A few days to the coronation of King Charles III of England, details of the historic event are being made public.
From the guest list and music to the coronation robes and logo, some essential aspects of the ceremony have been revealed. Want to know more? Here is the definitive guide.
The coronation of Charles III and Queen Camilla
King Charles III will be crowned in Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023. Along with her husband, Queen Camilla will also be crowned.
Westminster Abbey is steeped in British royal family history. Indeed, the coronations of all monarchs since William the Conqueror (except Edward V and Edward VIII) took place here.
Also, 17 royal weddings (including those of then-Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and the Prince and Princess of Wales) and several royal funerals. Including that of Queen Elizabeth II, have taken place there.
Which members of the royal family will attend
Expect to see a dizzying number of members of the royal family attending.
For sure, Princess Anne and Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. Also, the Earl and Countess of Wessex with their children, as well as Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice and their respective spouses. Zara and Mike Tindall, perhaps accompanied by their eldest children. And Peter Phillips and his daughters are probably attending too.
Prince William and Princess Catherine of Wales will be among the senior royal family members. It is also highly probable that son Prince George, second in line to the throne, will have a role in the ceremony, along his siblings Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Prince Harry controversial presence is confirmed, while his wife Meghan Markle will remain in California. Uncertainty also reigns over the fate of Prince Andrew. Who, although he attended the queen’s funeral, rarely appears at official royal family events.
There will also be a large number of relatives. From Prince Michael of Kent to Lady Sarah Chatto and their families, it is likely that the various branches of the family will be present. Similar to what happened at the queen’s funeral.
What about the foreign royals?
While the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 counted 8,000 attendees, King Charles plans to host 2,000. This is a relatively modest figure taking into consideration the desire to strike a balance between the pomp and formality expected of such a historic event and the financial needs of a modern monarchy.
Reportedly, however, the king has included several representatives of foreign royal houses in the list of guests at the coronation.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlène of Monaco were the first foreign royals to confirm their attendance.
What crown will the king and queen wear
In keeping with tradition, King Charles III will wear the crown of St. Edward. This is the same Queen Elizabeth wore in 1953. The jewel was made for Charles II in 1661, in replacement of the medieval crown destroyed in 1649.
Camilla, on the other hand, chose for the ceremony the same crown worn by Queen Mary in 1911 for the coronation of her husband George V.
The queen wanted, however, to make some changes to the jewel. Thus removing the controversial Koh-i-Noor diamond, claimed by India, the country of origin. Which interprets it as an evocation of British imperialism.
Will King Charles III wear the coronation gown?
The coronation gown will play an important role. As prescribed by the Liber Regalis (“Royal Book”), a 14th-century manuscript that stipulates the order in which the sacred robes will feature. Preserved in the Westminster Abbey Library, the manuscript dates back to the coronation of King Richard II and his first wife, Queen Anne of Bohemia, in 1377.
As a rule, new robes are made for each coronation. With the exception of the Supertunica and the Royal Robe, which date back to the 1821 coronation of King George IV.
Although the coronation images familiar to us today date mostly from the 1953 ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III may also refer to his grandfather, King George VI, or great-grandfather, George V, predecessors in the male line.
It also appears that this year’s coronation will be shorter than previous ones, including the investiture portion of the ceremony. Which means the king may reduce the number of changes of dress.
What is the coronation logo
Buckingham Palace revealed that the official coronation logo is created by “internationally famous designer Sir Jonathan Ive and his creative team LoveFrom, it symbolizes and celebrates the historic beginning of the new reign.”
Rich with personal touches, the graphic “pays homage to the king’s love of nature. Thus, by blending the flora of the four nations of the United Kingdom. The rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales, and the clover of Northern Ireland.
The flowers come together to form “the outline of the Crown of St. Edward. With which His Majesty the King will be crowned.” As for the choice of colors, the logo “features the red, white and blue of the flag of the United Kingdom.”
What music will accompany the ceremony
Overseeing all musical arrangements and directing the music for the ceremony will be Andrew Nethsingha, organist and master of choristers at Westminster Abbey.
According to information released by Buckingham Palace, Sir Antonio Pappano, conductor of the glorious Royal Opera House in London, will instead conduct the Coronation Orchestra.
The 12 pieces of music will consist of six orchestral performances, five choral performances and one organ performance. All “composed especially for the occasion by world-renowned British composers whose work includes classical music, sacred music, musicals and film and television scores.”
These will include a new coronation anthem composed by musical legend Andrew Lloyd Webber. Who said, “It is an incredible honor to compose a new coronation anthem (…) I hope my anthem reflects this happy occasion.”
The ceremony will also include touching personal references. Indeed, Buckingham Palace revealed that, “at His Majesty’s request, in tribute to his late father, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Greek Orthodox music, performed by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble, will be part of the ceremony.”
What about the coronation concert?
Competing for two free tickets to the first concert ever held in the grounds of Windsor Castle will be 5,000 lucky attendees.
As the British royal family’s official social profiles announced, during the event, scheduled on the evening of Sunday, May 7, “an orchestra of international caliber will perform interpretations of great musical classics presented by some of the greatest living entertainers along with exponents from the world of dance and art.”
Enriching the extraordinary multi-sensory spectacle will be “staging and effects on the eastern lawn of the castle. As well as a selection of speeches delivered by theater and film stars.”