Watch: Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill to attend the coronation of King Charles
Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill is among the politicians attending the event on 6 May, with the first minister-designate of Northern Ireland saying the gesture demonstrated her commitment to advancing peace and reconciliation.
This is a hugely significant move because Sinn Fein is an Irish republican party which seeks the unification of Northern Ireland with the Republic and to remove any British authority in the region — including the monarchy.
In a statement, O’Neill said: "I am an Irish Republican. I also recognise there are many people on our island for whom the coronation is a hugely important occasion".
She added that she is committed to "being a first minister for all, representing the whole community, building good relations between the people of these islands, and advancing peace and reconciliation through respectful and mature engagement".
The announcement of O'Neill's attendance comes at a time when the terror threat in Northern Ireland has been raised to "severe" from "substantial".
I have accepted an invitation to attend the coronation of King Charles lll.
We are living in a time of great change. A time to respect our differing and equally legitimate aspirations, and focus on the opportunities the next decade will bring.
I am an Irish Republican. I also…
— Michelle O’Neill (@moneillsf) April 26, 2023
With tensions high in the region, O'Neill's move reflects the soft diplomacy we have seen previously from the late Queen to also try and encourage peace.
In 2011, Queen Elizabeth II spoke Irish during a state visit and the following year shook hands with deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness — who was formally IRA commander — in what was seen as a historic gesture that once would have been inconceivable.
Who is attending King Charles's coronation?
Members of the Royal Family
Most members of the Royal Family are expected to attend the King’s coronation, but the biggest question was whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would attend after Prince Harry’s book Spare caused ripples among royal circles.
This was clarified in April when it was revealed Harry would attend his father’s coronation while Meghan would stay in California with their two children, Archie and Lilibet. The date of the coronation also marks Archie’s fourth birthday.
Royal Family members attending the King’s coronation include:
William and Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales
Their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis of Wales
Princess Anne and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence
Zara and Mike Tindall
Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank
Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh
Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince Edward's daughter
James, Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward's son
The Queen Consort's family
Camilla will become Queen during the coronation. As she married the King in 2005, she has adult children of her own and other members of her family who will be at the coronation.
Members of Queen Camilla’s family to expect at the coronation:
Andrew Parker Bowles (Camilla’s ex-husband)
Thomas, Lola, and Frederick Parker Bowles (Camilla’s son and grandchildren)
Laura, Harry, Eliza, Louis, and Gus Lopes (Camilla’s daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren)
Annabel Elliot (Camilla’s sister)
Benjamin, Mary-Clare, and Arthur Elliot (Camilla’s nephew, niece-in-law, and great-nephew)
Frederick Parker Bowles, Louis Lopes, Gus Lopes, and Arthur Elliot will serve as the Queen's pages of honour, while Camilla’s sister will serve as one of her ladies in attendance.
All living former British prime ministers will be in attendance at the King’s coronation, from Sir John Major to Rishi Sunak. Current serving members of the cabinet will also be in attendance, as will the first ministers of Scotland and Wales.
Past and present British politicians who will attend the King’s coronation:
Liz Truss (September - October 2022)
Boris Johnson (2019 - 2022)
Theresa May (2016 - 2019)
David Cameron (2010 - 2016)
Gordon Brown (2007 - 2010)
Sir Tony Blair (1997 - 2007)
Sir John Major (1990 - 1997)
Humza Yousaf (first minister of Scotland)
Mark Drakeford (first minister of Wales)
Michelle O'Neill (Sinn Féin’s vice-president)
David and Victoria Beckham, Rowan Atkinson, Stella McCartney and Dame Joanna Lumley are all rumoured to be attending the King’s coronation.
Meanwhile, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie have been named as headline acts alongside Take That and Andrea Bocelli at the coronation concert that will take place on Sunday 7 May.
Celebrities expected to attend the King’s coronation:
David and Victoria Beckham
Dame Joanna Lumley
Royals from across the world are expected to attend the King’s coronation, from the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark, to Japan’s Crown Prince and Princess.
Foreign royals expected to attend the King’s coronation:
King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of the Belgians
Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko of Japan
King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan
Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg
Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
Royals from countries such as the UAE, Bhutan, Tonga, Morocco, and Lesotho have also been invited, but their attendance hasn’t yet been confirmed.
Politicians and heads of states from around the world are expected to attend the coronation, from both Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth nations.
The heads of state expected to attend the King’s coronation are:
First lady of the United States, Jill Biden (in place of US president Joe Biden)
President of France, Emmanuel Macron
President of Poland, Andrzej Duda
Prime minister of New Zealand, Chris Hipkins
Prime minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese
President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier
President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella
Prime minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif
President and first lady of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Louise Araneta-Marcos
Prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina
President of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides
Governor-general of Canada, Mary Simon