The coronation ceremony of Charles III, proclaimed king in September after the death of his mother Elizabeth II, will take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London and will seek to combine tradition and modernity.
Charles, 73, will be “anointed, blessed and consecrated” by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will lead the service, Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday. The monarch’s wife, Queen Consort Camilla, 75, will also be crowned, it said in a statement.
“The coronation will reflect the role of the monarch today and look to the future while maintaining its roots in long-standing traditions,” the palace explained.
The announcement of the date takes place shortly after a month after the death of Elizabeth II, on September 8, at the age of 96, when she spent the end of the summer in her Scottish castle of Balmoral.
His death ended a historic 70-year reign, marked the demise of one of the last icons of the 20th century and shocked the UK and the world.
From US President Joe Biden to Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro, from Emperor Naruhito of Japan to the King and Queen of Spain, Felipe VI and his father Juan Carlos I, personalities from all over the world attended his state funeral in London’s Westminster Abbey.
Then the longest-living monarch the UK has ever had was privately buried alongside her parents, sister and husband in an annex to St George’s Chapel, a 15th-century Gothic church on the grounds of Windsor Castle, about 40 km east of London.
This ended ten days of national mourning, in which hundreds of thousands of Britons took to the streets to bid farewell to their queen, in the funeral shrines spread out in Edinburgh and London, or along solemn funeral processions.
In them, the children and grandchildren of Elizabeth II were seen walking together behind the coffin despite the scandals and tensions that recently shook the British royal family, from the exile of Enrique and Meghan to the United States to the accusations against Prince Andrew of sexual abuse of an American minor.
Charles III, long one of the least popular members of the British royal family, saw his acceptance skyrocket to 70% after taking the throne in September. Even so, he is still far behind his eldest son Guillermo, 40, and his wife, Catalina, favorites of the British with 84% and 80% respectively.
Why do you have to wait so long?
The coronation of a new monarch does not take place immediately after the death of the previous one, to allow for a period of mourning and the organization of a complex ceremony.
This is independent of the proclamation, which in the case of Carlos III took place on September 10, two days after the death of his mother.
The act will be prepared for months in an operation named “Golden Orb”, after one of the symbols of power and spirituality that, together with the scepter and the crown, represent the monarch.
What do we know about the ceremony?
The crowds will return to the streets in May for this new ceremony full of pomp and tradition.
However, Charles III’s coronation is expected to be “quicker and smaller” than his mother’s, according to Bob Morris, an expert on the British monarchy.
For 900 years the coronations of British monarchs have been held in the majestic Westminster Abbey and since 1066 it has almost always been presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the religious leader of the Anglican Church. And this will not be an exception.
The archbishop introduces the new ruler to the audience and the sovereign pronounces the coronation oath.
In it, drawn up in 1688, the monarch solemnly swears to govern the British people in accordance with the laws passed in parliament, to apply law and justice “clemently” and to “do his best” to preserve the Anglican Church and religion. Protestant.
The archbishop then anoints the president with consecrated oil and blesses him on King Edward’s throne, made in 1300 and used at every coronation since 1626.
The sovereign finally receives his royal ornaments, including the scepter and the crown, which is placed by the archbishop.
But, in a United Kingdom mired in a serious crisis due to the cost of living, the ceremony is expected to be more discreet than that of Elizabeth II and, at the request of King Charles III, more representative of the diversity of British society today.
Camila’s coronation as queen consort
Unless otherwise decided, and if the new sovereign is a man, his wife is proclaimed queen consort and crowned, following a similar but simplified ceremony.
She will become queen dowager (or queen mother if the previous queen dowager is still alive) on the death of the king, who will be succeeded by her first son, regardless of sex.
In the event that a queen accedes to the throne, her husband does not become king and does not receive the holy anointing.
In one of her last decisive acts for the succession, Queen Elizabeth II gave her blessing to Camila becoming “queen consort”, resolving a long-standing question about the treatment of Charles’s wife.
the crown jewels
The United Kingdom is the only monarchy in Europe that still uses costumes and decorations, such as scepters and swords, in coronation ceremonies.
The St. Edward’s Crown, made in 1661 for the coronation of Charles II, is traditionally used during the ceremony.
Made of gold, silver, rubies and sapphires, it weighs more than two kilos and is placed on the head of the monarch at the time of the coronation.
When leaving the abbey a lighter crown is worn. Composed of 2,868 diamonds, it was made in 1937 for the coronation of King George VI and is also worn by the sovereign at the annual State Opening of Parliament.
How was the coronation of Elizabeth II?
The first coronation ceremony broadcast on television in the world, the consecration of Elizabeth II took place on June 2, 1953, 16 months after her ascension to the throne on February 6, 1952, following the death of her father George VI.
In 1953, 8,251 guests from 181 countries and territories participated in the coronation of Elizabeth II.
Among them were many representatives of foreign monarchies, but no European sovereign, respecting a royal tradition.
After the ceremony, a long procession takes place through the streets of London.
Although Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace are less than 1.5km apart, the procession route was 7.2km in 1953 to allow as many people as possible to attend.
With information from AFP