On Saturday, King Charles III will be crowned in a solemn Christian ceremony at Westminster Abbey, marking the first coronation of a British monarch since 1953. The ceremony will be steeped in 1,000 years of history and tradition but has been adapted to reflect a more diverse and modern 21st century Britain.
The ceremony will begin at 11:00 GMT when the solid gold St Edward’s Crown, a sacred symbol of the monarch’s authority, will be placed on Charles’s head to the cheers of “God Save the King”. The event will also include trumpet fanfares, ceremonial gun salutes, and a 7,000-strong military parade through the streets of London.
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla will travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, in a journey of two kilometres known as the ‘King’s Procession’. Bells will peal in celebration at churches across the land, while liveried soldiers on foot and horseback will take part in the military parade.
This coronation will be the first of a king since 1937, the second to be televised, and the first to be streamed online and in colour. The two-hour Anglican service will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and will include women bishops for the first time. Leaders of Britain’s non-Christian faiths and Celtic languages will also play a prominent role, reflecting the country’s diverse religious and ethnic makeup.
As king, Charles is the supreme governor of the Church of England but has sought to modernize the ceremony to reflect the more diverse and modern Britain he now reigns over.