KING Charles will be officially crowned in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023.
We look at how the Coronation of King Charles will compare to his mother’s ceremony nearly 70 years ago.
What crown will Camilla wear at the Coronation?
Queen Camilla will wear the Crown of Queen Mary.
This is a change to tradition which has usually seen a new crown made for each consort.
The existing crown will need to be modified as Camilla has a larger head than Queen Mary’s.
It will also be reset with the Cullinan III, IV and V diamonds in a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II.
The stones were part of the Queen’s personal collection.
Camilla’s choice of crown means she has avoided controversy over the Koh-i-Noor diamond – which once belonged to an Indian maharaja.
The priceless jewel sits in the crown that Charles’s grandmother, the Queen Mother, wore at George VI’s coronation in 1937.
As well as the controversial Koh-i-Noor diamond, it features 2,800 jewels.
The diamond was given to Queen Victoria in 1851 by the mega-rich East India Company but how they came to have it is a mystery.
The Queen Mum received the 150-carat diamond as a gift from her mother-in-law, Queen Mary.
India would like the incredible diamond back, and there had been fears that if Camilla wears it in her coronation crown it could scupper a post-Brexit trade deal between the two countries.
Meanwhile, King Charles will wear two crowns during the service.
During the coronation, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will place St Edward’s crown – made for Charles II in 1661 – on the head of King Charles III.
The solid-gold crown, decorated with 444 precious and semi-precious stones, weighs 5lb.
Royal author Brian Hoey said: “The late Queen practised for her coronation by wearing two-pound bags of sugar on her head and walking around Buckingham Palace to get used to wearing St Edward’s crown.
“Charles doesn’t need to do that. For the rest of the coronation service he will wear the much lighter Imperial State crown, which the Queen always described as her ‘going away hat’.”
Can I go and watch the Coronation?
In 1953 an estimated three million people lined the specially- extended route to see the new Queen’s procession.
Her journey was five miles long and it took 45 minutes for the procession to pass by, flanked by military personnel.
The 2023 route will be shorter, but it is expected that the procession will still take 40 minutes to pass.
Royal fans will be able to line the route and wave the King and Queen on their way on May 6, 2023.
They will travel to the ceremony at Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee coach.
Their route will take them along The Mall to Trafalgar Square, then past Whitehall to Westminster Abbey,
The service will begin in the Abbey at 11am.
Crowds will then see them return to the Palace in the Gold State Coach.
And those close enough to the Palace will be able to cheer the newly crowned King and Queen on the balcony.
Viewers watching at home will be able to see the live ceremony on BBC One , ITV and Sky.
TV viewing figures are expected to match the extraordinary 37million in the UK who watched the Queen’s funeral coverage.
What? It’ll cost £100m?
The Royal Family pay for weddings but the Government picks up the tab for coronations.
The Operation Golden Orb committee, which plans the ceremony, estimates that even a slimmed-down coronation could cost around £100million.
In 1953, Britain was recovering from paying for World War Two and there was still food rationing but Winston Churchill’s government spent £1.5million on the Queen’s coronation.
A source said: “In today’s money the 1953 coronation cost around £50million but estimates for King Charles’s are twice that because of things like security, which weren’t such a big issue back then.
“But worldwide TV rights will more than cover the cost and it will be a massive boost to tourism.
“Hotels are already being booked out for the coronation weekend.”
Will the ancient ceremony change?
Planning for King Charles’s coronation has been going on for ten years and many of the changes we will see were approved by the late Queen.
Her coronation went on for well over three hours – but her son’s is expected to be much shorter, lasting between 90 minutes and two hours.
The Queen wore a stunning coronation gown with a 27ft train, which was so heavy she needed a push from one of her ladies-in-waiting to get going.
King Charles would like to break with tradition and wear a military uniform.
To shorten the service, some of the rituals will be abandoned, including the moment when the Monarch is presented with a gold ingot weighing exactly 1lb.
In 1953 the Queen made history by allowing TV cameras into the Abbey, but the moment she was anointed by the Archbishop was hidden from view by a cloth screen.
It is still being decided whether this time viewers will be able to see this sacred religious ritual, when the King shows his “humility” by covering his clothes in a plain white tunic.
What will stay the same?
Like his ancestors, at his coronation King Charles will sit in King Edward’s Chair, which is more than 700 years old, and he will be anointed with oil from a 900-year-old spoon.
The chair is named after Edward I, who had it made to hold the Stone of Destiny, the coronation stone which he took from the Scots in battle in 1296.
The stone, also known as the Stone of Scone, sat in Westminster Abbey until 1996 when it was returned to Edinburgh.
It will be sent back to London for the coronation.
The oil with which King Charles and Queen Camilla will be anointed is made with musk from African civet cats, and welfare campaigners claim the animals are traumatised when the musk is collected from their glands and want the process stopped.
After he is anointed, King Charles will be dressed in the colobium sindonis – a white linen shift, plus the supertunica – a gold brocade robe, and the girdle.
He will then be given a set of spurs, a sword and the instruments of state – the sceptre and the orb which were carried on the Queen’s coffin at her funeral on September 19, 2022.
The King’s ring will be placed on the fourth finger of his right hand and he will also wear two armills – golden wrist bands.
Will we see the gold coach?
Charles and Camilla will travel to and from Westminster Abbey in the Gold State Coach that the Queen used for her own ceremony in 1953.
The four-ton coach, pulled by eight Windsor grey horses, also took part in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022.
Author Brian Hoey said: “At the Queen’s funeral the world saw that nobody does ceremony better than us.
“They are expecting Britain to do the same again for the King’s coronation.”
Who will be there?
Around 2,000 people will be able to attend the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
This will include a number of members of the British Royal Family.
On April 12, 2023, it was confirmed that Prince Harry will be attending, but wife Meghan Markle would stay behind in the US with their two children, Archie and Lilibet.
Prince William and wife Princess Kate will be there, along with their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
King Charles’ siblings – Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – and their families will also attend.
A number of foreign royals will also be in attendance, including Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco.
Members of Queen Camilla’s family will attend, including her son Tom Parker-Bowles.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Scottish first minister Hamza Yousaf have also been confirmed.
US president Joe Biden will not be there, although other foreign heads of state will attend.
What will Wills and Harry do?
Charles was just four when he watched his mother’s Coronation from a gallery inside Westminster Abbey.
At the age of 40, his son Prince William will play a major part in the Coronation.
It is understood he will be the King’s liege man and pledge allegiance to the monarch just like his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh did in 1953.
Prince Harry is unlikely to take part in the procession or on the Palace balcony which has been restricted to working royals.
It is not yet known if he will have a formal role at the Abbey.
King Charles’ grandson, George, who is second in line to the throne, has been given a special role as one of eight all-male Pages of Honour.
Traditionally the children of the sovereign are earls.
It is not known if Camilla’s son Tom and daughter Laura Lopes will be given titles.
Will the coronation be a bank holiday?
King Charles III is breaking with tradition by having his Coronation on a weekend.
The Queen’s Coronation on June 2, 1953, was a Tuesday and her father George VI was crowned on Wednesday, May 12, 1937.
But Saturday May 6, 2023, was chosen because the date does not clash with the FA Cup Final or the Derby.
As it is a Saturday, the date will not be a bank holiday.
However the Government has announced that Monday, May 8, will be an additional bank holiday in which to celebrate the happy event.
This is on top of the traditional May Day – which is on May 1, 2023 – and the Whitesun bank holiday on May 29, 2023.
It is hoped the weather will be milder than it was for the Queen’s Coronation, which was cloudy and chilly for a June date.