What to Expect at the Official Coronation of King Charles III

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More than 2000 people, including Bahamian government officials, are expected to attend King Charles III’s coronation. Charles III and his wife Camilla will be crowned on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London.

The service will begin at 11 am after the arrival of the king’s procession.

Here’s what we know about the royal affair:

The ornate invitation reads: "The Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla by command of The King The Earl Marshal is directed to invite (gap) to be present at the Abbey Church of Westminster on the 6th day of May 2023"

What happens at a coronation?

This time, the coronation will be shorter and smaller when compared to the last coronation in 1953 when his mother Queen Elizabeth II was crowned.

King Charles will travel to Westminster Abbey in a relatively modern horse-drawn carriage which has electric windows and air conditioning. They will ride in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, first used in 2014, before returning in the Gold State Coach used in every coronation since the 1830s.

Golden Jubilee
King Charles and Queen Camilla will ride in this horse-driven carriage to Westminster Abbey.

There are several stages to the service:

  • The recognition: While standing beside the 700-year-old Coronation Chair, the monarch is presented to those gathered in the Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The congregation shouts “God Save the King!” and trumpets sound
  • The oath: The sovereign swears to uphold the law and the Church of England
  • The anointing: The King’s ceremonial robe is removed and he sits in the Coronation Chair. A gold cloth is held over the chair to conceal the King from view. The Archbishop of Canterbury anoints the King’s hands, breast and head with holy oil made according to a secret recipe, but known to contain ambergris, orange flowers, roses, jasmine and cinnamon. The oil created for Charles will not contain any ingredients derived from animals
  • The investiture: The sovereign is presented with items including the Royal Orb, representing religious and moral authority; the Sceptre, representing power; and the Sovereign’s Sceptre, a rod of gold topped with a white enamelled dove, a symbol of justice and mercy. Finally, the Archbishop places St Edward’s Crown on the King’s head
  • The enthronement and homage: The King leaves the Coronation Chair and moves to the throne. Peers kneel before the monarch to pay homage

The Queen will then be anointed in the same way and crowned.

westminster abbey
Westminster Abbey in London

Who will go to the Coronation?

Because it is a state occasion, the government sends out invitations to politicians and world leaders.

Governor General C.A Smith, Prime Minister Philip Davis, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Smith and Opposition Leader Michael Pintard are in attendance.

US President Joe Biden will not attend but his wife Jill is attending on his behalf.

Charles’ controversial son Prince Harry is also expected to attend the crowning but his wife and children will remain in the USA. This will be his first time in public since the release of his controversial memoir Spare.

850 representatives of charitable organisations will be in attendance, in recognition of their work in communities around the world.

Will Camilla become Queen?

Camilla will be crowned ‘Queen’ alongside her husband during the Coronation.

The title Queen Camilla was used for the first time by Buckingham Palace on the Coronation invitation after it emerged that “Consort” would be officially dropped after next month’s ceremony.

Camilla had been referred to as ‘Queen Consort’ by the Palace since the death of Queen Elizabeth last September.

However, royal aides revealed that Queen Camilla was now considered an “appropriate title” to set against King Charles.


Telegraph UK, BBC News


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