THE biggest stage ever built in Britain will form a giant Union Jack to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles — covered by a crown-shaped roof.
Music superstars will perform on the patriotic platform, measuring 95 metres — 312ft — wide and lit up in red, white and blue in front of Windsor Castle on Sunday evening.
They will be watched by 20,000 fans in the grounds, including the newly crowned King Charles and Queen Camilla, plus hundreds of millions of TV viewers worldwide.
The first photos of the epic setting were released last night as more royal fans arrived to camp in The Mall by Buckingham Palace.
Some have been there since Thursday, so will have been waiting nine days when the Coronation finally takes place on Saturday.
The following evening, stars including Take That and Katy Perry will perform — live on the BBC — on the largest stage ever seen in the UK, built into the grand steps of Windsor Castle.
Boasting an enormous surface area of 960 sq m, it dwarfs the stages used for other historic occasions such as Live Aid and the Platinum and Jubilee Celebrations.
The 25-metre (82ft) tall structure will be powered by 33 miles of cable, and boast 800 lights, while 13-metre (43ft) catwalks at the diagonals will create the Union Jack shape.
Floating above it is a “halo-like screen” acting as a roof.
Insiders reveal it will symbolise the crowns which the King and Queen were adorned with a day earlier at Westminster Abbey.
Music legends will give a dazzling show on the giant flag encompassing the three heraldic crosses of St George for England, Scotland’s St Andrew and St Patrick for Northern Ireland.
Claire Popplewell, creative director of BBC Studios, said of the super-structure, which has taken two weeks to set up: “We hope His Majesty likes it. It’s in his back garden!”
The construction, built by designers Stufish who have worked with the Rolling Stones, U2 and Adele, boasts multiple levels and will house a 70-piece orchestra.
There will also be a 62-metre wide television screen — almost triple the size of the ones at the 90,000-seater Wembley Stadium — suspended above the platform.
Ms Popplewell added: “We think we’ve come up with a stage which is fitting for an event of such historical and national importance. It gives us the perfect base to stage a really wonderful celebration and I hope those either lucky enough to attend in person or the viewers watching from home have a great night and enjoy the party. The live audience will play an important role in the show as well.”
It can be revealed that Downton Abbey and Paddington star Hugh Bonneville will compere the Coronation Concert.
The line-up includes Lionel Richie, Paloma Faith, Nicole Scherzinger, Olly Murs and Steve Winwood. Legendary Ibiza DJ Pete Tong will also take to the decks.
Top Gun star Tom Cruise will join Winnie the Pooh in a pre-recorded sketch revealing previously unknown facts about the new King.
For the first time ever, the Royal Ballet, Royal Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal College of Music and Royal College of Art will come together for a spectacular one-off performance featuring Ncuti Gatwa and Mei Mac.
Bollywood star Sonam Kapoor will deliver a spoken-word performance and stars including Dame Joan Collins, Bear Grylls and Sir Tom Jones will also be appearing via video message.
There will be a spectacular drone show above Windsor Castle, while fireworks will light up the sky as well as a laser display.
Landmarks across the four corners of the United Kingdom will be lit up to mark the occasion.
Viewers will also get to see for the first time the 300-strong amateur Coronation Choir formed on a BBC reality show. They will perform alongside The Virtual Choir of singers from the Commonwealth.
Meanwhile, royal super-fans last night told of their unshakeable devotion to the monarchy as they camped on The Mall.
John Loughrey, 68, Caryll Foster, and Sky London, both 63, pitched up in the rain on Thursday night with camping beds and supplies.
They will be part of a ten-strong group and have spent more than £700 on coronation-themed goodies including shortbread, clothes, bags and paper plates.
John, from Streatham, South London, said: “I never wanted a coronation because I didn’t want the death of a monarch.
“But my period of mourning is over and I’m ready to celebrate with King Charles and his Queen Camilla. We want the sun to shine on them on their coronation day.”
He has named his campsite “Bucks House”, and joked more people are coming to see it than the Palace. He added: “I can’t believe I’m here to watch this.”
Flags from every Commonwealth country are being flown along The Mall. Rehearsals for Saturday’s procession continued yesterday, with members of the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force marching on the runway at RAF Odiham in Hants.