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Everything We Know So Far About King Charles III’s Coronation

13/10/2022

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September, Charles III became King. Since then, he’s given his first address to the nation, presided over a historic Accession Council, had calls with world leaders, and begun settling into his new role as sovereign, head of the Commonwealth and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. However, it may be a while yet before we witness his official Coronation.

Below, everything we know so far ahead of the historic day.

When will King Charles III’s Coronation take place?

Tradition dictates that the country will remain in mourning for an appropriate period of time following the passing of the former monarch. As a result, the Coronation of King Charles III is likely to still be several months away. Queen Elizabeth II herself acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952, but wasn’t crowned until 2 June 1953. We may not have to wait 16 months, though – per The Telegraph, the ceremony is expected to be held next spring or summer, and, according to subsequent reports, could even take place on the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation or the following day, 3 June. However, Buckingham Palace has yet to confirm the news.

Will there be a bank holiday for King Charles III’s Coronation?

It was widely expected that the day of King Charles III’s Coronation would be a bank holiday – as was the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation – but The Telegraph has reported that this is not guaranteed due to the government’s fears about the potential cost to the economy from reduced productivity. One alternative would be for the existing late May bank holiday to be moved to mark the occasion, but it’s likely that a decision will be made much closer to the time.

Where will King Charles III’s Coronation take place?

Westminster Abbey has been the setting for British Coronations for the past 900 years and it’s unlikely that Charles III’s will deviate from the established model, at least in this sense.

What will King Charles III’s Coronation look like?

In other senses, however, Charles III’s Coronation could look markedly different from his mother’s. According to The Telegraph, plans have been drawn up under the codename Operation Golden Orb, and will reflect the new sovereign’s vision for “a smaller, more modern monarchy”. Sources have told the publication that the ceremony will be shorter than the three hours allotted for the Queen’s Coronation. It will also be less expensive (as the government pays, the King has reportedly expressed the wish that the service be considered “good value”), and it will include more representatives from different faiths and community groups, in order to more accurately reflect the nation’s ethnic diversity.

Other aspects of the ceremony will align more closely with the Queen’s Coronation: King Charles III will take the Coronation oath, be anointed with consecrated oil, receive the orb and sceptres, and the Archbishop of Canterbury will place the glittering St Edward’s Crown on his head. Afterwards, he is expected to appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace alongside Queen Consort Camilla, and the new Prince and Princess of Wales and their children.

Cecil Beaton’s official Coronation portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, published in British Vogue in 1953. Cecil Beaton

Will Queen Consort Camilla be crowned alongside King Charles III?

Yes, following Queen Elizabeth II’s declaration earlier this year that it was her “sincere wish” that the former Duchess of Cornwall take the title of Queen Consort when Charles accedes to the throne, she will be crowned alongside the monarch. She’ll become the first Consort to be crowned since the Queen Mother in 1937, and the latter’s platinum crown, decorated with 2,800 diamonds including the 105-carat Koh-i-Noor, will be placed on her head. (As a man, Prince Philip was not entitled to a similar honour.)

Who will be present at King Charles III’s Coronation?

More than 8,000 guests attended Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, but King Charles III’s is expected to be significantly smaller, with around 2,000 dignitaries present. Among them will be members of the royal family, representatives from the Houses of Parliament and the Church, and prominent politicians from the Commonwealth and around the world.

An illustration by Cecil Beaton of the scenes inside Westminster Abbey during Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, published in British Vogue in 1953. Cecil Beaton

Will King Charles III’s Coronation be broadcast live?

Yes, considering that King Charles III’s Accession Council was televised for the first time in history, it’s almost certain that his Coronation will be broadcast live. Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, the first ceremony of its kind to be shown on TV, drew an estimated 27 million viewers in the UK – a number that could easily be surpassed come 2023.

 

From British Vogue

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