The veil is gradually lifting on the coronation of King Charles III, scheduled for May 6 in the United Kingdom. Buckingham Palace said on Saturday January 21 that it wanted to make “this historic event” a moment of celebration, which gives “the opportunity for people to come together”.
The coronation of Charles III, 74, will take place eight months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on September 8, 2022 at the age of 96. It is traditionally held in the months following the accession to the throne. This period allows both to observe the national mourning and the royal mourning, and to organize the ceremony.
That of Charles III will take place on the morning of May 6, at Westminster Abbey, like the previous coronations of British monarchs for 900 years. It will, as tradition dictates, be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church.
Camilla will also be crowned
“The coronation is a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry”, says Buckingham. Ceremony “will be forward-looking, while being steeped in tradition and longstanding pageantry”. The wife of Charles III, Camilla, will also be crowned.
Charles III and Camilla will arrive in Westminster from Buckingham Palace in what is called the “king’s procession”. After the ceremony, they will return there as part of the “coronation procession”, for which they will be joined by other members of the royal family. To conclude this first day, the king and queen consort, accompanied by members of the royal family, will appear on the balcony of Buckingham, to greet the crowd.
The following day will be a concert at Windsor Castle, west London, with “international music icons and contemporary stars”. It will be broadcast on the BBC. Buckingham, however, did not mention the names of the artists who will perform on stage. In the audience will be found in particular volunteers from charities supported by Charles III and Camilla.
A “Coronation Choir” will also feature a concert, featuring singers from refugee choirs, the public health service, LGBTQ+ and deaf singing groups. In the evening, iconic locations across the UK will be illuminated.
The population will also be invited, on May 7, to participate in the “Grand Coronation Breakfast”neighborhood parties for “celebrating friendship”. “Thousands of events” should take place in streets, gardens, parks, according to Buckingham.
Will Harry and Meghan be there?
These popular celebrations recall those that took place in June 2022 for the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, for her 70 years of reign. Across the UK, tens of thousands of neighbours’ lunches and picnics had been organized to celebrate this hugely popular monarch.
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On Monday, May 8, which will be a public holiday, people will be encouraged to volunteer. This approach aims to “bringing people together and creating a movement that will last beyond coronation weekend”said the palace.
But will the royal family itself be gathered for this exceptional event? Buckingham did not say in its statement if Harry and his wife Meghan, exiled in California, will be present. The palace has never officially reacted to the prince’s explosive book, The Alternatepublished on January 10, in which he makes severe accusations against several members of the royal family, in particular against his brother William and the queen consort Camilla.
The last coronation, that of Elizabeth II, dates back to June 2, 1953. For the first time, the ceremony, grandiose, had been broadcast on television and watched by 27 million Britons, for 36 million inhabitants at the time. . It had lasted more than three hours, in front of 8,251 guests massed in Westminster Abbey; 129 nations and territories were officially represented.