From the air-conditioned carriage to the feast, the calendar of the ceremony is more than a thousand years old
Everything is ready in London for the coronation, codenamed ‘Operation Globe’, of King Charles III and his queen consort Camilla next Saturday. Charles became king when his mother Elizabeth II died on 8 September. But now, after the time of mourning, it’s time for the coronation in Westminster Abbey, a formal and religious ceremony more than a thousand years old, with a high symbolic and political value for projecting the image of the monarchy and of Great Britain . And that’s why the entire event is studied in detail, to be both solemn and popular celebration.
THE SYMBOLS OF POWER – Seated on the Coronation Chair, a wooden seat with 700 years of history, Charles will be sworn in as a sovereign, will be anointed with oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will receive the symbols of his power: the crown, scepter and orb. There will be two thousand guests to assist: the royal family, members of the government, foreign heads of state and government, but also ordinary people. For the others, in addition to live television, there will be big screens in various parts of London.
St Edward’s Crown is used at the time of #Coronation. As it is placed on the Sovereign’s head, the congregation in the Abbey shout the words ‘God Save The King’.
Find out more about the history of the Crown in our film. pic.twitter.com/FMKnLadk5g
— Royal Collection Trust (@RCT) April 29, 2023
THE PROCESSION – The day will begin with the royal procession from Buckingham palace to Westminster Abbey, where the ceremony will begin at 11am (midday in Italy). The public will be able to position themselves from six in the morning along the path that crosses the Mall, Trafalgar square, and then continues to Whitehall and Parliament street. Charles chose a smaller procession than that of his mother’s coronation in 1953, with only 200 soldiers, mostly from the Sovereign escort of the royal cavalry. But overall the event will involve 6 thousand men of the armed forces, in the largest ceremonial military operation of the last 70 years.
THE TWO CARRIAGES– Breaking with tradition, probably also considering the age of the two sovereigns – 74 years for him, 75 for her – the carriage of the Diamond Jubilee was chosen for the procession, more comfortable and sprung, equipped with air conditioning and electric windows, and still pulled by six horses. On the way back, for the procession in the opposite direction, the sovereigns will instead get on the Golden carriage, used in all coronations since 1830. And there will be the expected greeting of the sovereigns and the royal family from the balcony of Buckingham palace, followed by the overflight of military aircraft.
THE PARTY – But the coronation will also be an occasion for a popular celebration, over a long weekend which will also include Monday, May 8, a holiday in the whole kingdom. On Sunday there will be a great concert at Windsor Castle, with Take That, Katie Perry, Lionel Richie and Andrea Bocelli. Street parties will be organized across the country, while pubs will be allowed to stay open an extra two hours on Friday and Saturday nights. Finally, May 8 will be the day of the “Big Help Hout”, with voluntary and charitable initiatives throughout the country.