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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Kate Ng and Ellie Muir

When is the 2023 coronation ceremony of King Charles III?

Getty Images

King Charles III’s coronation will take place on Saturday 6 May, 2023.

In a statement, representatives said: “Buckingham Palace is pleased to announce that the coronation of His Majesty The King will take place on Saturday 6 May 2023.

“The coronation ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey, London, and will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“The ceremony will see His Majesty King Charles III crowned alongside the Queen Consort.

“The coronation will reflect the monarch's role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.”

The last time Britain held a coronation ceremony was 70 years ago, when the Queen was crowned on 2 June 1953 at the age of 27.

Prior to that, her father King George VI’s coronation ceremony took place 16 years earlier in 1937, when Her Majesty was just 11 years old.

Here’s everything we know about King Charles’ forthcoming coronation.

When will King Charles III’s coronation be?

King Charles III will be coronated on Saturday 6 May, 2023, alongside his wife, Camilla, Queen Consort.

It will take place at Westminster Abbey in London where there are expected to be 2,000 guests in attendance, a stark contrast to the 8,000 guests present at the Queen’s coronation in 1953.

Charles will turn 74 years old in November 2022, making him the oldest person to be crowned in British history.

William, Prince of Wales is expected to play an important role in the committee organising his father’s coronation.

Will there be a bank holiday?

Yes! The weekend of the King’s coronation will be a bank holiday weekend. The bank holiday will fall on Monday 8 May.

Buckingham Palace announced the programming that will take place across the long weekend, including a balcony appearance by the royals, a concert featuring international stars and a day of volunteering.

On the day of the coronation, after the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, the King and Queen Consort will return to the palace in a larger ceremonial procession, known as “the coronation procession”, joined by other members of the royal family.

They will then be joined on the palace balcony to conclude the day’s events. It has not been confirmed which royals will appear on the balcony, or whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been invited to the occasion.

On Sunday 7 May, “global music icons and contemporary stars” will appear at Windsor Castle for the coronation concert, which will be broadcast live on the BBC.

Why does King Charles III want a ‘slimmed-down’ coronation?

The new monarch is said to be “very aware” of the cost of living crisis, which is impacting many people throughout the UK.

King Charles III makes a televised address to the Nation and the Commonwealth from the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace in London on September 9, 2022, a day after Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A source told the Daily Mirror that the event “will be shorter, smaller and less expensive” than the Queen’s in 1953.

The source was quoted as saying: “The King is very aware of the struggles felt by modern Britons so will see his wishes carried through that although his coronation ceremony should stay right and true to the long-held traditions of the past, it should also be representative of a monarchy in a modern world.

“The King has long been an advocate of a streamlined of slimmed-down monarchy and this project could certainly be said to fit with his vision,” they continued.

“He has already spoken of his wish to continue his mother’s legacy and this includes continuing to recognise what the people are experiencing day by day.”

What does a ‘slimmed-down’ coronation look like?

It has been reported that Charles’ coronation ceremony will last just over an hour, a stark departure from his mother’s coronation, which lasted more than three hours.

The Queen’s coronation was attended by a total of 8,251 guests, with 129 nations and territories officially represented at the service.

Queen Elizabeth II on her coronation day in June 1953 (AFP via Getty Images)

But according to the Mail on Sunday, the guest list for Charles’ ceremony will be slashed from 8,000 to just 2,000.

Some rituals will be foregone to save time, but others will reportedly still remain, such as the anointing of the monarch.

It is said that the ceremony will also include a more relaxed dress code, possibly allowing peers to wear lounge suits or morning suits instead of luxurious ceremonial robes made with crimson velvet and ermine.

In terms of what the King himself will wear, it has been reported that he has been advised to forego the traditionally opulent dress that the coronation ceremony is known for, and instead to opt for his military uniform.

It is understood that Queen Camilla will hold a gold sceptre surmounted by a cross and a second staff made of ivory and topped by a dove during the ceremony.

What is the King’s procession route?

It has been revealed that Charles’ procession will also be quite different from the late Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation day.

Elizabeth’s grand procession took two hours and featured tens of thousands of participants, stretching five miles long.

In comparison to his mother, King Charles and Queen Camilla’s procession is set to stretch just 1.3 miles, a quarter of the length of Elizabeth’s.

After the ceremony, they will make their way back to Westminster Abbey via the tried and tested route of Parliament Square, along Whitehall, around Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and down The Mall back to Buckingham Palace.

This is the reverse of their route to the Abbey, but will mean cutting out Piccadilly, Oxford Street and Regent Street – the route that Elizabeth took to wave at crowds along the way.

Charles’s shorter route is understood to have been chosen for practical reasons, with a preference for the familiar journey used on many a royal occasion.

He will travel back in the Gold State Coach, which has been famously criticised by many monarchs for being uncomfortable – including Elizabeth.

The route King Charles III and Queen Camilla will take in the coronation procession (Press Association Images)

What is Prince George’s role at the coronation?

King Charles III and Queen Camilla will each have four Pages of Honour supporting them on the day of the coronation, with the monarch’s nine-year-old grandson Prince George expected to take on one of the official roles.

On Tuesday 4 April, Buckingham Palace announced that George, who is second-in-line to the throne and the eldest son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, would join three other pages for the King.

As the procession of the King and Queen makes its way through the Nave of Westminster Abbey on 6 May, the pages will hold the robes of some of the leading individuals taking part.

What will Camilla’s title be after the coronation?

Queen Consort Camilla will officially be named Queen Camilla at King Charles III’s coronation next month.

The newly-released invitations for the British monarch’s forthcoming coronation revealed Camilla Parker-Bowles’ new title. She was referred to as Queen Consort following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September last year.

The elaborate invitation, which was reportedly sent to 2,000 people, invites guests to attend “The Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III & Queen Camilla – By Command of the King the Earl Marshall is directed to invite…to be present at the Abbey Church of Westminster on 6th day of May 2023.”

Speaking to the Daily Mail, a senior royal aide confirmed that royal will henceforth be called Queen Camilla once the King is crowned on 6 May. “It made sense to refer to Her Majesty as The Queen Consort in the early months of His Majesty’s reign, to distinguish from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” they told the outlet on 4 April.

What do the invitations look like?

The design for the official invites, which was revealed to the public on Tuesday night (4 April), was painted in watercolour and gouache and recalls the coronation emblem, accompanied by illustrations of wildflowers. The artwork will be printed on recycled card with gold foil detailing.

The invitation has the text in the centre, surrounded by a colourful meadow featuring lily of the valley, cornflowers, wild strawberries, roses, bluebells and a spring of rosemary to represent remembrance.

The coronation invitiation was designed by artist Andrew Jamieson, 61, from Bermondsey in south London (Buckingham Palace)

Who is invited to the King’s coronation?

Prince Harry has confirmed that he will be attending the coronation while his wife Meghan Markle remains in California with their two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.

“Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that the Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6 May,” the Palace said in a statement Wednesday. “The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.”

Meanwhile, US First Lady Jill Biden will attend the coronation of the King on PresidentJoe Biden’s behalf.

Mr Biden congratulated Charles on Tuesday ahead of his coronation in May, and told him his wife would be attending the ceremony, the White House said.

Other attendees have not yet been confirmed. Keep up to date on the full list of attendees here.

How will the ceremony differ from the Queen’s coronation in 1953?

The more modern coronation is also expected to be more religiously and culturally diverse, with plans reported to include a multi-faith congregation composed of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist figures.

The King confirmed he will take an oath to the Church of England at his coronation, but made it clear he wants to head a Britain that respects all faiths.

Queen Elizabeth II rides with the Duke of Edinburgh on the way to Westminster Abbey for her coronation (PA)

While many aspects of the ceremony are expected to change, the 1762 Gold State Coach will be seen in the coronation procession as it usually is at such major royal events.

The ornate gilded carriage was last seen during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant on 5 June.

Another aspect that will remain the same is that the King’s coronation will be televised, as his mother’s was.

The Queen’s coronation was the first ever to be televised and was watched by 27 million people in the UK alone, alongside millions more around the world.

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