Royals

King Charles III Coronation: Everything you need to know

Crowns? Concert? Where to watch? We've got you covered!
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As we edge closer to the official coronation of King Charles III on May 6, 2023, plenty has been happening behind the scenes in preparation for the big day.

The ceremony will ”reflect the monarch’s role today,” according to a statement from Buckingham Palace. It is also said the coronation will ”look towards the future while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.”

The Duke of Norfolk, Edward Fitzalan-Howard, who is an earl marshal and is responsible for organising the ceremony, has reportedly been tasked with making the coronation simpler, shorter and more diverse to ”better reflect modern Britain,” according to the Mail on Sunday.

”The King has stripped back a lot of the coronation in recognition that the world has changed in the past 70 years,” a source told the paper.

Scroll down for all the top-line details about the upcoming ceremony.

THE INVITATION

If you receive this invite in the coming weeks then congratulations, you are one of 2,000 very special individuals!

The invitation was designed by Andrew Jamieson, a heraldic artist who is a Brother of the Art Workers’ Guild, of which King Charles is an Honorary Member.

The design, which is a hand-painted original by Jamieson, will be reproduced and printed on recycled card, with gold foil detailing.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace explained the symbolic features of the design, including the meaning behind the motif of the Green Man seen centre bottom on the invite. This is an ancient figure from British folklore, which is “symbolic of spring and rebirth, to celebrate the new reign.”

World leaders, international royalty, and celebrities have all begun to confirm their attendance to the historic ceremony.

As details surrounding the official guest list begin to emerge, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on who is attending the coronation.

2,000 individuals have been invited to the Coronation.

(Image: Buckingham Palace)

THE CROWNS

The centrepiece of the Crown Jewels, St Edward’s Crown, has been removed from public display at the Tower of London in preparation for the coronation.

The 17th century piece is made of solid gold, encrusted with rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnets, topaz and tourmalines and is set to undergo ”modification” for the history making event.

Last worn by Queen Elizabeth II, at her coronation in 1953, the crown is purely for ceremonial purposes. Standing at over 30 centimetres tall, you can imagine it’s quite heavy thanks to all the jewels encrusted within.

Queen Elizabeth II at her 1953 coronation, the last time the St Edward’s Crown was publically worn.

(Image: Getty)

The crown has a long history of being ‘heavy on the head’, carried only in coronation processions because it was just too heavy to wear for an extended period of time.

It was actually altered to be made lighter for the coronation of King George V in 1911, but still weights a sizeable 2.23 kilograms.

Luckily for Charles, it will only be worn at the very moment he is crowned, replaced by the more modern Imperial State Crown, also used for occasions such as the opening of parliament from the moment he leaves Westminster Abbey.

Queen Camilla will be crowned alongside her husband, with Queen Mary’s crown being placed upon her head.

Usually a new crown would be made, but Buckingham Palace has said that an existing crown will be used for the Coronation, “in the interests of sustainability and efficiency”.

Queen Mary’s Crown has now been removed from the Tower of London to be resized, with a number of “minor changes and additions” being made, including a reset with diamonds from the collection of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Mary’s crown will be updated for the Queen Consort.

(Image: Getty)

THE REGALIA

Just over 48 hours before the coronation begins, the British royal family have revealed King Charles’ State Cypher on Instagram.

The State Cypher is King Charles’ official royal emblem that will adorn the uniforms of those attending the coronation, and will be utilised by those working for the Crown for the duration of his reign.

On April 11th, the palace also revealed the official Regalia that would be used during the coronation ceremony.

”The Crown Jewels are the nation’s most precious treasures. At the heart of the Crown Jewels collection are the Coronation Regalia: the sacred objects used during the coronation ceremony,” the official royal family Instagram account said.

”These unique objects represent the powers and responsibilities of the monarch.”

As part of the Royal Collection Trust, the Regalia are held in trust by the Monarch on behalf of the nation.

Upon the moment of Charles’ coronation, St Edwards Crown will be used. It has been used at the coronation of every monarch since 1661.

Following the coronation, the newly annointed King will then change crowns to The Imperial State Crown as he leaves Wesminster Abbey.

This crown was last used at the annual State Opening of Parliament and was made in 1937.

Queen Camilla will also have her own crown to wear, Queen Mary’s Crown, which will be used at the moment of her coronation.

According to the palace, the crown (made in 1911), will have some minor amendments, paying tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II as items from her personal jewellery collection are added.

The Cypher will also be used on King Charle’s throne.

(Image: Instagram)

The Coronation Spoon as one of the oldest objects in the Crown Jewels collection will be used to annoint Charles with holy oil, whilst The Ampulla will hold the oil during the ceremony.

Charles will also be made to hold the objects of power during the proceedings including The Sovereign’s Orb, The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross and The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Dove.

ENTERTAINMENT & SUPPORTING EVENTS

Since the announcement, Buckingham Palace has since revealed a special concert will be held at Windsor Castle the day after the coronation on May 7.

For royal fans looking to become part of history, several thousand tickets for the concert will be made available via public ballot.

Whilst the palace has been turned down by several big names such as Adele and Robbie William who do not want to perform, 90s boy band Take That have been officially confirmed as headliners.

According to the Daily Mail, the band ”jumped at the chance” and ”feel very honoured” to have been asked to take part.

Alongside the boy band, Andrea Bocelli, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie have also been confirmed to perform in what the BBC is calling an ”ecclectic line up of artists.”

”The concert will see a world class orchestra play interpretations of musical favourites fronted by some of the world’s biggest entertainers, alongside performers from the world of dance,” Buckingham Palace revealed in a statement.

”The performances will be supported by staging and effects located on the Castle’s East Lawn and will also feature a selection of spoken word sequences delivered by stars of stage and screen.

”The centrepiece of the Coronation Concert, ‘Lighting up the Nation,’ will see the country join together in celebration as iconic locations across the United Kingdom are lit up using projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations.”

On the same day, The Coronation Big Lunch will also occur, at which communities are encouraged to come together with neighbours and share in food and fun together to celebrate the occasion.

Camilla, Queen Consort, has been a patron of The Big Lunch since 2013.

Meanwhile on May 8, The Big Help Out event will take place where people can volunteer and “join the work being undertaken to support their local areas.”

Buckingham Palace hosted a ‘Big Lunch’ celebration for the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign on 5th June 2022.

(Image: Getty)

REBRANDING

In keeping with tradition – one that goes back to the reign of Charles II – the new King’s portrait will face to the left, the opposite direction to his mother’s.

(Image: Getty)

As of January 2023, the monarchy is now undergoing a huge royal rebranding as the King’s coronation comes closer.

In particuarly, the King’s cypher is now being issued.

Consisting of his initial ‘C’ with the letter ‘R’ or Rex, the Latin for King, is expected to appear on government buildings, state documents and post boxes around the UK.

And acknowledging the end of one era and the dawn of another, the Royal Mint has now unveiled the official coin effigy of King Charles III.

The Bank of England has previously said that these updated banknotes will enter circulation by mid 2024.

Charles is crownless in the new stamp design.

(Image: The Royal Family)

Of a similar vein, Britain’s Royal Mail has announced that it has ceased production of its Queen Elizabeth II stamps in order to switch to a silhouette of the King which will be available from April 4.

Notably, Charles will not be wearing a crown on the new stamps (as pictured above), a decision that the royal personally approved.

”The feedback we got back was that he wanted it to be simple,” a Royal Mail Director of External Affairs, David Gould said.

”It’s a very human image, with no embellishment.”

As for additional changes, the wording inside new passports previously issued in the name of Her Majesty will now also be updated to read His Majesty.

More changes and updates are expected in the months to come.

The design gives a nod to the monarch’s many years of environmental campaigning.

(Image: The Royal Family)

The official Coronation Emblem was revealed mid February and pays tribute to The King’s love of the natural world, depicting the flora of the four nations of the United Kingdom in the shape of St Edward’s Crown.

Flora depicted includes the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and a shamrock of Northern Ireland.

Interestingly, the emblem was designed by former Apple Chief Designer Jony Ive who said that the design was inspired by King Charles’s love of nature and deep concern for the natural world.

”The emblem speaks to the happy optimism of spring and celebrates the beginning of the new Carolean era for the United Kingdom.”

THE ROYAL ROUTE AND CARRIAGES

Charles and Camilla will depart Westminster Abbey for Buckingham Palace following the coronation in the historic Gold State Coach, which the late Queen rode to and from her own 1953 coronation.

(IMAGE: Supplied)

Buckingham Palace has now confirmed The King and Queen’s coronation carriage and the royal route the official procession will take.

The soon to be minted majesties will travel to Westminster Abbey in an Australian-built Diamond State Coach, made in 2014, and boasting luxurious seats, shock absorbers and air conditioning.

Following in tradition, the couple will then be carried from Westminster Abbey following official proceedings in the historic Gold State Coach, which was last used at the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee pageant.

The 253 year old horse carriage has leather straps for suspension and is famously uncomfortable to ride in, the late Queen herself previously described it as ”horrible” and ”not very comfortable” when she rode in it to and from her own 1953 coronation.

”It is huge. It is four metres tall and seven metres long and weighs four tonnes. Because of that it can only move at walking pace which really adds to the majesty and stateliness of this great royal procession,” said Sally Goodsir, the Curator of Decorative Arts at The Royal Collection Trust.”

”There are eight horse recquired to pull this carriage, which adds more of course to its length. When it passes you in the street you will just have this glimpse of gold with the Sovereign travelling inside.”

WHERE CAN AUSTRALIANS WATCH

ABC, Channel 7, and Channel 10 will present a dedicated broadcast for Australian audiences hoping to watch the historic ceremony.

The coronation will also be available to stream on BritBox, 7plus, and 10 Play.

For more detailed information on where to watch the coronation, read our dedicated coronation watch party guide.

Buckingham Palace has also planned a special coronation concert that will be held at Windsor Castle the day after the coronation on May 7.

The coronation concert broadcast will be aired on Channel 7 at 7:30pm on May 8.

For those subscribed to BritBox, the streaming platform will also have live coverage direct from the UK along with full replay and highlights.

Stream the coronation on BritBox with a 7 day free trial. Subscribe here.

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