A Guide to the Coronation of King Charles III

Last updated on May 24th, 2023

It’s official: the Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6th May. There will be plenty of ways in which you can get involved during the Coronation Weekend – from joining the crowds along The Mall for the Coronation Procession, to watching a concert at Windsor Castle, volunteering work on the Coronation bank holiday, gun salutes, a Coronation Big lunch and more. This will be the first Coronation most of us will see in our lifetimes: expect to see plenty of British pomp and ceremony, even if King Charles III plans a pared-down version of this ancient ceremony.

A Guide to King Charles III’s Coronation – and what happens at a Coronation

THE CORONATION WEEKEND: DATES AND WHAT’S ON

Across the Coronation Weekend, there will be plenty of opportunities for people to come together in celebration of this historic occasion.

Saturday 6 May:  The King’s Procession, The Coronation Service, Gun Salutes, the Coronation Procession and the Balcony Appearance

Sunday 7 May:  The Coronation Big Lunch and the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle

Monday 8 May:  Coronation Bank Holiday and Big Help Out

Coronation Weekend: Saturday 6th May

The Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey 

The Coronation Service will take place on the morning of Saturday, 6th May 2023 at Westminster Abbey. Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort will arrive at Westminster Abbey at 11am in procession from Buckingham Palace, known as ‘The King’s Procession’.

The King and Queen will travel to Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach and will return to Buckingham Palace in the Gold Stage Coach. The Gold Coach lives in the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace.

What happens at a Coronation

Image: David Crochet

The Gold Stage Coach has been used at every coronation since George IV.

Coronation Weekend

The  Coronation Service will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury in a solemn religious service which will include the anointing and the investiture.

what happens at a CoronationKing Charles III will be crowned with the St Edward’s Crown, made for Charles II and extremely heavy, weighing in at 2.2 kilos. The late Queen Elizabeth II only wore the St Edward’s Crown once in her lifetime. On leaving Westminster Abbey, King Charles will wear the Imperial State Crown which is worn during the State Opening of Parliament. Queen Consort Camilla will also be crowned and will wear a modified version of Queen Mary’s crown.

King Charles coronation

The Imperial Robe worn by her late Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II during her Coronation in 1953. 12 embroiderers from the Royal School of Needlework worked for 3,500 hours on the robe. King Charles III will most likely wear a new set of robes to his Coronation in May.

Coronation Procession

After the Service, Their Majesties will return to Buckingham Palace in a larger ceremonial procession, known as ‘The Coronation Procession’. Their Majesties will be joined in this procession by other Members of the Royal Of Tourism.

Will Harry come to the Coronation

Will Harry and Meghan attend the Coronation? No news on that yet!

At Buckingham Palace, The King and The Queen Consort, accompanied by Members of the Royal Of Tourism, will appear on the balcony to conclude the day’s ceremonial events. Events to look out for include a Royal Gun Salute in Hyde Park as well as a flypast down the Mall following the Coronation Procession.

Coronation what's on

Coronation Weekend: Sunday 7th May 2023

The Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle

A special Coronation Concert will take place at Windsor Castle. Produced, staged and broadcast live by the BBC and BBC Studios, the Coronation Concert will bring global music icons and contemporary stars together in celebration of the historic occasion.

King Charles III CoronationAttended by a public audience including volunteers from The King and The Queen Consort’s many charity affiliations, the concert will see a world-class orchestra play interpretations of musical favourites fronted by some of the world’s biggest entertainers, alongside performers from the world of dance.

How to attend the Coronation Concert

Through a national ballot held by the BBC, 5000 members of the public will be selected to receive a pair of free tickets for the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle. You can enter the ballot here. The ballot will close at 23.59 on Tuesday, 28 February.

The centrepiece of the Coronation Concert, ‘Lighting up the Nation’, will see the country join together in celebration as iconic locations across the United Kingdom are lit up using projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations.

The Coronation Concert will be broadcast live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.

The Coronation Big Lunch  

Neighbours and communities across the United Kingdom are invited to share food and fun together at Coronation Big Lunches on Sunday 7th May, in a nationwide act of celebration and friendship. From a cup of tea with a neighbour to a street party, a Coronation Big Lunch brings the celebrations to your neighbourhood and is a great way to get to know your community a little better.

Coronation Bank HolidayThousands of events are expected to take place in every corner of the United Kingdom this May as people take to their streets, gardens, parks and community spaces to join the Coronation celebrations and mark this historic occasion.

Free downloadable resources will be available online in a few weeks by the Big Lunch team to help people and communities start their Coronation Big Lunch planning. Sign-up to email notices on their website for more information.

Coronation Weekend: Monday 8th May 2023

Coronation Bank Holiday and The Big Help Out

As part of the Coronation celebrations, it has been announced that Monday 8 May will be a bank holiday.

The Big Help Out will be held this day, highlighting the positive impact volunteering has on communities across the nation. In tribute to His Majesty The King’s public service, The Big Help Out will encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas. The aim of The Big Help Out is to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation Weekend.

Coronation Events around the country

This Spring, schools across the country are invited to take part in a national competition to celebrate the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. Participating schools will be asked to create designs exploring their hopes for the future. A selection of winning designs will then be displayed at the Tower of London, the home of the Crown Jewels. The winning schools will be offered a VIP class trip to visit the Tower of London and see their benches in position at the famous royal palace, where they will remain throughout the Coronation celebrations before being gifted back to the schools as a permanent reminder of this historic year. Winners in Northern Ireland will have the opportunity to see their bench displayed at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

Coronation Afternoon Tea London

Image: Ben Carp

The Goring Hotel is hosting a Coronation Afternoon Tea and a Michelin-Starred Coronation Tasting Menu. The tea menu features King Charles’ favourite cakes and sandwiches — from his much-loved Cream of Lemon to delicious sandwiches filled with produce from other Royal Warrant suppliers, such as Dukeshill Ham. Sweet treats are adorned with the CRIII insignia, carriages and crowns, made from the finest dark chocolate. A limited-edition Coronation strawberry and elderflower jam is also served alongside the freshly-baked scones. £75pp with a glass of Bollinger Champagne.  Head Chef Graham Squire has thoughtfully crafted an exquisite menu, available as both an A La Carte and a Six Course Tasting Menu, focusing on Welsh specialities and foraged ingredients, to foreground the environmental philosophy that King Charles III celebrates. Coronation Tasting Menu £140pp, to include canapés, petit fours and Champagne.  More information here.

Claridge’s – the legendary Mayfair hotel – often referred to as the ‘annexe of Buckingham Palace’, will be unveiling a series of special royal moments this May. Showcased for all to see in the Claridge’s Coronation Archive Windows on the ground floor of the hotel, a Coronation display will have a particular focus on royal coronations throughout the 200 year life of the hotel.  These precious mementos include pages from Queen Victoria’s diary, celebratory fans created by the hotel in 1911 for the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, and Claridge’s menus and cocktail cards created for the coronations of King George VI in 1937 and Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.  As well as giving guests insights into royal festivities at the hotel over the past century, the showcase will also include treasures that have been collected over the years from a charming figural biscuit tin in the form of the royal state coronation coach to original coronation photographs, programmes and official souvenirs.

Bring a picnic and watch the Coronation live from Hampton Court Palace gardens on the 6 May. Free.

In celebration of the King’s Coronation Browns Hotel will be serving a dish – ‘The Kings Dover sole’ – that has been created especially to commemorate the celebration. It will be a dish to share with a nod to the Coronation in the culinary sense, using the finest British fish and the Kings own Organic English Asparagus from his organic Dutchy brand. This special dish will be available at Charlie’s during the week 3rd to 10th May. With a restaurant name such as ‘Charlie’s’ (which is a nickname of King Charles’s), guests can expect to see subtle links back to the monarch in the restaurant throughout the Coronation period.

London Transport Museum is inviting passengers to celebrate the Coronation of His Majesty, King Charles III with a ride on the Museum’s beautifully restored red Art Deco-style 1938 Tube train on Saturday 29 April, Sunday 30 April and Monday 1 May. Guests can join a retro-themed vintage celebration event which will allow them to transport themselves to 2 June 1953, which was the last time that Britain crowned a new monarch. Acton Town Tube station will be decorated in colourful bunting to create a 1950s party atmosphere. Book here.

King Charles III Coronation

This post will be updated on a regular basis when new details are released on the Coronation Weekend. You can also follow me on Instagram.


A London arts and culture blog featuring articles about art, theatre, opera, dance, music and design.

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