Buckingham Palace on Saturday revealed details of King Charles III’s coronation, which will be less extravagant than his mother’s ceremony 70 years ago, reflecting the cost-of-living crisis many Britons are facing.
There will be three days of celebration, with the coronation on Saturday 6 May, a ‘Coronation Big Lunch’ and ‘Coronation Concert’ the following day, and an additional holiday on Monday. The public is invited on the final day to participate in “The Big Help Out” by volunteering in their community.
The coronation itself will be “a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pomp,” presided over by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the palace said.
It will, the palace reiterated, “reflect the monarch’s current role and look to the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.”
That line from the palace has been interpreted by experts as hinting that Charles’s coronation will be different and more subdued than that of his late mother seven decades ago, with a shorter ceremony and changes to some feudal elements of the ritual. Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was the first royal event to be televised live and lasted three hours.
Charles and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, will arrive at Westminster Abbey in procession from Buckingham Palace, known as “The King’s Procession”, and later return in a larger ceremonial procession, known as “The Coronation Procession”, accompanied by other members of the royal family.
The King and Queen’s consort will then appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace along with members of the Royal Family to conclude the day’s events.
At the moment, the palace has not specified which members of the family will appear in the procession and on the balcony, following Prince Andrew’s continued banishment from public life following historic allegations of sexual abuse and the publication of Prince Harry’s memoirs in which he railed against his family.
“It would help Charles immensely for his image if Harry and Meghan were there,” royal historian Kate Williams previously told CNN. “It looks especially bad for him if his son isn’t around because Harry is obviously still very high in line for the throne, as are his children.”
The following day, May 7, thousands of events are expected to take place across the country as part of the ‘Coronation Big Lunch’, as the as-yet unnamed ‘global music icons and contemporary stars’ gather for a ‘Coronation Big Lunch’. Concert’ held on the East Lawn of Windsor Castle, the palace said.
The concert will be attended by an audience made up of volunteers from the King and Queen Consort charitable organizations and several thousand members of the public selected through a national vote held by the BBC.
They will be watching a “world-class orchestra play interpretations of musical favorites led by some of the world’s greatest entertainers, alongside artists from the dance world…,” adding that a lineup would be released in due course.
A diverse group consisting of British refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups and sign choirs for the deaf will form “The Coronation Choir” and also perform at the concert, along with “The Virtual Choir”, made up of singers from across the Commonwealth .
Well-known venues across the country will also be illuminated with projections, lasers, drone displays and lighting as part of the concert.
The festivities will conclude on Monday’s bank holiday with “The Big Help Out”, which aims to “bring communities together and create a lasting legacy of volunteerism from the Coronation Weekend”.
To receive updates about the British Royal Family in your inbox, sign up for Royal News Newsletter from CNN.