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The coronation of King Charles III: when it is and what to expect

He has been Britain’s reigning monarch since September last year, but King Charles III And his queen consort, Camilla, will be officially crowned this spring in a coronation ceremony that is steeped in centuries of tradition — with some minor changes expected for the modern era.

Here’s what we know so far about the event planned by Buckingham Palace:

When will King Charles be crowned?

King Charles III will be officially crowned alongside Camilla on Saturday 6 May. The date was agreed by the UK government, the Church of England and the royal family.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, visit Yorkshire

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort during an official visit to Yorkshire, England on November 9, 2022.

James Glossop / Getty Images

To celebrate, people in the UK will be given a public holiday, although the coronation will take place on a Saturday, so the national holiday will be Monday 8 May.

There will be celebratory lunches across the UK and other Commonwealth countries that weekend, and a concert at Windsor Castle on 7 May.

Where will the coronation be?

The coronation will take place at Westminster Abbey, where the ceremony has been held for the past 900 years. It will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

King Charles and Camilla will travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey as part of “The King’s Procession”. After the service, they will return to Buckingham Palace for another procession, this time joined by other members of the royal family, known as the “Coronation Procession”.

After they arrive at Buckingham Palace, senior members of the royal family will appear on the balcony.

What happens during the coronation?

Coronation ceremonies grew out of a historical need to bring stability to European monarchies amid competing claims to their thrones, as well as a tradition of church involvement in the state. They do not allow time for the country to mourn immediately after the death of the previous king. The ceremony is essentially religious, and it does not bring King Charles any more privileges as emperor, which he has been enjoying since his mother’s death.

British coronations involve an Anglican Church service.

Once inside the Abbey, events traditionally take place as follows: Recognition, Coronation Oath, Consecration, Investiture and Enthronement and Veneration.

During the recognition, the king is presented before the people present. During the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles’ mother, in 1953, trumpets played after she was presented to each side of the monastery and people shouted “God save the Queen.”

Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation in 1953

Queen Elizabeth II holds her emblem of office after the coronation ceremony following her coronation on June 2, 1953.

/ Getty Images

The only part of the coronation ceremony that is required by law is the coronation oath. The exact wording of the oath has changed over the centuries. Queen Elizabeth II swore to rule the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations according to law, to administer justice with mercy and to uphold the Church of England. It is expected that King Charles’ oath will be similar, although he is expected to recognize all faiths

After the oath, Charles is expected to be anointed with holy oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will pour the oil into a spoon and anoint Charles’ hands, head and breasts. Then, Charles will be given the royal robes, robes, coronation ring, scepter and rod of his position. St. Edward’s Crown will be placed on his head.

After King Charles is crowned, his Queen Consort, Camilla, will be crowned before the final procession back to Buckingham Palace.

Who pays for the coronation?

The coronation is paid for by the UK government as it is a state event.

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