King Charles III’s Coronation: A Historic Moment for the UK and the Commonwealth
After months of anticipation, King Charles III will finally be crowned at Westminster Abbey on May 6th, 2023. The coronation of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will feature an 11 a.m. service at Westminster Abbey, followed by parades and parties. The service will begin at 6:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m. in London is ET. The ceremony at Westminster Abbey is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. local time in London after Charles and Camilla ride in a 1.3-mile procession from Buckingham Palace.
The King's Procession will begin at 10:20 a.m. local time, where Charles and Camilla will begin their route to Westminster Abbey in a horse-drawn Diamond Jubilee State Coach. Following the ceremony, King Charles and Camilla will make their way back to Buckingham Palace with an even grander procession. The royal family will be accompanied by them on the palace balcony, where the day's public celebrations will culminate in a military flyover and a wave of royalty.
The weekend of festivities will continue with a concert on May 7th, headlined by Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie, and other singers. The public will also be invited to join a “chorus of millions” to swear allegiance to the King and his heirs.
Prince William and Prince Harry will be in attendance, and while Kate Middleton will be at the ceremony, Megan Markle has opted to stay home. Prince Andrew will also be at the event, but his ex-wife, the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, was not invited. After much speculation, Buckingham Palace confirmed last month that Prince Harry will attend his father's coronation, but his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will not.
The coronation is expected to be a shorter and less extravagant affair than the three-hour service that installed Elizabeth II during the first televised coronation 70 years ago. It is expected to last two hours, ending at 1 p.m. local time in London. The idea of reducing the scale of the coronation has been met with resistance from certain members of the British government. Oliver Dowden, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, has expressed his opposition, stating that the public would not appreciate any attempts to cut corners on such a significant event for the country.
Although there is no official confirmation regarding the estimated overall expense, some forecasts indicate that the weekend of celebrations may amount to a sum ranging from 50 to 100 million pounds. According to Sky News, the late Elizabeth II's coronation cost roughly 20.5 million pounds in today's money, while George VI's coronation in 1937 would've totaled nearly 25 million pounds in present-day.
Questions have been raised over whether it’s appropriate for the British government to stage a coronation for the new King amid a cost of living crisis. However, some experts believe those conversations will take a back seat once Charles’ big day arrives. The Archbishop of Canterbury said the service would “celebrate tradition” while containing “new elements that reflect the diversity of our contemporary society.”
Prince George will also play an official role at the coronation, becoming the youngest future king to do so. The coronation is set to be a historic moment for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, marking the beginning of a new era for the monarchy.
0. “How Much Will King Charles' Coronation Cost Taxpayers?” TIME, 28 Apr. 2023, https://time.com/6275383/king-charles-iii-coronation-cost-taxpayers/
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2. “10 sights you'll see at King Charles' coronation — and 2 you won't” NPR, 5 May. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/05/05/1171861246/king-charles-coronation-camilla-crown-jewels-parade-concert
3. “What to expect at the coronation of King Charles III — and how to watch it” NPR, 5 May. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/05/05/1174260997/coronation-schedule-king-charles-viewing-guide
4. “Here's what time the coronation will actually begin” 9News.com KUSA, 5 May. 2023, https://www.9news.com/article/news/nation-world/king-charles-coronation-ceremony-start-time/507-de7e4a02-6224-4c79-b420-065d4f4ea7c6
5. “Coronation: Public invited to swear allegiance to King Charles” BBC, 29 Apr. 2023, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-65435426
6. “Guide to King Charles III’s coronation” CNN, 4 May. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2023/05/style/king-charles-coronation-guide-intl-cmd-gbr/