Eight months after being named king, Charles III is only a few hours away from being officially crowned. The ceremony will take place this Saturday, May 6, and all of London is preparing for one of the most anticipated events not only for the British people but for much of the world. All eyes will be on London that day and, in fact, mass media will run specials from London covering the coronation.
Westminster Abbey will be, as usual, the chosen venue to crown Charles III and his queen consort, Camilla, in an event that will consist of five acts and will begin at 6 am EST (11 am in London). However, the ceremony will not begin at the abbey, but instead at Buckingham Palace.
From there, King Charles III will perform the "Procession of the King." Then, the British monarch will travel to Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee carriage with his wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, and once they arrive at the iconic building, the actual coronation ceremony will take place.
A five-element coronation
This event consists of five elements: the recognition, the oath, the anointing, the investiture and the enthronement. These are the same acts his mother, Elizabeth II, went through 70 years ago when she was crowned Queen of England. Like his mother, he will be crowned with two crowns: that of Henry and that of St. Edward, which he will only wear during the investiture. This symbol of the monarchy will be exchanged for the crown of the Imperial State, which will be worn from the enthronement until the end of the event.
The queen consort, Camilla, will also have another ceremony which will be held at the same time as the coronation. It is true that hers will be simpler as it will not involve taking an oath. The crown she will receive will be that of Mary of Teck, made for the Queen's coronation together with George V, in June 1911.
The coronation will end with the return of the crowned monarchs, after a ceremony lasting approximately two hours, to Buckingham Palace. They will do so on the Golden State float. After this, as his mother did before him, he will greet the public from the balcony.
Guests at the coronation
The coronation is one of the most traditional events of the British monarchy and there will be no shortage of representatives from other countries to accompany Charles III and Camilla during the ceremony. According to the British royal house, more than 2,000 guests will fill Westminster Abbey to witness the event. They must arrive one to two hours beforehand.
Among the attendees will be heads of state from various countries around the world, members of royal families from both Europe and the rest of the world, and religious representatives. The United States will be represented by First Lady Jill Biden and Special Presidential Envoy for Cliamte John Kerry.
British society is keenly aware of who will not be attending the ceremony. One of the most significant absences is that of the king's son, Prince Henry. Although the Duke of Sussex has confirmed that he will attend the coronation (although he will not be present for the entire event), neither his wife, Megan Markle, nor his children, Archie and Lilibet, will be in attendance.
Other notable absentees will be the artists Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Harry Styles, the Spice Girls and Robbie Williams who declined to participate in the concert that will take place one day after the coronation known as the "Coronation Concert.” All of them have claimed that they will not be able to perform due to their busy schedule, although there are suspicions that there could be other hidden reasons such as the dissatisfaction of these artists with Charles III.
The group Take That will perform without Robbie Williams. Other artists that will perform include Katy Perry, Lionel Ritchie, Andrea Bocelli, Paloma Faith, Lang Lang and Tiwa Savage. The event will also feature pre-recorded appearances by other celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Tom Jones, Joan Collins and even the animated teddy bear, Winnie the Pooh.
📸 The stage for the #CoronationConcert
New rendered images have been released ahead of the star-studded concert on Sunday 7 May, produced by BBC Studios. Windsor Castle will host the spectacular live concert, with over 100 countries watching from around the world. pic.twitter.com/7Y75WWWeEx
— BBC Studios (@bbcstudios) April 30, 2023
An event such as the coronation of Charles III requires a large-scale security detail. For this reason, Operation Golden Orb has been launched. This security detail will have more than 29,000 police officers in London, including snipers, whose main mission will be to ensure that the coronation of Charles III goes smoothly. The London Metropolitan Police (MET) uploaded the following post to its Twitter profile:
Operation Golden Orb is one of the most significant and largest security operations the Met has led.
On Coronation Day we will have the largest one day mobilisation of officers seen in decades with over 11,500 officers on duty.
29,000+ deployments during the operation.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) May 3, 2023
According to a spokesman for Buckingham Palace, this security operation has an estimated cost of about $125 million although there is no specific data:
We planned the occasion for some time. The police have a long history of policing this type of event and we will build on it. I've seen several different estimated figures floating around, some more outlandish than others.