Neighborhood lunches, a big concert at Windsor Castle in the evening with international artists, volunteering actions… The day after the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, the British take part in multiple festivities on Sunday May 7 to celebrate the event.
They will last until Monday, a public holiday specially granted for the coronation, during which they are encouraged to participate in voluntary actions but where no appearance of the royal couple is officially planned.
A “big coronation lunch” shared between neighbors
Saturday, the British are first invited to share a “big lunch” through neighborhood parties. On the menu the “coronation quiche”, whose vegetarian recipe was unveiled in mid-April by the palace : cheese, tarragon then spinach and broad beans for the seasonal vegetables. The British should be thousands to participate in these shared meals, with pennants and decorations in the colors of the British flag.
The royal couple have delegated the representation of the crown at these lunches to other members of the royal family. Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, will travel to Cranleigh in Surrey (south of England), Princess Anne and her husband, Timothy Laurence, will be in Swindon, in the Cotswolds (west) and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, daughters of Prince Andrew who became an outcast of the family, have been announced in Windsor.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has planned to invite volunteers, Ukrainian refugees and groups of young people to Downing Street for a post-coronation lunch.
A big concert at Windsor Castle on Sunday evening
After several days of rehearsals, receptions, garden parties and solemn coronation at Westminster Abbey, the royal couple, aged 74 and 75, will organize a private reception at Windsor Castle, located to the west. of London, before attending the big coronation celebration concert, which is due to start at 8 p.m. local time (9 p.m. French time).
The event, which will bring together 20,000 spectators, will be presented by actor Hugh Bonneville, famous for his role in the hit British series Downtown Abbey.
The American singers Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, the Chinese pianist Lang Lang, the Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli and a choir of more than three hundred people from very diverse backgrounds will perform there. But no British headliners responded.
Actor Tom Cruise is also set to make a video appearance, along with Winnie the Pooh, possibly following in the footsteps of the Paddington Bear, star of a video where he had tea with Queen Elizabeth II at the opening. of his jubilee concert in June 2022.
A “glorious crowning glory” for the weakest audiences
Saturday’s religious coronation in London of Charles III made for a historic day, with all the pomp associated with grand events in the monarchy. The photo of crowned Charles made the front page of all British newspapers on Sunday, which hailed the “glorious coronation” of the monarch.
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Charles III, wearing heavy ancestral ceremonial robes, was cheered, sworn in, anointed and crowned at Westminster Abbey in front of 2,300 guests, in an age-old Anglican rite, modernized at the margin. His wife Camilla was also blessed and crowned queen. Accompanied by a spectacular procession, the couple then returned in a golden coach to Buckingham Palace, from where they greeted from the balcony the thousands of fans who had braved the rain to see him.
In the UK, at its peak, the coronation was watched by more than 14 million viewers – out of a population of 67 million comparable to France – on BBC channels, a figure suggesting a total audience well weaker than that of the coronation or funeral of his mother, Elizabeth II, last September.
The commemoration had gathered more than 26 million viewers with a peak of 28 million viewers, including 18.5 million on the BBC. Even if the BCC accounts for a large part of the audience for this type of event, the other channels have not yet communicated their data.
In France, nearly nine million viewers on average watched it on all the channels that broadcast it between noon and 2 p.m. – TF1, France 2 (which gathered the most of them), M6, BFM- TV, LCI, Franceinfo, Cnews – according to data from Médiamétrie on Sunday.
Arrests then releases of activists antimonarchists
Aged 74 and the oldest British king ever crowned, Charles III is however not as popular as his mother, Elizabeth II, who died in September. Before his coronation, 72% of Britons, unmotivated by the latter, said they had no intention of taking part in any celebration, according to a YouGov poll on Friday.
On Saturday, on the sidelines of the coronation, anti-monarchy demonstrators demonstrated in London as the carriages passed, as well as in other British cities, leading to the arrest of 52 people, in addition to dozens of environmental activists known for their actions against fist blocking traffic and disrupting public events.
The London police, who had announced a degree of “tolerance” very low, notably arrested six officials of the latter, including leader Graham Smith. They were released about 16 hours later on Saturday evening. Hundreds of placards “Not My King” (“not my king”) were also seized, according to the anti-monarchist group Republic, although hundreds of supporters of the organization were able to demonstrate peacefully.
“The right to protest no longer exists in the UK”said on Twitter Graham Smith, stating that their phones had been confiscated: “I have often been told that the monarch serves to defend our freedoms, now our freedoms are under attack in his name. »
These arrests were also criticized by elected representatives of the left-wing opposition and human rights organizations. They came as a controversial new law, enacted days before the coronation, boosts the powers of the police to counter protests, allowing arrest on the grounds of mere intent to disturb public order.