God save the king. More than seven months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, her eldest son will be crowned king this Saturday, May 6, 2023, under the name of Charles III and alongside his wife Camilla Shand. It is the first time since June 1953 and the coronation of Elizabeth II that a coronation ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey. It is in this religious building that all the coronations of English monarchs have taken place since 1066. Should we expect any changes during this ceremony? How will it unfold? Who will be the guests present? What to expect? We take stock of this historic event, which will be followed around the world.
The coronation ceremony of King Charles III will take place on Saturday May 6, but all the festivities will take place over three days, in order to mark the occasion of this historic event. Historic, yes, but modernized! As Sud-Ouest explains, the ceremony will be lightened compared to that of the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953: fewer guests, only one hour and a few skipped steps. According to Buckingham Palace, this coronation will still be “rooted in tradition and long-standing pageantry”, but reflecting the “role of the monarch today”.
On Sunday 7 May, a concert will take place in Windsor Castle and will be broadcast by the BBC. The television channel revealed the names of some of the artists present at this event:
20,000 people will attend the concert planned for the coronation of King Charles III.
Monday, May 8 – which is not a holiday in the United Kingdom unlike France – will be a public holiday for the occasion of the coronation. Godfather of 400 associations, Charles III would like to promote volunteering during this holiday, through the operation “The Big Help Out”. The British are called upon to download an application allowing access to many varied and open to all opportunities.
On Saturday May 6, Charles III and Camilla will arrive at Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace, in a procession known as the “King’s Procession”. They will then return to Buckingham, in a procession this time called the “coronation procession”. They will be joined by other members of the royal family.
On April 5, the royal family unveiled the official sequence of the coronation ceremony of Charles III in Westminster Abbey. Here are the different expected times:
King Charles III will have to wear the crown of Saint Edward, created for the coronation of Charles I in 1661. Weighing more than two kilos, it is solid gold and silver, made of rubies and sapphires. It is only used for coronations and is normally visible at the Tower of London, from where it was removed in order to be fitted to the sovereign’s head.
The queen consort’s crown will be that worn by Queen Mary – wife of George V – in 1911, but with the addition of diamonds that belonged to Queen Elizabeth II and that she wore on brooches.
If the course of the ceremony was eagerly awaited, another point is scrutinized by the observers: the list of guests. Family, crowned heads, heads of state… Who will be present at the coronation of Charles III? 2,000 people have been invited to the ceremony to be held on Saturday May 6 at Westminster Abbey.
Members of the British royal family will of course be present on Saturday 6 May. Prince George – eldest son of Prince William and Kate Middleton – will be one of the pages accompanying the king in the nave of Westminster Abbey. Prince Harry – the youngest son of Charles III – will be present but without his wife Meghan Markle, who will stay in the United States with their two children, the eldest celebrating his 4th birthday on the same day. As for the crowned heads, Prince Albert of Monaco confirmed his presence at the ceremony, as did Prince Fumihito and his wife Kiko of the Japanese imperial family. King Felipe VI and Queen Laetizia of Spain, Prince Frederik and Queen Mary of Denmark but also King Abdallah II and Queen Rania of Jordan will be present.
US President Joe Biden will be represented by his wife Jill Biden, who will therefore travel to London for the event. Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron will also be present on Saturday May 6. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier have also announced they will come to London for the celebrations.
For reasons of economy, some people were not invited to the coronation. This is particularly the case for the 24 dukes who have no connection with the royal family and the wives of British parliamentarians. Sarah Ferguson – ex-wife of Prince Andrew, brother of the king – was also not invited, while her daughters – the nieces of the king, therefore – are, as well as her former husband. Anonymous will also be present in the assembly, in particular representatives of charitable associations, who have been invited by Charles III.