Coronation Countdown: Here’s What to Expect when King Charles Takes the Crown Officially
Coronation Day is approaching, when the British monarchy will formally invest King Charles III as the new ruler and the world will enter a new era.
A new era is about to commence in the world of the British monarchy.
Queen Elizabeth II passed away in September 2022 after reigning for nearly 71 years.
But now it’s time for new blood to step up and take the crown – her son, now-King Charles III.
And his coronation is being held May 6.
Here’s what to know about the exciting event, which is sure to draw some of the world’s most powerful people together to celebrate King Charles’ ascension.
When and Where
Prince Charles Philip Arthur George was born at Buckingham Palace on 14th November 1948 at 9.14pm, weighing 7lbs 6oz.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 1, 2023
If you’re a kid of the ’00’s and hear that coronation day is approaching, you probably think of the ill-fated coronation of Queen Elsa from “Frozen.” After all, that’s the closest most kids today have been to coronation of a monarch.
But there really are still places in the world where Kings and Queens rule (if only in name), and a historic coronation day is just around the corner.
So here are the details on when the ceremony is occurring and where.
- The ceremony will begin at 11AM local time, which is 6AM EST. Most American-based channels will air coverage from around 5Am EST to Noon EST.
- The ceremony itself will likely last around 2 hours, which is shorter than the coronation was for Queen Elizabeth.
- The coronation will occur at famed Westminster Abbey, before the royal family rides through the streets back to Buckingham Palace. A processional will accompany the King and royal family both to the coronation ceremony and back after it ends.
Who Will be Attending?
With just a few days until the first #Coronation for almost 70 years, we’re sharing an iconic image of Queen Elizabeth II taken on her Coronation Day, 2 June 1953. The young Queen is wearing an embroidered & beaded dress by Norman Hartnell and her purple velvet Coronation Robe. pic.twitter.com/vS4qcL8GCO
— Royal Collection Trust (@RCT) May 1, 2023
Over 2,200 people will attend the service at Westminster Abbey.
Some of the notables expected to attend are members of the royal family, of course; including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Prince Andrew, and more.
Over 100 heads of state are expected to attend, including international representatives from 203 countries.
US First Lady Jill Biden will lead the US delegation.
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Take That will headline a “Coronation Concert” at Windsor Palace later in the evening on Saturday.
The Independent reports that other royal families will be in attendance too; “Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco were the first foreign royals to confirm they will be going to the ceremony.
Others who have confirmed their attendance include King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Dragon King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his wife Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck.
Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko of Japan will represent Emperor Naruhito at the ceremony.”
Other famous faces expected to grace the ceremony include Victoria and David Beckham, Bear Grylls, Sandra Oh, Andrew Bocelli, Ant and Dec and more.
Things to Note Going into Coronation Day
Monarchs traditionally wear a new Sword Belt and Coronation Glove. King Charles has chosen to reuse those belonging to his grandfather, King George VI, in the interests of sustainability. pic.twitter.com/gaW9cRZsWn
— Coronation News & Updates (@Coronation2023) May 2, 2023
The coronation will include Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will preside over the core stages of the ceremony which include: recognition, oath, anointing, investiture, crowning and homage.
CNN reports, “The recognition is when the sovereign stands in the theater of the abbey and presents themself to the people. After taking the coronation oath – which is a vow to rule according to law, exercise justice with mercy, and maintain the Church of England – the monarch is anointed with holy oil by the archbishop.
This moment is considered the most sacred part of the service and wasn’t televised in 1953. Ahead of Charles’ big day, Archbishop Welby has explained why we won’t see the King either, writing in the official souvenir program that the moment is ‘a symbol of being commissioned by the people for a special task for which God’s help is needed.’ He added: ‘It is a moment when The King is set apart for service: service of the people of this country, and service of God.’
The next part is the investiture, when the sovereign is dressed in sacred coronation robes and presented with the symbols of the monarchy: the orb, coronation ring, scepters and others. Toward the end of the ceremony, St. Edward’s Crown is placed atop the monarch’s head before princes and peers make their way to the sovereign to pay their respects in what is known as homage. This time though, it’s thought that only Prince William will kneel before the King. Meanwhile, the peers have been replaced by the public who have been invited to swear allegiance to Charles if they wish.”
The crown placed upon King Charles’ head will be the famed St. Edward’s Crown. Or rather, a replica of its medieval predecessor. This new version of the crown was made for Charles II in 1661. The original, melted down in 1649, is believed to be connected to the reign of 11th century Edward the Confessor.
The St. Edward’s crown remains in Westminster Abbey, so the monarch will wear another crown out of the church – the Imperial State Crown.
In the interest of sustainability, King Charles will wear historical vestments. The palace outlined the plan for his outfit; “His Majesty will reuse vestments which featured in the Coronation Services of King George IV in 1821, King George V in 1911, King George VI in 1937 and Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, including the Colobium Sindonis, the Supertunica, the Imperial Mantle, the Coronation Sword Belt and the Coronation Glove.
“Although it is customary for the Supertunica and the Imperial Mantle to be reused, His Majesty will also reuse the Colobium Sindonis, Coronation Sword Belt and Coronation Glove worn by his grandfather King George VI, in the interests of sustainability and efficiency.”
During the ceremony, Camilla will also be crowned Queen consort.
While many people have mixed feelings about the continued existence of the monarchy in the modern era, one thing is indisputable: everyone loves a spectacle.
And no one does spectacle quite like the royals.