Categories: London Living
On May 6th, 2023, a historic event will take place in the United Kingdom - the coronation of Kings Charles III. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of the upcoming coronation, including its significance, traditions, and what we can expect from this momentous event. We will list numerous options on how to participate in the celebrations for those in London. Whether you prefer to be part of the crowd or away from the hustle and bustle, keep reading to find out our top recommendations for things to do during the extended holiday weekend.
The word "coronation" may seem simple, referring to crowning a monarch, but the ceremony is much more elaborate. It involves the monarch taking an oath (a symbolic gesture that signifies the monarch's dedication to their people and the nation) and being presented with various ceremonial objects (the orb, which represents the monarch's authority over the world; the sceptre, which symbolises the monarch's power and sovereignty; and the sword of state, which represents the monarch's role as the protector of the realm), and being anointed with holy oil.
Historical fact: In the United Kingdom, coronations have been integral events in the monarchy's history. The most recent coronation was Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 (70 years ago!), which was a grand affair with elaborate processions, ceremonies, and celebrations. Past UK coronations, such as those of King George VI and King George V, have also been significant moments that attracted worldwide attention.
Buckingham Palace describes the coronation as a combination of pageantry, celebration, and solemn religious ceremony. Interestingly, coronation ceremonies have remained unchanged for centuries, spanning a thousand years.
As soon as Queen Elizabeth passed away, Charles assumed the title of king. Technically, he doesn't require a coronation ceremony. However, unlike Edward VIII, who abdicated before his coronation, Charles is set to have a coronation ceremony. Notably, the UK is the only European monarchy still holding a religious coronation ceremony, making it a unique and significant event in British history.
The coronation event provides a unique opportunity to learn about British culture, history, and the monarchy. From the regal processions to the majestic crowning ceremony, the coronation is a captivating spectacle that showcases the grandeur and traditions of the British monarchy. In this section, we’ve listed everything from events and things to do on the day to some tips on how to watch the coronation so stay tuned as we delve deeper.
Their Majesties (King Charles III and Camilla), accompanied by the Sovereign's Escort of the Household Cavalry, will depart from Buckingham Palace in The King's Procession to Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.
The Diamond Jubilee State Coach, created in 2012 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's 60th anniversary of her reign, features a gilded crown carved from oak from HMS Victory and interior inlays with materials from historic British buildings and places.
The King's Procession will travel down The Mall, passing Admiralty Arch, Whitehall, and Parliament Street, before arriving at the Sanctuary of Westminster Abbey, where the Coronation Service will begin at 11 o'clock.
Inside Westminster Abbey
About the crown: The King will be adorned with the 17th Century St Edward's Crown, made of solid gold, during the Coronation. This crown is exceptionally heavy and is only used at the moment of Coronation.
Are you ready to witness a historic moment in London's history? You can catch the King's Coronation processions in person at designated viewing areas along the procession route, offering an unforgettable view of the grand event. The viewing areas will be open from 6am on Saturday 6 May, so ensure you arrive on time.
Once the Coronation Procession has passed, you can walk down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace to watch the balcony appearance.
You can watch the Coronation processions and service at the London screening sites in Hyde Park, Green Park, or St James's Park. These screening sites (FREE entry) will have giant screens, water refill stations, toilets, welfare points and concession kiosks for food and drinks.
Mayfair’s Coronation Garden Party
You can join the coronation celebrations of King Charles III at Mayfair's FREE Coronation Garden Party in Grosvenor Square (just a short walk from Bond Street station). Taking place on May 6th and 7th, this event promises a royal experience with live screenings of the coronation events, delectable food and drink options, immersive floral installations, and stunning tablescapes. The Coronation Garden Party in Mayfair will be held from 1am to 8pm on Saturday, May 6, and from 12pm until the end of the Windsor Castle concert on Sunday, May 7.
Celebrate the Coronation in the Hampton Court Palace Gardens
The East Front Gardens in the Hampton Court Palace will open for FREE on May 6th from 09:30am to 04:30pm. While the palace and Magic Garden are closed, you can explore the East Front Gardens, Privy Garden, Wilderness (with accessible toilets), Maze, and Kitchen Garden. You can enjoy refreshments from the Tiltyard Café and pick up royal-themed souvenirs at the Palace shop. Don’t forget to bring your picnic and camping chairs!
The Crown Jewels Garden in Covent Garden
In Covent Garden, you can join a pop-up event called The Crown Jewels Garden, showcasing the best British beer, gin, cider, and food fit for a king. It will run from Friday, April 21 to Sunday, May 14, and offer a variety of entertainment to celebrate this special occasion. On Saturday, May 6, the Coronation ceremony will be shown live, along with live music and piano sing-alongs. Visitors can also enjoy the best British beer, cider, and gin throughout the event.
London Eye and ‘Coronation Capsule’
Experience royal luxury with a majestic ride on the London Eye, specially adorned to honour King Charles's Coronation. You can step into one of the futuristic glass pods transformed to resemble Westminster Abbey on coronation day, complete with a replica of the historic coronation chair over 700 years old?!! Although the experience comes with a higher price tag of £60, £30 above the regular admission, if it's fit for a King, why not treat yourself to this regal experience?
The official coronation concert, taking place at Windsor Castle on Sunday, is one of the highly anticipated events of the weekend. Take That will perform with three original members; Lionel Richie will grace the stage, and pop star Katy Perry will also be part of the line-up. Other performers include Andrea Bocelli, Sir Bryn Terfel, Freya Ridings, and Bette Midler. The event will be broadcast live on the BBC and other TV stations, and tickets are no longer available.
Tip for all royal fans: For those who want to keep a piece of history with them, there are plenty of places to shop for coronation souvenirs. The official Royal Collection Trust online shop offers a variety of commemorative items, from mugs to coins, all designed to celebrate this historic occasion. Other souvenir shops around London will also have their selection of memorabilia.
As you prepare to attend the coronation event of King Charles III, it's crucial to prioritise your safety. Before you travel, check for any updates or changes to the event schedule and guidelines. Once at the event, be cautious in crowds, follow crowd management guidelines, and stay aware of your surroundings. Take advantage of accessible viewing areas and quiet spaces if needed, and be prepared with necessary items such as water, sunscreen, and weather-appropriate clothing. Be mindful of what you should and shouldn't bring, and avoid carrying excessive valuables. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience during the momentous coronation event.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this article and will relish the historic coronation event. If you are attending the coronation procession in person, remember to follow us on social media and tag SCL International College in your photos from the day. We would be thrilled to see what you capture!
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