Written by Serene Joshua, contributing writer
Charles the III’s coronation is on the 6th of May, 2023. His wife, Camilla, will also be made, what’s called, Queen Consort in this ceremony
Here’s all about it
Who is King Charles?
He is the son of the former queen of England, Elizabeth II, who passed away on September 8th of 2022.
As the next in line to the throne, Charles III will now be crowned king. The coronation is to take place tomorrow, May 6th, to officially establish him as the King of England and his wife Camilla, as Queen consort.
Who decided the date of the coronation?
Buckingham Palace made this decision and announced that the new King’s coronation will take place on May 6th, 2023 at a church named Westminster Abbey, where he will be crowned along with his wife, the new queen of England, Camilla.
The official statement from the palace has said that “The Coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry”.
It is at this coronation ceremony that Charles III and the queen consort Camilla will officially be declared King and Queen of England.
What is a coronation?
It’s the crowning of a King or Queen.
In England, the coronation is a day filled with celebrations, ceremonies, and parades, and citizens from all over the country gather around the streets of Buckingham Palace to get a glimpse of this grand celebration.
But what exactly is the coronation? Who attends it, and what is the history behind it?
Well, read on to find out more about the coronation along with 10 interesting and fun facts about the coronation!
The Coronation – Short and Sweet
- The King’s coronation will take place on May 6th, 2023 at Westminster Abbey
- Camilla, his wife, will officially become Queen consort (explained below)
- In the year 973 AD, King Edward’s coronation in Bath set the standards for how coronations should be carried out.
- This year the King has ensured a smaller yet more diverse ceremony in comparison to his mother’s
What will happen at the coronation ceremony?
As mentioned before, the coronation ceremony is when Charles III and the queen consort Camilla will officially be declared King and Queen of England.
The coronation ceremony will happen at Westminster Abbey, a royal church, in London.
The King’s procession…
There will be a procession starting at Buckingham Palace and ending at Westminster Abbey, known as the King’s Procession. This journey is about 2 kilometers, and once they reach there will be over 2000 guests waiting to see them be crowned at the abbey.
At the ceremony, the new King and Queen will be anointed with Holy oil and be crowned with St. Edward’s Crown by the Archbishop of Canterbury – the main leader of the Church of England .
Once the coronation ceremony is over, the King and Queen will return to Buckingham Palace from the abbey.
When they reach Buckingham Palace, the King and Queen, as well as a few members of the royal family, will stand on the balcony for a flypast.
The flypast is when several aircraft from the armed forces will show their aerobatic skills to celebrate the coronation!
What will the King wear?
The King will wear the gowns and jewels worn by previous monarchs at past Coronations.
These, “vestments” as they are called (clothing etc.) will be worn by the Kings as he is crowned King by the Archbishop of Canterbury – the head of England’s Church.
The Supertunica, pictured above, was made in 1911 for the Coronation of King George V.
It was then worn by the other monarchs – including by Queen Elizabeth II for her coronation on 2nd June 1953.
The crown and jewels of the King and Queen Consort
The King will be crowned using the famous St Edward’s Crown, as is the tradition. The crown was made for King Charles II in 1661.
The King’s crown
On top of the crown is a golden orb (round ball) and a cross – these symbolise the Christian world.
These are made of solid gold beset with glittering jewels like rubies, amethysts and sapphires, to name a few. There is a velvet cap on the crown.
The Queen Consort’s crown
The Queen Consort will be crowned using Queen Mary’s crown.
This is not the crown that has the Kohinoor.
It was expected that the Queen Consort would wear the the crown that Queen Elizabeth in 1937. This crown is set with the famous 105-carat, diamond that’s the Kohinoor – said to be the most expensive diamond in the world.
India believes that this should be returned to the country, where it was taken from.
What is the schedule for the coronation?
Let’s break down all the events and when they will happen on coronation day!
At 6 am, viewing areas will be opened along the roads from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey so that people can gather around and watch the procession
At around 7 am people will start to arrive at various security checkpoints before being allowed into the viewing area.
At 9 am, all the guests will be seated inside the abbey including various heads of different countries, ministers, members of the royal family as well as royals from other countries.
At 10:20 am the king and queen start the procession from Buckingham Palace and arrive at Westminster abbey about half an hour later.
At 12 pm, the king will be crowned by the archbishop of Canterbury.
At 1 pm, the king and queen will leave the abbey and start their procession back to Buckingham Palace.
At around 2 pm the royal family will appear on the balcony for the flypast.
Who will be crowned Queen?
Camilla, the wife of King Charles III will be crowned Queen Consort and not Queen.
She will likely be crowned at the same ceremony.
What’s the difference between queen and queen consort?
A queen in a monarchy system is the reigning (ruling) woman monarch. Her role and rank are the same as that of a king.
The difference is this: A queen consort is a woman who married to the King. A queen is a woman who is queen by birth and a head of state, not someone who is the wife of a monarch.
So a consort can also be male?
The husband of the late queen Elizabeth II was Prince Philip, who was known as her consort (though there is no such thing as a King Consort, he was known as a Prince, but his duties were those of a consort).
Who will be the next queen consort?
Upon the death of Charles, when Prince William becomes King, Kate, currently the Princess of Wales, will become queen consort.
Who will attend the coronation of King Charles III?
This year the King has ensured a smaller yet more diverse ceremony in comparison to his mother’s.
The invitations were sent to about 2000 people, from heads of states to charity workers.
Most members of the royal family, including the king’s sons, his grandchildren, and his siblings are expected to be there.
UK’s prime minister, Rishi Shaunak, and other cabinet ministers will be there along with former prime ministers like Tony Blair, Liz Truss, and the first minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf.
Presidents of other nations such as the French President Emmanuel Macron, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Philippines Prime Minister Ferdinand Marcos are all expected to be there as well.
In recognition of their charity work, King Charles and Camilla have invited 850 community representatives for their coronation.
Who will attend from India?
Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar will be representing India at the coronation ceremony. President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be attending the event
Who is not invited to the coronation?
Earl Spencer, the brother of the late Princess Diana, King Charles’s first wife, has nor been invited.
Also, Meghan Markle, the wife of Prince Harry (King Charle’s younger son) will not be attending the coronation, even though she was invited.
Prince Harry will be there.
10 fun facts about King Charles’s coronation
Now that we know everything there is to know about the coronation let’s look at some fun facts about the events of the big day
1. Prince Charles is the oldest monarch in Britain
Queen Elizabeth died at the age of 94, making her the longest-ruling monarch ever, reigning for 70 years and 214 days. This makes her son, Charles III aged 74, the oldest monarch to ever ascend the throne!
2. The planning has the code name Operation Golden Orb
The preparations and planning for the coronation were done with the code name Operation Golden Orb. The golden orb here refers to the orb that King Charles holds for the coronation ceremony after he is crowned. This orb is a representation of religious and moral authority given to the King.
3. The service will represent different faiths
King Charles has made it a point that he will be recognizing different faiths during the ceremony, not just Christianity through his speech at the abbey.
4. The King will be crowned with the St Edward’s Crown
There is no king without a crown, and for the King of England, there will be a crown made of pure gold and 400 gemstones known as the St. Edward’s Crown. This crown has been used since the 13th century for various monarchs of Britain.
5. The king has asked for Greek music at the coronation
King Charles has asked that Greek Orthodox music be played in the service. This is actually a tribute to his late father, the Duke of Edinburgh as he himself was a Prince of Greece before he married the late queen.
6. There will be a coronation concert
The coronation celebration is actually a weekend-long celebration. On Sunday evening there will be a concert held live at Windsor Castle and broadcast everywhere. Katy Perry and Lionel Richie are two of amongmany performers of the night.
7. There will be TV screens all over the UK to broadcast the event
There will be many big screens put up all across the in more than 57 locations to broadcast and watch the coronation. This way more than 100,000 people can watch the event from their towns on big screens.
8. Charles is UK’s only Monarch with a university degree
Prince Charles graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in History making him the first-ever monarch who went to university!
9. The last coronation happened 70 years ago
The last coronation that took place was for Queen Elizabeth II who was crowned on June 2nd in 1953. She ascended the throne after her father King George VI, who passed away due to an illness.
10. The King and Queen will take a diamond and gold coach to the coronation
On the morning of the 6th May, the King and Queen Consort will go from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach. This is called The King’s Procession
This coach was made for Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 to commemorate 60 years of her being on the throne.
The Diamond Jubilee coach will be pulled by six Windsor Grey Horses from the Palace to the Abbey.
After the ceremony the King and Queen Consort will return to Buckingham Palace in the Gold State Coach (different from the one they travelled in on the way to the Coronation). This has been used at every Coronation since 1831.
They will then receive a Royal Salute from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Armed Forces.
A brief history of the coronation
The coronation is not something new but has been happening for hundreds of years.
Usually, all coronation ceremonies take place a few months after the death of the old monarch, in this case, the former queen Elizabeth II.
The reason it takes a few months is because time is given to the period of mourning, to show respect for the old ruler.
In the year 973 AD, King Edward’s coronation in Bath set the standards for how coronations should be carried out.
The first time the coronation happened at Westminster Abbey was for William I’s coronation on 15th December 1066. Coronations in England have taken place in the Abbey ever since!
The previous Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953 and was the very first coronation to be televised and broadcast to millions of people worldwide.
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