Everything you need to know about King Charles’ coronation
From running order to how to watch it in Ireland, here are all the details you need to know about this weekend’s coronation of King Charles III.
As we know, Charles III — at the age of 73 — became the oldest person to accede to the British throne following the death of his mother Elizabeth II this past September. The coronation ceremony, which will take place this Saturday 6 May, will formalise his new status as King eight months on from his automatic appointment on 8 September.
The crowning will take place at Westminster Abbey alongside his wife Camilla — who will be crowned as Queen Consort, or simply ‘Queen’, it seems — the ceremony is poised to be a once in a generation event that will go down in history, and will see the addition of a dedicated bank holiday across the United Kingdom in honour of His Majesty.
So, if you want to find out how you can watch it, who’ll be performing, and the order of proceedings, we’ve got all the details…
Where to watch King Charles III’s coronation
For those seeking live coverage of the event, RTÉ 1 will be dedicating four whole hours to the coronation on Saturday, from 10am to 2pm. Taking a world broadcast feed of events from London’s Westminster Abbey, Ray Kennedy will host a live studio discussion with guests in Dublin.
Alternatively, BBC1’s official coverage kicks off at 7.30am and will run until 3pm, and ITV’s coverage starts at 8.30am. Naturally, Sky News will be covering the coronation throughout the day, likely from the crack of dawn.
What time does it start?
The coronation finally commences at 10.20am, when Charles and Camilla set off in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach from Buckingham Palace with their cavalry in tow. There will be a ‘King’s Procession’ through Admiralty Arch before traversing across the southern end of Trafalgar Square and down Whitehall before moving right across Parliament Square to Westminster Abbey.
Arrival is expected at 11am sharp, with the coronation ceremony itself set to last two hours. After this point, the Coronation Procession begins as King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla climb aboard the Gold State Coach and retrace the steps back to Buckingham Palace, where the royal family will step out on the balcony to greet their people.
There will be 2,200 official guests in attendance, who will be arriving from early-to-mid morning. Among them will be President Michael D Higgins, French president Emmanuel Macron, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and some 100 other heads of state.
Who will be there?
Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Prince Harry will attend King Charles III’s upcoming coronation next month, but his wife, Meghan Markle, will stay at home in California with the couple’s two children. The coronation coincides with the fourth birthday of the couple’s son, Prince Archie.
Prince William and Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales, will be attending, as will two of the King’s siblings, Anne, Princess Royal and Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is expected to go, but his ex-wife the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, will not attend.
Both King Charles and Camilla’s grandchildren will be there, with some of them taking part in the ceremony. Prince George, the son of William and Kate and second-in-line to the throne, will be one of several “pages of honour”.
The Coronation Big Lunch
Given that the festivities extend throughout the entire weekend, and even include a brand new bank holiday Monday across the United Kingdom on Sunday afternoon. An invitation from the royal family to break bread with your fellow neighbour, this is said to be a nationwide act of celebration, community, and friendship. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will even host a lunch in Downing Street.
From then, the gates of Windsor Castle will open up for ticket holders ahead of the Coronation Concert
The Coronation Concert
Kicking off at 8pm, The Coronation Concert will apparently “showcase the country’s diverse cultural heritage in music, theatre and dance”, according to the BBC. Ten locations around the UK including Blackpool, Sheffield, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Gateshead, Cornwall and Belfast will be lit up in a live sequence as part of Lighting Up The Nation.
In celebration of King Charles’ reign, a crowd of 20,000 people will gather on the East Lawn to hear special performances from Take That, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, singer-songwriter Freya Ridings, and classical-soul composer Alexis Ffrench.
The show will also include an exclusive performance by the Coronation Choir, comprising the nation’s “keenest” community choirs and amateur singers, including refugees, NHS workers, members of the LGBTQ+ community. They will also appear alongside The Virtual Choir, made up of singers from across the Commonwealth, for a special performance.
In the months prior to the event, a number of big name British celebrities declined to perform at the Coronation Concert, including Harry Styles, Adele and Elton John.
Featured image via @theroyalfamily on Instagram