Buckingham Palace revealed further details surrounding King Charles III’s coronation at Westminster Abbey, which takes place in less than a month.
King Charles III will be crowned alongside his wife, Queen Camilla, on Saturday, May 6, followed by two days of celebration in the United Kingdom.
It’s been nearly 70 years since the monarchy’s last coronation ceremony — Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on June 2, 1953 — and Charles’ ceremony will reportedly be scaled back by comparison to past coronations, per the New York Post.
There will be two processions through the streets of London on coronation day. One will take King Charles to Westminster Abbey to be crowned and a second, larger parade will bring the king back to Buckingham Palace, where the royal family will make a balcony appearance.
On top of procession details, new details have emerged about processional routes, carriages and coronation regalia.
The king’s ride to Westminster
On the morning of the coronation, Charles and Camilla will ride in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach from Buckingham Palace in the king’s procession to Westminster Abbey, according to Buckingham Palace.
The Diamond Jubilee State Coach is one of the newest carriages in the Royal Collection. It was built in Australia and delivered to Queen Elizabeth in 2014 and used for the first time during the State Opening of Parliament that year, per CNN.
“Inside is beautifully upholstered in primrose yellow silk, and also fitted into the interior, our particular specimen woods. It’s a real microcosm of British and world history. There’re woods from the royal residences, from explorations and from other countries and nations as well,” says Sally Goodsir, the Royal Collection Trust’s curator of decorative arts, per CNN.
Goodsir believes attendees might be surprised by the size of the coach. “It’s significantly taller than any car on the road today, and it has this huge gold crown on the top — amazingly carved with oak from HMS Victory, one of the Royal Navy’s 18th-century flagships,” Goodsir explains.
The king’s procession will leave from Buckingham Palace, travel down the Mall, pass through Admiralty Arch and Trafalgar Square, down Whitehall and along Parliament Street to Westminster Abbey, where they will arrive at 11 a.m., according to Buckingham Palace.
Charles and Camilla will be anointed with chrism oil
During the coronation ceremony, the king and queen will get anointed with chrism oil, which was consecrated in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, reports Fox News. The oil is animal-cruelty free and consists of olive oil, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, orange blossom and sesame. Charles and Camilla will be anointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Several symbolic and historic regalia will be featured in the ceremony. Charles will sit upon his golden coronation chair, the 12th century coronation spoon will be used to pour the chrism oil and Charles will be crowned with the Imperial State Crown which was made for King George VI’s 1937 coronation, per CNN. The crown, which is only used for ceremonial events, is made from solid gold and trimmed with velvet. It weighs more than five pounds.
Camilla will reuse Queen Mary’s crown, rather than commission a new one to be made, marking the “first instance in modern times of an existing crown being used for the coronation of the Consort,” per Fox News.
Charles will also don the Sovereign’s Orb, which symbolizes the Christian world and the sovereign’s power, according to Buckingham Palace. It will be placed on the king’s right hand during the coronation ceremony.
The procession to Buckingham Palace
On their journey back to Buckingham Palace, their majesties will travel in the Gold State Coach. The Gold State Coach was commissioned in 1760 and first used by King George III. It has been used for every coronation since William IV’s in 1831, per Buckingham Palace.
The four-ton coach will be drawn by eight Windsor Greys at a walking pace. Upon their arrival back at Buckingham Palace, their majesties will receive a royal salute from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Armed Forces.
Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend the coronation?
Although Harry and Meghan reportedly received an invite to the coronation in early March, they have remained tight-lipped about whether or not they plan to attend. And their decision allegedly depends on if their personal “demands” for the ceremony are met.
The couple — who voluntarily left their royal duties behind in 2020 and moved to California to pursue lives as non-royals — “demand” that their children are a part of the ceremony, and that their whole family appears on the Buckingham Palace balcony, according to Cosmopolitan.
No matter what the pair decides, they are in a “lose-lose situation,” according to royal experts, per Fox News.
“It’s really lose-lose for the Sussexes unless the rest of the family suddenly decides to do an about-face and embrace them,” Christopher Andersen, author of “The King,” told Fox News. “I don’t see that happening. There is too much bitterness there. Too many bridges have been burned.”
“So, if Harry and Meghan attend the coronation, they will almost certainly be sidelined and visibly shunned,” Anderson continued. “If they don’t go, it will look as if Harry is turning his back on his birthright, the royal family, and the institution of the monarchy itself.”
How to watch the coronation
In the U.K., the coronation will be broadcast live on BBC.
To watch the ceremony in the U.S., networks such as ABC, NBC and CNN are likely to show it. You can also sign up for BritBox, which streams BBC.
In the past, royal ceremonies have been live streamed on YouTube, and it is likely this will be an option.