King Charles Coronation Guide: Everything You Need to Know

The Coronation of King Charles III is just around the corner, and London is gearing up for a weekend of festivities. The coronation ceremony and procession will take place on Saturday, May 6th, followed by the coronation concert on Sunday, May 7th. The following day, Monday, May 8th, will be a bank holiday, giving everyone a chance to recover from the celebrations.

To help visitors make the most of this historic occasion, a comprehensive guide has been put together, covering all the important information in one place. From the ceremony and procession to street parties and events, the guide has everything you need to know to join in the fun.

Key Takeaways

  • The Coronation of King Charles III will take place on May 6th, followed by a concert on May 7th and a bank holiday on May 8th.
  • London is preparing for a weekend of festivities, including street parties and events.
  • A comprehensive guide has been put together to help visitors make the most of the historic occasion.

The Coronation of Charles III: The Big Stuff

The King’s Procession

On May 6th, the coronation of King Charles III will begin with a procession that will take him and Queen Consort Camilla from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. This procession, known as the King’s Procession, will feature the use of the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, a gilded coach that was designed for Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne. The coach’s crown was carved from wood taken from HMS Victory, and the coach’s interior was made of samples taken from other royal sites around the country. The coach has only ever been used to transport a sovereign and occasionally a visiting head of state.

The route of the procession will run from Buckingham Palace along The Mall and through Admiralty Arch, where the king will get out to inspect one of the seven soho noses. Afterward, the coach will pass King Charles Island statue in Trafalgar Square and head down Whitehall. The procession will pass the spot where King Charles I was beheaded during the Civil War, though nothing will be made of this.

The Coronation Ceremony

The coronation ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey at 11 am on May 6th. The ceremony will be led by The Archbishop of Canterbury, who will say a few words on the role of the monarch in the present day and look to the future and what the new monarch’s reign may hold. Prime ministers, heads of church and foreign states, as well as family, will be in attendance as the new King takes the coronation oath, which usually revolves around the same promises to uphold law and order.

Then comes an anointing, blessing, and consecration from the Archbishop, who will then pass the king the orb and scepter of royalty and place the crown upon his head. A smaller, simpler ceremony is done for Camilla, Queen Consort, whose official title will then be Queen.

The Coronation Procession

After the coronation ceremony, the Coronation Procession will begin at Westminster Abbey. This procession is much like the King’s Procession but longer and done in a different carriage, this time pulled by eight Windsor Grey horses rather than the six that take them on the initial leg. The Coronation Procession takes a full lap of central London, running up Pall Mall to Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch, and Oxford Circus on the way back to Buckingham Palace.

The carriage this time around is even grander than the first. It’s the Gold State Coach, one commissioned in 1760 that saw its first use taking King George III to the State Opening of Parliament in 1762 and has been used in every coronation since William IV’s in 1831.

When the new king and queen are back at Buckingham Palace, they will receive a salute from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Armed Forces in the palace gardens. They’ll then be up on the balcony in good royal tradition.

Other Things to See and Do

The coronation weekend will be filled with various events and activities for people to enjoy. In addition to the main coronation ceremony, there are other exciting activities that visitors can participate in.

The Coronation Concert

The Coronation Concert is a significant part of the coronation weekend, and it promises to be an exciting event for music lovers. The concert will be held at Windsor Castle on May 7th, and it will feature a diverse group of musicians, including Take That, Lionel Ritchie, Andrea Bocelli, Katy Perry, Freya Ridings, and Alexis Ffrench.

While there will be classical music and songs performed by the Coronation Choir, the pop musicians are expected to be the main attraction. Although tickets for the concert are no longer available, viewers can still watch the concert through a screen of their choice.

Coronation Big Lunches

The Coronation Big Lunches are a series of street parties that will take place across the UK during the coronation weekend. These parties are open to everyone, and visitors can purchase tickets to attend. All proceeds from the tickets go to charity.

Visitors can also set up their own Big Lunch events if they wish to do so. The Big Lunch website provides information on how to set up an event, and visitors can check the website’s map to find a Big Lunch near them.

The Big Help Out

The Big Help Out is a day dedicated to community service that will take place on May 8th, which is a bank holiday. Visitors can participate in various activities, such as volunteering with an NGO or cleaning up the streets. The Big Help Out app provides many ways for visitors to get involved and make a positive impact in their communities.

Overall, visitors to the coronation weekend can enjoy various events and activities that cater to different interests. From music concerts to street parties and community service, there is something for everyone to enjoy and participate in.

Where Can I Watch the Coronation?

If you’re wondering where to watch the Coronation of King Charles III, there are several options available for you. You can either watch it online, in person, or from accessible viewing areas. Additionally, there are some great tube spots for seeing the procession. Here’s a breakdown of each option:

Watching Online

If you can’t make it to London, you can still watch the Coronation online. There will be live streams available on the internet, though none of the channels or links have been announced yet. However, a quick Google search for “watch King Charles Coronation” should yield the necessary results. You can also watch all the ceremonial proceedings and the Coronation Concert on national television, and hear commentary over the radio.

Watching in Person

For those who want to experience the Coronation in person, you can see the procession to and from Westminster Abbey by standing along its route. These spaces are open to the public from 6am, and it’s recommended to arrive early to get a prime road-side spot. Alternatively, you can watch from a public big screen elsewhere in London. These screens will be set up at Hyde Park, Green Park, and St. James’ Park, and are free to enter.

To learn more about watching the Coronation in person, visit the government website.

Accessible Viewing Areas

There will be special accessible viewing areas and quiet areas for people with accessibility needs. However, these areas are limited and are first-come-first-served. More information about these areas can be found here.

The Best Tube Spots for Seeing the Procession

If you’re looking for the best tube spots for seeing the procession, here are some great options:

  • Embankment
  • Westminster
  • Charing Cross
  • Green Park
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Leicester Square

For the screens at Hyde Park, you can use Hyde Park Corner or Marble Arch.

Overall, there are several options available for those who want to watch the Coronation of King Charles III. Whether you choose to watch online, in person, or from accessible viewing areas, or from tube spots, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

How You Can Celebrate King Charles’ Coronation

Have an Afternoon Tea

One traditional way to celebrate King Charles’ coronation is by indulging in an afternoon tea. Several London establishments are offering special coronation-themed afternoon teas during the time of the celebrations. A guide to the best of them can be found here.

Hit the Pubs

With a bank holiday on the cards, people are expected to hit the pubs in style to celebrate the coronation. Expect to see plenty of patriotic outfits and boozy debauchery. To keep the party going, licensing hours have been extended. From Friday 5th May to Sunday 7th May, pubs and bars will be allowed to stay open until 1am.

Have a Street Party

A classic form of royal celebration is the street party, which is a British tradition. If you’re having a small party between neighbors and friends, you don’t need to do anything except figure out who’s bringing the trifle. However, if you want to go all-out and shut down your street, you’ll need to apply for a license from the local council. You can find your local council’s website using this government tool.

Attend Coronation Events

London businesses are hosting a variety of events to celebrate King Charles’ coronation. Here are some of the highlights:

SearcysClassy Champagne bar Searcys is hosting a concert with the London Chamber Orchestra paired with an afternoon tea on May 6th at their Pall Mall location, which is close to the coronation procession.
London Transport MuseumFrom April 29th to May 1st, the London Transport Museum is offering the chance to ride on a restored, Art Deco-style 1938 Tube train. While on the ride, you’ll be transported back to the last coronation in 1953, complete with costumed grenadier guard.
The WestinFrom May 1st to May 14th, The Westin is offering a deluxe suite package fit for a king, including royal hampers and complimentary bottles of champagne.
Mayfair Coronation Garden PartyOn May 6th and 7th, Mayfair’s Grosvenor Square is hosting a garden party with good food from local businesses, outdoor wine bars, picnic tables, and screens showing the ceremonies. There will also be a tequila truck by Mr. Foggs.
Royal Opera HouseThe Royal Opera House is offering special behind-the-scenes tours where you can see the building’s royal spaces, including the Royal Smoking Room, the Retiring Room, and the Royal Box.
BaburGourmet Indian restaurant Babur is celebrating with a full marquee and buffet lunch on May 6th. For £25 per person, you can dine on chicken tikka sausage rolls, slow-cooked vegetarian biryani, Raj-style chicken curry, South Indian lamb stew, and more.
Madame TussaudsMadame Tussauds has put together a full display of the Royal Family in honor of the coronation, complete with rooms decked out in full royal splendor.
London EyeThe London Eye has decorated some of its viewing capsules to mimic the interior of Westminster Abbey, complete with a replica of the 700-year-old coronation chair and replicas of the crown jewels.
Coronation Boat PartyA boat party departing from Westminster Pier will run all Saturday night and into the early hours of Sunday morning. Tickets are available here.
Kensington PalaceKensington Palace is hosting a major exhibition of royal fashion, featuring everything from ball gowns to jewelry and outfits by pop royalty Katy Perry and Beyoncé. The exhibition runs until October 29th.

With so many events to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy during the coronation celebrations.

Why All the Fuss?

Lizzy’s Way

The coronation of Prince Charles is a significant event for many reasons. Firstly, it marks the end of an era that began with the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, who came to symbolize everything that a king or queen should be in a constitutional monarchy. Stately, dignified, and aloof from politics, Elizabeth II’s reign lasted for many decades, and it became easy to forget that royal rule is not always conducted in this way.

The coronation of Prince Charles is also significant because it comes at a time when people across the Commonwealth are beginning to question the importance of the monarchy and whether royal heads of state are necessary. In recent years, the Royal Family has faced criticism for being deviously untransparent about their vast wealth, having close ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and airing much dirty laundry regarding renegade now-non-royal couple Meghan and Harry. Additionally, there is evidence of their role in the transatlantic slave trade, a trade that has ripped apart communities in many of the countries the Crown still rules.

Despite these controversies, the coronation of Prince Charles is a momentous occasion that will be celebrated by many. It is the first coronation in the UK since 1953, and for most people living today, it will be the first coronation in living memory. Furthermore, Charles is set to become the head of state of all Commonwealth countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and several Caribbean nations. In total, Charles will be the head of state for 14 countries, making his coronation a truly historic event.

Who Cares? Let’s Have a Royally Good Time

While some may be concerned about the politics surrounding the coronation of Prince Charles, for most people, it is a good excuse for a party and to feel a good-ol’-fashioned dose of National Pride. The pubs are staying open late, and people are excited to have a three-day weekend. London will be humming with activity and happy, excited people.

At the end of the day, the coronation of Prince Charles is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion and genuine history in the making. So why not celebrate it and have a royally good time?

Coronation of King Charles: Practical Information and Map

The coronation of King Charles III will take place on May 6th at 11am at Westminster Abbey. The ceremony will be followed by a full coronation weekend of festivities from May 6th to 8th, including an extra bank holiday. However, London is expected to be extremely busy over the coronation weekend, with pubs, restaurants, and bars likely to be packed to capacity, as will public transport options.

Roads will also be closed across the city centre, and traffic is expected to be a nightmare. It is advisable to treat coronation weekend as if London has ground to a halt. If planning to watch the processions from the side of the road, it is recommended to arrive super early since the gates open at 6am.

To avoid any inconvenience, it is recommended to plan ahead and consider alternative transportation options such as walking or cycling. The map below shows the location of Westminster Abbey and the surrounding area.

Westminster Abbey Map

More of London’s Royal History

London is steeped in royal history, with many palaces and landmarks that have played significant roles in the lives of the British monarchy. Some of the lesser-known places include St James’s Palace, which has been a royal residence since the 17th century, and The Royal Arcade, a hidden gem in the heart of Mayfair. Fulham Palace, a former Bishop’s residence, has also hosted many royal banquets and events, while the pelicans of St. James’s Park have a curious past and are a unique sight to see.