Coronation timetable: Full schedule for crowning of King Charles III
The Coronation of King Charles III and his consort Queen Camilla will take place on Saturday, May 6.
Many will be keen to catch a glimpse of the royals before the ceremony, which is taking place at Westminster Abbey, or follow the day’s events via TV coverage – culminating in Buckingham Palace balcony appearance.
Following coronation day, there’s a Lionel Richie and Katy Perry-led concert and street parties to look forward to, plus an extra bank holiday on Monday, May 8, giving many a bit of time off work.
But before celebrations commence, what exactly is set to happen on the day of the coronation?
Here are all the expected times to be aware of.
What will happen on the day of the coronation?
6am: Procession route opens
If you’re planning to join the crowds hoping for a glimpse of The King and Queen Camilla during the procession, then prepare for an early start.
The UK government website has confirmed that the viewing areas along the procession route (both sides of The Mall and Whitehall) will open from 6am on the morning of May 6.
It advises: ‘Please do not arrive before 6am.
‘You should be aware that large crowds are expected, and be prepared to queue to enter the viewing areas.
‘Follow the directions given by stewards and the police, who will monitor crowd numbers and ensure everyone can enter safely and securely.
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‘Capacity at the viewing areas will be limited and they will be closed when they are full. If you leave a viewing area at any time, readmission cannot be guaranteed.’
10.20am: The King’s Procession
The King and Queen will begin the smaller of two processions at 10.20am.
The King’s Procession will see King Charles and Queen Camilla make their way to Westminster Abbey for the ceremony, departing from Buckingham Palace.
Their Majesties will travel along The Mall, through Admiralty Arch, turn down Whitehall and Parliament Street, and pass east and south sides of Parliament Square, before reaching the Abbey.
They will be seated in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach – which was created for the late Queen Elizabeth II for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 – and accompanied by The Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry.
The King and Queen will arrive at Westminster Abbey at approximately 10.53am, in time for the ceremony to begin at 11am.
11am: The coronation ceremony
The coronation ceremony is set to begin from 11am, inside the Abbey, held by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Only invited guests will be able to watch the ceremony in person, though there’ll no doubt be crowds waiting outside the Abbey – and for those of us at home, an option to watch on TV.
What happens during a coronation ceremony?
There are several different stages:
Queen Camilla will then be anointed and crowned, following the ceremony focusing on The King.
While Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation was three hours long, the coronation of King Charles is due to last until 1pm.
1pm: The Coronation Procession
The newly-crowned King and Queen will then depart Westminster Abbey after the ceremony.
Their Majesties will travel back to Buckingham Palace by retracing the route of The King’s Procession – but The Coronation Procession is a far grander affair, and so they’ll be riding in the Gold State Coach.
First used in 1762, it is over 260 years old. Since King William IV in 1831, it has been used as part of every coronation of a British monarch – including that of Queen Elizabeth II.
Though it isn’t made of solid gold, the Gold State Coach is super heavy – an eye-watering four tonnes in weight – so it will travel be carried by eight horses and move at a walking pace.
The Royal Family’s website adds: ‘The Coronation Procession will include Armed Forces from across the Commonwealth and the British Overseas Territories, and all Services of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, alongside The Sovereign’s Bodyguard and Royal Watermen.’
By 1.30pm, The King and Queen will be back Buckingham Palace and will receive a salute from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Armed Forces in the Buckingham Palace Gardens.
Before 2.30pm: King Charles and Queen Camilla’s balcony appearance
The moment many will be waiting for is the Royal Family appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Alongside King Charles and Queen Camilla will surely be William, The Prince of Wales and Catherine, The Princess of Wales – and their three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Also expected is Anne, The Princess Royal and her husband, along with Prince Edward, The Duke of Edinburgh, Sophie, The Duchess of Edinburgh, and Prince Edward, The Duke of Kent.
Princess Alexandra, along with Prince Richard, The Duke of Gloucester and Brigitte, The Duchess of Gloucester, are also believed to be on the balcony guestlist.
It is thought the balcony appearance will be focused solely on working members of the Royal Family, though it has yet to be 100% confirmed who will appear on the big day.
In addition to waving to the crowds, who will surely fill The Mall leading up to Buckingham Palace, at 2.30pm the royals will also watch a fly-past, including the Red Arrows – though this could be cancelled due to the weather.
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