Everything is ready in London for the coronation of Charles III as king. Elizabeth II’s successor will be the fortieth sovereign to be solemnly crowned inside Westminster Abbey, on a day that will follow a strict protocol from the moment of departure from Buckingham Palace to the traditional greeting from the balcony at the end of the ceremonies. Here are the main stages, with the 3D reconstruction of the route that will be followed by the royals, and how the coronation will take place inside the abbey (THE SPECIAL – THE POWERS OF THE KING – WHERE TO SEE THE CEREMONY ON TV).
The path up to Westminster Abbey
The journey will depart from Buckingham Palace, following a shorter route than that followed by Queen Elizabeth in 1953, at 11.40am Italian time. Charles and Camilla will cross the flag-flagged avenue of the Mall and, having crossed Admirality Arch, they will skirt Trafalgar Square, the governmental citadel of Whitehall, Downing Street and Parliament Square, to reach the western entrance of Westminster Abbey. There the ceremony will begin at 11 local time, officiated according to the rite of the Anglican national Church, albeit with unprecedented elements of involvement of representatives of other Christian denominations and other faiths.
The ceremony inside the abbey
Charles III will take his place on the medieval throne of St Edward the Confessor, placed on the Stone of Destiny in the center of the Cosmati Floor. Here he will be sworn in as guardian of the laws of the Kingdom and the Church of England. Immediately following the ancient rite of anointing the sovereign with holy oil, which the celebrating archbishop, the Anglican primate of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will pour from the traditional 17th century gold ampulla onto an ancient ritual spoon, and then on the king’s head. This will be followed by the coronation, with the placing of a rich ornamental cloak, the Supertunica, on Charles III’s shoulders, and then the St Edward’s Crown on his head. Finally there will be the proclamation and genuflection of the heir to the throne William, Prince of Wales.
The procession and greeting the crowd from the balcony
At the end of the ceremony, the exit from the abbey will mark the beginning of the coronation procession, with Charles and Camilla called to greet the crowd from the old Gold State Coach, built in 1762 and used for all coronations from 1831 onwards. The royals will be followed by a second carriage carrying the Princes of Wales, William and Catherine, and their children George (also included among the pages), Charlotte and Louis. Alongside its march, 4,000 soldiers in full uniform. In the early afternoon there will be the last greeting from the balcony of Buckingham Palace by Charles and Camilla, with the family of the princes of Wales and other senior members of the dynasty, including cannon salutes, parades and overflights of RAF aircraft: including the acrobatic team of the Red Arrows.