On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace announced that the coronation of King Charles III will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, May 6, 2023, contradicting speculation that the ceremony would take place in June to coincide with the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation. Aides have confirmed that the coronation ceremony will be conducted by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and that Queen Consort Camilla will be crowned alongside her husband.
“The coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in long standing traditions and pageantry,” the palace said in a statement. “Further details will be announced in due course.”
Palace sources have said that, at one hour in length, Charles’s coronation will be shorter than the late queen’s three-hour ceremony, and fewer dignitaries and VIPs will attend. They added that core elements of the coronation will mirror that of Queen Elizabeth II and other coronations of old. In 1953, 8000 people filled the Abbey, but in May, 2,000 faith leaders, peers, and MPs are expected to attend, alongside foreign royals and heads of state, similar to the attendance at the late queen’s funeral on September 19.
Palace aides have said that while King Charles’s coronation will be different in scale, the tradition of the ceremony will be retained. “It will be shorter and simpler than 1953 but absolutely still on the scale and spectacle befitting of sovereignty, history, and tradition,” according to a palace source.
During the ceremony, the Sovereign is “anointed, blessed, and consecrated” by the Archbishop of Canterbury, as per Anglican liturgy. Despite concerns that the coronation will be scaled down of pomp and pageantry, an aide said that the solemn religious service would be “an occasion for celebration and pageantry.”
The ceremony has retained a similar structure for over a thousand years, and while there will be some changes for the 2023 coronation, it is expected to include the same core elements as previous ceremonies. For the last 900 years, the ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey, London. Since 1066, the service has almost always been conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The coronation was televised for the very first time in 1953, but the sacred moment when the Queen was anointed was not captured on film. Ultimately, 27 million viewers tuned in.
According to sources involved with planning next year’s event, the king’s coronation will be televised, possibly with more media access than his mother’s coronation. King Charles has been generous in allowing the media to cover the start of his reign. When he was sworn in by the accession council on September 9, the cameras were allowed to film the moment for the very first time.
The Prince and Princess of Wales will be at the ceremony with Prince William expected to undertake a significant role alongside Camilla. According to a source close to the family, “William is going to be heavily involved at the coronation.”
The palace has not yet commented on which family other members will attend, though the date of Charles’s coronation falls on what will be the fourth birthday of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son.
While there will be fewer attendees at the Abbey, it is expected that millions will watch the ceremony live. Spectators are expected to line the streets of the capital to see the ding travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in the gold state coach typically used for coronations and jubilees.
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