version of the solid gold King Edward Crown that Charles will be crowned with.

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