Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The Coronation of King Charles III

The formal celebration of the coronation will begin with a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, called ‘The King’s Procession’. Viewing areas along the route will open at 6:00 am.  It’s a first-come, first-served system and I’m already stressed!

The procession will set off at 10:20 BST with King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla riding in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach rather than the older, more uncomfortable, Gold State Coach. The Carriage will be drawn by six Windsor Grey horses and the Household Cavalry will provide the Sovereign’s Escort.

200 members of the Armed Forces will take part in the procession. Another 1,000 service personnel will line the route.

The procession is expected to arrive at the abbey at 10:53, with the King likely to wear a military uniform as his outfit of the day—breaking tradition with the breeches and silk stockings, worn by kings before him. 

The ceremony is set to begin at 11:00. The pages will be: The King’s grandson, Prince George and Camilla’s grandchildren, Lola, Eliza, Gus, Louis, and Freddy.

~The Coronation Regalia~
The UK is the only European country that still uses regalia—symbols of royalty like the crown, orb, and scepters. These are sacred objects and the nation’s most precious treasures.

Camilla will be presented with the Queen Consort’s Rod with Dove and the Queen Consort’s Sceptre with Cross.

King Charles will be presented to the people—a tradition dating back to Anglo Saxon times. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welty will stand beside the 700-year old Coronation Chair and proclaim Charles the “undoubted King” before asking the congregation to show their homage and service. 

The congregation will shout “God Save the King!”

The Coronation Chair is believed to be the oldest piece of furniture in the UK. A total 26 monarchs have been crowned in it. During the coronation, the oak chair is placed in the center of the historic medieval mosaic floor known as the “Cosmati pavement,” in front of and facing the High Altar, to emphasize the religious nature of the ceremony. 

The Archbishop will then ask King Charles to confirm that he will uphold the law and the Church of England during his reign. He will also take an oath that he is a “faithful Protestant.”

~The Annointing~
The King’s ceremonial robe will be removed and he will sit in the Coronation Chair to be anointed. The Archbishop will pour the special oil from the Ampulla on to the Coronation Spoon before annointing the King in the form of a cross on his head, breast, and hands. 

The Ampulla was made for Charles II’s coronation. The Coronation spoon is much older, having survived Oliver Cromwell’s destruction of the regalia after the English Civil War. 

The oil was produced for the coronation using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. A canopy may be held over the chair to conceal the King from view, as this is considered to be the most sacred part of the service.

~The Investiture~
At the coronation, the King will wear this crown for the only time in his life. It was made for King Charles  II in 1661. King Charles will be only the seventh monarch to wear it after Charles II, James II, William III, George V, George VI, and Elizabeth II. At midday, the Archbishop will place St. Edward’s crown on the King’s head and trumpets will sound and gun salutes will be fired across the UK. 

A 62-round salute will be fired at the Tower of London, with a six-gun salvo at Horse Guards Parade. 

The King will then take the throne, possibly lifted into it by the archbishop, bishops, and other peers of the kingdom.

Queen Camilla will then be anointed, crowned (with Queen Mary’s crown), and enthroned but she will not take an oath.

The King and Queen Consort will descend from their thrones and enter St. Edward’s chapel. It is there that Charles will remove the St. Edward’s Crown and put on the Imperial State Crown before joining the procession out of the abbey as the national anthem is played.

The King and Queen Consort will then return to Buckingham Palace along the reverse of the route by which they came. This time they will travel in the 260-year-old Gold State Coach that has been used in every coronation since William IV’s in 1831.

Nearly 4,000 members of the UK’s armed forces will take part in this procession.

The Royal British Legion will provide a 100-strong guard of honor to line the procession route.

King Charles and Queen Camilla will continue the tradition of greeting the crowds in The Mall from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

The coronation will be televised on BBC America and other major U.S. news channels. You may also view it on Hulu and Live TV. Coverage of the ceremony will begin at 5:20am EST.

God Save the King!


Unknown said...

Thank you for all this valuable information. I am so excited for Coronation Day!

Lisa said...

Thank you for telling us where to view the coronation here in the US.
Years ago I remember reading that Charles had the idea to save roses from his Highgrove garden and use the oil from the petals to create his coronation oil. I guess that idea has been nixed. I thought it was a rather nice idea and so personal. Tradition won. Can't wait to watch. Best wishes for a wonderful visit!!