Tuning in for the coronation? Times and tech have changed since the last one

King Charles III’s coronation will see the country unite in celebration on May 6 as the monarch is officially crowned.

Being the first coronation in 70 years, a lot has changed technology-wise, so it’s no surprise that the way people tune in to watch has also changed.

Those watching today’s coronation have access to the festivities on multiple platforms, including online streaming, social media, radio and the humble cable TV.

In comparison, Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was the first ever to be televised and for many people was the first major event they had ever watched on TV.

Over 20million people watched the service at home, while a further 11million people are said to have listened to the coverage on the radio.

It’s not yet known how many people will watch King Charles’s coronation but it’s expected to attract millions around the world tuning in. Here’s how technology has changed in time for this coronation:

Choices in broadcasters

In 1953, you could only watch Queen Elizabeth’s coronation on the BBC as there was no other choice. ITV did not launch until 1955, and Sky News was a lot further off, taking to the airwaves in 1989.

The BBC had a team of more than 20 cameras and nearly 200 technicians and support staff working on the broadcast.

This time around, viewers will have a choice of channels to watch it on – with the BBC, ITV and Sky News all showing live coverage of the event, while it will also be available to watch later on BBC iPlayer.

High-definition televisions

Coronation of King Charles III latest

The historic Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla will take place in Westminster Abbey today (May 6).

  • Coronation timetable: Full schedule for crowning of King Charles III
  • How being the champion of the underdog helped make Charles a thoroughly modern monarch
  • Best places to stand to watch the coronation procession revealed

For all the latest royal updates, visit Metro.co.uk’s dedicated coronation page.

The first high-definition television (HDTV) broadcasts began in the 1980s, and since then, HDTV technology has improved dramatically.

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 was broadcast in black and white.

In contrast, the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018 was broadcast in high-definition colour. The same will apply to King Charles’s coronation.

Live streaming

The ability to stream live video over the internet has greatly expanded the reach of broadcasting since the 50s. The coronation will be live streamed on multiple platforms like the BBC iPlayer, ITV, BritBox etc.

It will also be the first state broadcast on the upgraded public 5G network.

In a first for any coronation, Saturday’s event will also be streamed on YouTube, which was obviously not around at the last one.

For example, Sky News’s YouTube channel will stream the event alongside their app and website.

Many international outlets will also be live streaming the coronation, including CNN and The York Times.

Virtual and augmented reality

It seems no technology has been spared in preparation for the King’s coronation including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

British broadcaster Sky News has announced an immersive AR experience that will allow viewers to interact with two digital twins of the coronation crowns in their homes.

Comparing this coronation to the last shows how far technology has come in the past few decades. By the time we have another coronation, we will no doubt see a massive shift in how the future generation tunes in.

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