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Everything We Know So Far About King Charles' Coronation

King Charles III hosts a reception to celebrate British South Asian communities, in the Great Galler...
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When Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8, the former Prince of Wales instantly became King Charles III. But these are the royals we’re talking about, and despite the quick transfer of power, there are a few more steps to go before Charles can officially consider himself King. Now, we are just a few days away from the pomp and circumstance of King Charles’ coronation, when he will finally receive his crown, and like anything involving the royals, there are a lot of protocols and traditions involved. From who will attend, what they will wear, and even the big snags plaguing the planning committee, we’re keeping track of everything you need to know about Charles’ coronation.

When is King Charles coronation?

The event, which Buckingham Palace has given the code name “Operation Golden Orb,” is set for Saturday, May 6, 2023, with events taking place throughout the weekend. The coronation is being held eight months after Charles ascended to the throne in September, which might seem like a long time, but the service takes place following the conclusion of the “period of national and royal mourning” according to the Palace. While the original ascension to the throne is a sad occasion, as it signifies the death of a monarch, the coronation is a celebration. Similarly, Queen Elizabeth’s coronation ceremony took place in June 1953 though she ascended in February of 1952.

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What will happen at the coronation ceremony?

Fortune reports that this coronation will be “slimmed down” from previous events to reflect the financial issues the U.K. has been facing as well as a more modern attitude towards the monarchy. For example, instead of 8,000 guests as Elizabeth hosted, Charles’ guest list is only 2,000 names long.

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The ceremony is conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and both King Charles III and Queen Camilla will be crowned together in Westminster Abbey in London, where coronations have been traditionally held for 900 years. This will happen during “a solemn religious” ceremony which will be “an occasion for celebration and pageantry.”

“The Coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry,” the palace’s statement read. That means women are not encouraged to wear tiaras, making the dress code more accessible. There will also reportedly be “standard seating” rather than velvet chairs. However, Charles will still arrive at the Abbey in a gold stagecoach which was built in 1762.

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Will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Be in Attendance?

Though they’ve stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family, Harry and Meghan are still both technically royal and family to King Charles. Despite that, it was never guaranteed that the couple would fly across the pond to attend the coronation, and when the RSVP response date reportedly came and went without word from the couple, it seemed likely the California residents would be a no show. Now, though, Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Harry will make the trip to be at his father’s big day, while Meghan will stay at home with the kids. Likely, that decision was made as Archie’s fourth birthday falls on the weekend of the coronation, so Meghan will celebrate their son in California, as there was allegedly concern that any birthday festivities held in Great Britain would overshadow the coronation.

Previously it was reported that Harry would not attend the event without an apology from his father and brother, which William and Charles apparently didn’t feel was “owed.” So, either they changed their tune, or Harry realized he wasn’t going to get an “I’m sorry,” and he should just move on.

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Who else will be there?

This coronation is predicted to be shorter, less expensive, and smaller than any of those that came before, keeping in line with Charles’ modernistic views on the monarchy. For that reason, the Palace has said 2,000 invitations were sent out for the service, as opposed to the 8,000 invited to the previous to coronations. Despite that, all the regular Royals are assumed to be in attendance, sans Meghan, of course. In addition, there will likely be some world leaders there, including prime ministers, members of Parliament, and faith leaders. Don’t expect to see President Biden, however. Apparently, he has “prior commitments,” but is sending his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, in his place.

There will be some famous faces there as well. It has been reported that Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli are among those performing at The Coronation Concert on Sunday, May 7, at Windsor Castle. According to Variety, Tom Cruise, Nicole Scherzinger, and Winnie the Pooh will also be in attendance at the event.

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What will the royal family wear to the coronation?

There isn’t too much information out there regarding what the royal family will wear when Charles is officially crowned king, but we do have an idea of what will top Queen Camilla’s head on the special day at the very least. Buckingham Palace revealed that Queen Mary’s crown has been removed from its display at the Tower of London in order to be modified for Camilla, who will wear it on May 6th for the Coronation of The Queen Consort at Westminster Abbey.

This is the first time in recent history that an existing crown will be used for this ceremony, as usually a new commission is created. In fact, the last time a crown was reworn on such an occasion was when Queen Caroline wore Mary of Modena’s crown for George II’s coronation in 1727. The choice for Camilla to use a pre-existing crown was made in the interest of sustainability and efficiency.

That being said, “some minor changes and additions will be undertaken by the Crown Jeweller,” according to the Palace. One of the changes will be in insertion of the Cullinan III, IV and V diamonds, which were part of Queen Elizabeth II’s personal jewelry collection, in order to pay tribute to the late monarch. This isn’t the first time the Cullinan diamonds were set in Queen Mary’s crown. Cullinan III and IV were put there temporarily for the 1911 Coronation and Cullinan V was inserted for King George VI’s Coronation in 1937.

How can you watch King Charles’ coronation?

The coronation will be televised, as was Queen Elizabeth’s in 1953, the first coronation to ever be aired on TV. If you want to catch it in the US, though, you’re going to have to wake up early. The service is scheduled to begin at 11 AM London time, which is 6 AM EDT and 3 AM PDT. If you’re up at that time, just head to one of the many news channels in the US broadcasting the event, including ABC News, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC.

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