Buckingham Palace has announced that the Coronation of His Majesty The King will take place of Saturday 6th May, 2023. It’s going to be a three-day spectacle with a religious service followed by two grand processions.
Fun Fact! The last time a coronation ceremony took place on a weekend was in 1902 when Edward VII was crowned King.
Here’s everything we know so far.
What is a coronation?
A coronation is “an occasion for pageantry and celebration, but it’s also a solemn religious ceremony” in which a sovereign is crowned. It validates the monarch’s role as the head of the Church of England and their title and powers.
Where will the coronation take place?
The Coronation Ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey and will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury — a tradition since the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Queen Consort Camilla will also be crowned alongside Charles.
What happens at a coronation?
For over a thousand years, the coronation ceremony has remained much the same. However, Buckingham Palace have announced that King Charles’ coronation will not only be “rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry” but will also “reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future”. This means we can expect the coronation to be more modest than that of Queen Elizabeth’s.
During the ceremony, the sovereign will take an oath to uphold the law and the Church of England. Once sat in the Coronation Chair, he is anointed, blessed and consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury with holy oil. It’s a secret recipe but believed to contain ambergris, orange flowers, roses, jasmine, and cinnamon.
The sovereign is presented with the Royal Orb, representing religious and moral authority; the Sceptre, representing power; and the Sovereign’s Sceptre, a symbol of justice and mercy. The Sovereign’s Sceptre is set with the Cullinan I diamond, the largest colourless diamond in the world. The Archbishop of Canterbury then places the crown on the King’s head.
Which crown will Charles wear?
The King will wear the solid gold 17th century St Edward’s Crown, also worn by Queen Elizabeth at her coronation in 1953. St Edward’s Crown was made for the coronation of Charles II after parliamentarians melted the medieval crown in 1649.
After the ceremony, and when the King appears on the balcony, he will wear the Imperial State Crown. This crown contains the Cullinan II diamond, a gift to Edward VII on his 66th birthday by the government of Transvaal (modern-day South Africa).
Will there be a bank holiday?
A bank holiday is confirmed for Monday 8th May 2023, two days after the ceremony.
Can I attend the coronation?
The coronation is a state occasion and unfortunately only notable individuals can attend the ceremony inside Westminster Abbey. This includes members of the Royal Family, the prime minster, heads of state and other royals from around the world. More than 8,000 guests attended Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation!
How can I join in on the celebrations?
Across the Coronation weekend, there will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate this historic occasion. On Saturday 6th May, ‘The Coronation Procession’ will take place through The Mall in St James’ Park. If you get there early enough, you may catch a glimpse of His Majesty just before he appears on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
On Sunday 7th May, there will be a special concert at Windsor Castle. It will feature global stars, a world-class orchestra, and Coronation Choir made up of refugee, NHS, LGBTQ+ and deaf signing choirs. Attend it in person or watch it live on the BBC. They’ll also be holding a national ballot for a chance to win a pair of free tickets.
The fun doesn’t stop there as an epic lightshow will see iconic locations across the UK illuminated using lasers, drones and projections. What’s more, communities are encouraged to come together for the Coronation Big Lunches. This is a great way to get to know your neighbours, boost community spirit, reduce loneliness and support charities. On Monday 8th May, The Big Help Out will highlight volunteering opportunities in local areas.
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