Three days of festivities: Buckingham unveils the program for the coronation of Charles III

Eva Deschamps / January 23, 2023

The coronation of Charles, 74, will take place eight months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8 at the age of 96.

 

Buckingham Palace began to unveil on Saturday the program of three days of festivities for the coronation of King Charles III: after the ceremony on May 6 at Westminster Abbey, there will be a star concert, a national "big lunch" and initiatives to promote volunteerism.

 

Buckingham wants to make "this historic event" a festive moment, which gives "the opportunity for people to come together ».

 

But will the royal family itself be reunited? Buckingham did not indicate in its statement whether Harry and his wife Meghan, exiled in California, will attend.

 

The palace has never officially reacted to the explosive book of the prince, "The Substitute", published on January 10, in which he makes severe accusations against several members of the royal family, especially his brother William and Queen Consort Camilla.

 

The coronation is traditionally held in the months following the accession to the throne. This period allows for both national and royal mourning to be observed and for the ceremony to be organized.

 

The last coronation, that of Elizabeth II, took place on June 2, 1953. For the first time, the ceremony was broadcast on television and watched by 27 million Britons, for 36 million inhabitants at the time. It lasted more than three hours, in front of 8,251 guests gathered in the Abbey. 129 nations and territories were officially represented.

 

The coronation ceremony of Charles III will take place on the morning of May 6, at Westminster Abbey, as it has for previous coronations of British monarchs in the last 900 years. It will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, as is tradition.

 

The coronation is a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry," Buckingham said. The ceremony "will be forward-looking, yet rooted in tradition and long-standing pageantry.

 

Charles' wife, Camilla, will also be crowned.

 

Charles III and Camilla will arrive at Westminster from Buckingham Palace in a procession called the "King's Procession". After the ceremony, they will return to Buckingham in the "Coronation Procession", where they will be joined by other members of the Royal Family.

 

To conclude this first day, the King and Queen Consort, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, will appear on the Buckingham balcony to greet the crowd.

 

The next day will be a concert at Windsor Castle, west of London, with "international music icons and contemporary stars". It will be broadcast on the BBC. Buckingham did not mention the names of the artists who will perform on stage.

 

The audience will include volunteers from charities supported by Charles and Camilla.

 

A "coronation choir" will also perform, with singers from refugee choirs, the public health service, LGBTQ+ and deaf singing groups.

 

In the evening, iconic locations around the UK will be illuminated.

 

The population will also be invited on May 7 to participate in the "great coronation lunch", neighborhood parties to "celebrate friendship". "Thousands of events" are expected to take place in the streets, gardens, parks, according to Buckingham.

 

These popular celebrations are reminiscent of those that took place in June 2022 for Elizabeth's platinum jubilee, on her 70th year of reign. Across the United Kingdom, tens of thousands of lunches and picnics with neighbors were held to celebrate this extremely popular monarch.

 

On Monday, May 8, which will be a public holiday, people will be encouraged to volunteer. This is intended to "bring people together and create a volunteer movement that will last beyond the coronation weekend," the palace said.

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