The United Kingdom is preparing for an extraordinary weekend as Buckingham Palace unveils additional information about the upcoming coronation of King Charles III, heightening anticipation for this momentous event.
Royal fans have been treated to further details of late regarding King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla’s coronation ceremony on Saturday, May 6, which will include two days of festive fun and community-based initiatives.
“Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort hope the Coronation Weekend will provide an opportunity to spend time and celebrate with friends, families and communities across the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth,” the Palace’s press release reads.
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The historic weekend will kick start its festivities following Charles and Camilla’s coronation at Westminster Abbey, where the Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct the service.
According to the DailyMail, Charles’ coronation will be “more religiously and culturally diverse.”
The Palace had previously stated that this year’s coronation will “reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future” but will still be “rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry”.
Following the service, the newly crowned monarch will be joined by other members of the Royal Family for a procession back to Buckingham Palace where they will make their appearance on the iconic Palace balcony.
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On the morning of May 6th, the world will witness the grand procession of King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla in the illustrious Diamond Jubilee State Coach to Westminster Abbey.
This exceptional carriage was specially created to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s 60-year reign, and until now, only Her Majesty had the privilege of riding it. The exterior is adorned with a golden crown carved from oak from HMS Victory, while the interior features materials from significant British buildings and places.
Dubbed “The King’s Procession”, the journey will commence from Buckingham Palace’s Centre Gate, heading down The Mall and passing Admiralty Arch, the south side of Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, and Parliament Street before arriving at the Abbey.
Following the ceremony, their Majesties will embark on the same route back to Buckingham Palace. However, “The Coronation Procession” promises to be a grander affair as over 6,000 members of the UK’s Armed Forces will participate in the upcoming event.
This grand spectacle, which is being described as the largest military ceremonial operation in 70 years, promises to be a breathtaking display of military precision and pageantry.
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Earlier last month, the official invitation for the King’s coronation was unveiled, and it’s a stunning piece of artwork designed by renowned heraldic artist Andrew Jamieson.
The invitation features an exquisite portrayal of the Green Man, an ancient character from British folklore that represents the essence of rejuvenation and the arrival of spring. The intricate watercolour and gouache artwork showcases the Green Man adorned with a variety of natural elements such as oak, ivy, hawthorn leaves, and the quintessential flowers of the United Kingdom
Not only does the invitation display the captivating image of the Green Man, but it is also framed with a delightful border of a British wildflower meadow. This vibrant border boasts an array of stunning blooms, including lily of the valley – the preferred flower of Queen Elizabeth II – as well as cornflowers, wild strawberries, dog roses, and bluebells. To add an extra touch of significance, a sprig of rosemary is included to symbolise remembrance.
The border is also adorned with a series of enchanting nature-themed embellishments, featuring a bee, butterfly, ladybird, wren, and robin. These delightful motifs are a nod to the King’s profound appreciation for nature, adding an extra layer of significance to the overall design of the invitation.
Just as the Queen’s funeral drew in thousands of visitors from all across the globe to Westminster Abbey, Charles’ coronation will likely be met with the same pageantry.
At the moment, it’s believed 2000 names make up the exclusive guest list but given that the coronation is considered a state occasion, the UK government has the last word on who will make the cut.
Buckingham Palace has also confirmed that Prince Harry will attend the coronation of his father.
Although Harry is set to make an appearance, the Palace revealed his wife Meghan Markle and their two children will not be in attendance.
On Sunday, May 7, members of the public are encouraged to embrace their sense of community with a Coronation Big Lunch.
Per the Palace press release, “from a cup of tea with a neighbour to a street party, a Coronation Big Lunch brings the celebrations to your neighbourhood and is a great way to get to know your community a little better”.
In the evening, members of the UK are cordially invited to Windsor Castle’s East Lawn for a star-studded Coronation Concert featuring a lineup of “global music icons and contemporary stars”.
Music icons, such as Katy Perry, Take That, Freya Ridings, Lionel Ritchie, Welsh sensation Bryn Terfel, and even the revered Italian opera maestro Andrea Bocelli, have been officially confirmed.
Amateur choir groups from across the country will also be performing at the concert.
A national ballot will be held for the public offering free pairs of tickets for the concert, where attendees will be rubbing shoulders with members from a handful of the King and Queen Consort’s charity affiliations.
Those unable to attend the Coronation Concert won’t be missing out on the fun though, as various locations around the nation will be lit up with projections, lasers and drone displays.
The concert will also be broadcasted live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.
Finally, on Monday, May 8, a nationwide initiative called The Big Help Out will take place to “highlight the positive impact volunteering has on communities across the nation” and to recognise Charles’ contribution to public service.
According to the Palace, “The Big Help Out will encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas.”
“The aim of The Big Help Out is to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the coronation weekend,” the Palace said.
The official ceremony for King Charles III’s Coronation is slated to commence at 11 am BST, with the King’s Procession scheduled to start a bit earlier. For viewers tuning in from Australia, the festivities will kick off on Saturday, May 6, at 5 pm AEST.
ABC and ABC News will broadcast live from London from 5 pm AEST.
Sydney & Brisbane
Streaming service BritBox has also got you covered. They will be live-streaming the entire event, along with full replays and highlights, so you can catch all the action from the comfort of your own home.