Church, music and parties: what is known about the coronation of Charles

The UK is pinning its hopes on one date: May 6th. Then King Charles III. and his queen consort Camilla were crowned in London. For many in the country, the coronation of a British monarch for the first time in 70 years is a welcome opportunity to forget the difficult economic situation for a few days. A rundown of what is known just months before the ceremony:

Church: Traditionally, the coronation takes place in Westminster Abbey. Charles automatically became king with the death of his mother Elizabeth on September 8, 2022, and could also reign without a coronation. The symbolic ceremony formalizes his role as head of the Church of England. Charles is traditionally wearing the Edwardian crown, Camilla the crown of Queen Mary. It is the first time in recent history that an existing crown has been used for a king’s consort and no new one has been made, the palace said.

Church, music and parties: what is known about the coronation of Charles

Historical: The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 (Archive)
Image: APA/AFP/-

Ceremony: The service has remained unchanged since William the Conqueror in 1066, always led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Church. Charles has stated several times that he wants to streamline and modernize the monarchy. The coronation should reflect that. The king also adapts to the length: while the ceremony at his mother’s in 1953 lasted three hours, this time only 60 minutes are planned. However, core elements such as the anointing with consecrated oil and the coronation itself are retained.

Guests: Around 2,200 people will follow the spectacle in Westminster Abbey, with Elizabeth there were once more than 8,000. Dignitaries and the most important political representatives are expected, as well as numerous guests of honor and state from abroad. As at the Queen’s funeral, dozens of crowned heads are also likely to arrive.

Family: Heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Kate will be in the front row. It is unclear whether Charles’ younger son Prince Harry and his wife Duchess Meghan will come to the coronation. The 38-year-old has harshly criticized the royal family in his autobiography “Reserve” and many interviews and revealed internals. If he and wife Meghan don’t come to the celebration, they could be accused of “snubbing” the family. Come, risk whistles from onlookers. According to surveys, their reputation has recently suffered greatly. Charles wanted to invite his son despite all the arguments, was last read.

Church, music and parties: what is known about the coronation of Charles

The heir to the throne, William and Kate, sit in the front row of the church.
Bild: APA/AFP/POOL/Chris Jackson

Datum: It is not known whether the election of May 6 has any deeper meaning. The coronation day falls on the fourth birthday of Charles’ grandson Archie, son of Harry and Meghan, and the wedding anniversary of his aunt Margaret. The Queen’s younger sister married the Earl of Snowdon in 1960, from whom she divorced in 1978.

Music: Charles commissioned a total of twelve pieces of music, including a hymn by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and a Greek Orthodox church piece in honor of his father Prince Philip, who died in 2021 and also had Greek roots. Singers and choirs will travel from all parts of the Commonwealth.

Party: The coronation alone is not enough. The historic event will be celebrated for three days, with an additional day off on May 8th. A big concert is planned at Windsor Castle on Sunday evening.

The announced light effects bring back memories of the Queen’s anniversary concert in front of Buckingham Palace. Thousands of tickets are to be raffled across the country. A “coronation choir” sings from special choirs, such as refugees and the hearing impaired.

On Sunday, people are invited to street festivals and tea parties at the “Coronation Big Lunch” – roughly: the big coronation meal. Under the motto “Big Help” (great help), the population will then be encouraged on Monday to get to know volunteer work in their communities.

Church, music and parties: what is known about the coronation of Charles

Street parties across the country – like most recently at the Queen’s Jubilee

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