When Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8, 2022, her oldest son became King Charles III. Although Charles succeeded his mother immediately at the time of her death, his coronation won’t take place for another few months. The reason is to allow an appropriate length of time between the late monarch’s death and holding a celebration to crown her heir. It also gives time to organize and prepare for the new monarch’s coronation ceremony.
Here’s what we know now about the upcoming historical event including when it will take place, what will happen during the ceremony, and who will be in attendance.
King Charles III will have a scaled-down coronation
King Charles’ coronation won’t be exactly like his mother’s was in 1953.
Because it will be a state occasion, the coronation is publicly funded and Charles is planning for a scaled-back ceremony compared to the grand one Queen Elizabeth had. He has also been planning to slim down the monarchy for some time in an effort to make the institution more modern, more cost-efficient, and less flashy.
A source told the Mirror that Charles’ coronation “will be shorter, sooner, smaller, less expensive” and stressed that “the king is very aware of the struggles felt by modern Britons so will see his wishes carried through that although his coronation ceremony should stay right and true to the long-held traditions of the past, it should also be representative of a monarchy in a modern world.”
Where King Charles’ coronation will take place
King Charles’ coronation will take place at Westminster Abbey. The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct the ceremony and Charles will take the coronation oath.
The new king will be seated in King Edward’s chair just like monarchs before him and will receive the Sovereign’s Scepter, hold the royal orb, and wear St. Edward’s Crown.
Camilla, Queen Consort is also expected to be crowned alongside her husband just as the Queen Mother was alongside King George VI back in 1937.
Who will attend the king’s coronation?
The queen had 8,000 attendees at her coronation, Charles though is expected to have 2,000 guests. Those will include diplomats, and dignitaries from several different countries many of whom were at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral like U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden as well as reps from Houses of Parliament and other Commonwealth countries.
Of course, members of the British royal family will also be present. No one knows yet if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will fly in from California and attend but it’s believed they will receive an invite.
A former Buckingham Palace employee told the Daily Beast: “Harry and Meghan will get an invite to the coronation but they will be firmly seated in the cheap seats along with Beatrice and Eugenie, as they were at the funeral. That will be it. Charles will be ruthless when it comes to protecting the Crown, and that means keeping Harry and Meghan as far from the center of gravity as possible.”
Palace responds to leaked date
So the biggest question many people have is: When will King Charles’ coronation take place?
Bloomberg reported that Charles would be crowned on June 3, 2023. The publication cited a government official who said that plans for the coronation have centered on that date.
But before anyone marked that on their calendar a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace responded to the report and told the Evening Standard that the June 3 coronation date was “pure speculation.”
The Palace later announced that the date King Charles will be crowned is May 6, 2023.