The day has arrived. Today, the United Kingdom will have its first coronation in over 70 years. We usher in the 3rd Carolean era, in all the realms of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth because the coronation of Their Majesties Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as king and queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms takes place on this day, 6th May 2023 at Westminster Abbey, London. Charles had acceded to the throne on 8 September 2022, upon the death of his mother, Elizabeth II.
In April 2023, the palace revealed the Coronation invitation. More details on the design can be found HERE
THE CORONATION TIMELINE
At 10:20am, the celebrations started with a procession of King Charles and Queen Camilla in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.
More than 2,200 people from 203 countries were in Westminster Abbey, with processions there before the King arrived involving faith leaders and representatives from some Commonwealth countries who carried the flags of their country and were accompanied by the governors-general and prime ministers.
THE CORONATION PROCESSION
THE SWORD OF OFFERING
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt, carrying the Sword of Offering. It is the first time a woman has ever presented the jewelled Sword at a Coronation.
Penny Mordaunt had her dress and hat for the coronation custom embroidered with gold ferns — a nod to the Privy Councillor’s uniform. The colour, by designer Safiyaa, is “Poseidon”, a reference to her Portsmouth constituency.
THE PAGES OF HONOUR
The King’s grandson, Prince George of Wales, was among the pages of honour, alongside Camilla’s grandchildren, Lola, Eliza, Gus, Louis and Freddy.
Prince George is the first British heir to witness the coronation of his grandfather and the youngest to take part in a Coronation. With witnessing three different coronations: following by his grandfather, he will witness his father’s and then his own.
The Princess of Wales is wearing an Alexander McQueen dress in ivory silk crepe with silver bullion and threadwork embroidery featuring rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock motifs, with the Royal Victorian Order Mantle. On her head, the Princess of Wales is wearing a Jess Collett x Alexander McQueen Headpiece with silver bullion, crystal and silver threadwork three-dimensional leaf embroidery.
Princess Charlotte is also wearing Alexander McQueen. Her dress & cape are in ivory silk crepe with ivory satin stitch embroidery featuring rose, thistle, daffodil & shamrock motifs. She, too, is wearing a Jess Collett x Alexander McQueen Headpiece similar to the one worn by her mother.
Prince Louis wore a bespoke outfit from a Savile Row tailor.
The ceremony began at 11:00 and was punctuated with music selected by the King, with 12 newly commissioned pieces, including one by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Greek Orthodox music in memory of the King’s father, Prince Philip.
PART 1 OF THE CORONATION – THE RECOGNITION
The sovereign stood beside the Coronation Chair and was shown to the people on all sides of the theatre.
PART 2 OF THE CORONATION – THE OATH
King Charles III kneels and places his hands on the Coronation Bible to make his Coronation oath.
The King then signed the Coronation Oath, in which he promised to maintain and foster an environment in which people of all faiths and beliefs may live freely. He also promised to govern the peoples of the UK and Commonwealth according to their laws and customs.
PART 3 OF THE CORONATION – THE ANOINTING
The King’s ceremonial robe was removed and he sat in the Coronation Chair to be anointed, emphasising the spiritual status of the sovereign who is also the head of the Church of England.
The archbishop poured special oil from the Ampulla – a gold flask – on to the Coronation Spoon before anointing the King in the form of a cross on his head, breast and hands.
The oil itself was produced for the coronation using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and consecrated at a special ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the city.
A screen concealed the King from view while he was anointed, because this is considered to be the most sacred part of the service.
As The King is anointed with holy oil during the most sacred part of the service, the Choir sings Handel’s anthem, Zadok the Priest, a setting of words from 1 Kings 1 which was composed for the coronation of George II in 1727. It has been used at every coronation since.
PART 4 OF THE CORONATION – THE INVESTITURE
The UK is, according to the Royal Family website, the only European country that still uses regalia – the symbols of royalty like the crown, orb and sceptres – in coronations. The individual objects symbolise different aspects of the service and responsibilities of the monarch.
The King is dressed in symbolic ‘vestments’, and presented with items of Regalia, each a visible reminder of his role and his responsibility to God. These include:
- The Supertunica: a coat of gold silk reflecting the splendour of Christ
- The Armills: gold bracelets representing sincerity and wisdom.
- The Sovereign’s Orb symbolising the Christian world.
- The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Dove to represent The King’s spiritual role.
- The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross to represent His Majesty’s worldly power.
PART 5 OF THE CORONATION – THE CROWNING
THE CORONATION CHAIR
The coronation chair, also called St Edward’s chair, was made in 1300 and used in coronations at Westminster Abbey
King Charles is then crowned with St Edward’s crown, which is only worn when a monarch is crowned.
The Archbishop of Canterbury places St Edward’s Crown on The King’s anointed head. The clergy, congregation and choir all cry ‘God Save The King’.
St. Edward’s Crown is made of 22 carat gold and contains 6 sapphires, 12 rubies and 345 aquamarines. It was made by the royal jeweller, Robert Vyner, in 1661 on the orders of King Charles II.
A cry of ‘God Save The King’ echoes through Westminster Abbey at the
PART 6 OF THE CORONATION – THE HOMAGE FROM THE PRINCE OF WALES
The King receives ‘Homage’ (a promise of allegiance and faithfulness), from The Prince of Wales on behalf of The Royal Family. . The Prince of Wales performs the Homage of Royal Blood. ”I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you, and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God.”
The Prince of Wales’ vow — known as the Homage of Royal Blood — echoes the one made by his grandfather Prince Philip to Queen Elizabeth at her 1953 coronation, when he swore to be her “liege man of life and limb.”
PART 7 OF THE CORONATION – THE CROWNING OF THE QUEEN
Queen Camilla was crowned with Queen Mary’s Crown which contains over 2,200 diamonds.
At the end of the ceremony, The King and Queen took part in the procession where the National Anthem was sung.
Following the Coronation service, the Queen’s Coronation bouquet has been laid at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Her Majesty’s request.
On a scale not seen on the streets of London for 70 years, the royal family then proceeded from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, with the Canadian Mounted Police, the ‘Mounties,’ leading the procession.
During the procession, The Princess Royal was on horseback in her role as Gold-Stick-in-Waiting. This meant she was entrusted with the Monarch’s personal safety Princess Anne has held this role since 1998.
The King Charles III and Queen Camilla then appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to huge cheers.
The King and Queen appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony with their family to watch a military flypast. The RAF’s Red Arrows display team trailed red, white and blue smoke as their Hawk jets flew over the crowds gathered on The Mall and outside the Palace.
Vivat Carolus Rex et Camilla Regina!!
You can view the full coronation service below
Long live our United Kingdom and the Commonwealth!
Rule Britannia! The new Carolean era has begun!!
God save the King!!