King Charles III's coronation: when will it be and what will happen?

The ceremony requires time to prepare

As the world slowly comes to terms with the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II, thoughts also turn to what lies ahead for our new monarch, King Charles III.

READ: Will King Charles III wear the same crown as the Queen at his coronation?

Charles was just four years old at his mother's coronation in 1953, and now, 69 years later, he sits on the throne of the UK and Commonwealth, preparing for his own coronation ceremony. If you're wondering when his coronation will take place and what happens during the royal event, read on for our guide to King Charles III's coronation…

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WATCH: The life and times of our new King Charles III

 

When will King Charles III's reign be official?

Queen Elizabeth II's firstborn son, Charles, automatically became King Charles III after his mother's death.

Charles has been formally proclaimed monarch at an Accession Council, which is a ceremony that normally takes place within 24 hours of the death of a sovereign. 

King Charles III then held his first Privy Council, making a personal speech about the death of his mother before taking an oath to preserve the Church of Scotland.

Following the council meeting, the first public proclamation of the new King was read from the Friary Court balcony by the Garter King of Arms at St James’s Palace, which was met with trumpeters and a gun salute.

The King with his late mother, Queen Elizabeth III

 

When will King Charles III's coronation be?

Surprisingly, it will likely be some time, potentially around a year before King Charles III's coronation day.

The ceremony is the highest point of his accession to the throne and the moment he is formally crowned. Charles' mother Elizabeth II took the throne in February 1952 but her coronation was in June 1953, over a year later, so we could expect the same for our new King.

There is much preparation to be done for such a grand ceremony and of course attention will first turn to the Queen's funeral which is being held on 19 September. 

MORE: Queen Elizabeth 1926-2022: A nation mourns, what happens next - from funeral to King Charles's first speech

READ: Why Prince Charles and Princess Anne were first at Queen's bedside at Balmoral

 

Will there be a bank holiday for the coronation?

The coronation of Prince Charles is likely to be a UK bank holiday by the UK government, and therefore it would mean UK-based employees are given the day off.

 

Where will the coronation be held?

Westminster Abbey

King Charles III's coronation is expected to be held at London's Westminster Abbey, where royal coronations have occurred for the past 900 years. This is also where Her Majesty's state funeral will be held. 

The BBC reports that Charles will be the 40th monarch to be crowned in the Abbey, where William the Conquerer was the first.

READ: Why Prince Harry didn't salute at Queen's funeral

MORE: Revealed: Where the royal family were seated at the Queen's funeral

What is the crown called that King Charles III will wear at his coronation?

King Charles III will wear St Edward's Crown at the end of the coronation ceremony.

The crown was made in 1661 and once belonged to Edward the Confessor. It is remarkably heavy and is made of solid gold. It currently resides in the Crown Jewels collection at the Tower of London.

St Edward's Crown

MORE: What will happen to the Queen's precious jewels?

 

What will happen at the coronation?

The coronation of King Charles III will be an Anglican service, carried out by the Archbishop of Canterbury, says the BBC. It's a state event paid for by the government.

During the ceremony, Charles will take the coronation oath where he will be anointed with oils and be given the orb and sceptre, before receiving St Edward's Crown. The Archbishop of Canterbury will place this on the King's head.

We can also expect a selection of readings and music played at the coronation.

The coronation chair, first used by King Edward in 1297

PHOTO: Princess Anne pictured without uniform for poignant occasion

SEE: Queen Letizia of Spain epitomises elegance in pencil dress at Queen's funeral

How long is the coronation?

The late Queen's coronation in 1953 was a three-hour service that took place in front of a congregation of more than 8,000.

It began with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Geoffrey Fisher’s declaration to the assembled bishops: "Sirs, I here present unto you Queen Elizabeth, your undoubted Queen."

 

Where did Charles watch his mother's coronation?

When the Queen was crowned, her then four-year-old son Charles watched in Westminster Abbey seated between his grandmother, the Queen Mother, and his aunt, Princess Margaret.

A young Charles on his mother's coronation day

A young Charles created history when he became the first child to witness his mother’s coronation as sovereign. Princess Anne, who was just two years old, did not attend the ceremony as she was considered too young.

King Charles III has previously said of the day: "I have vivid memories of the coronation; of my mother coming to say goodnight to my sister and me while wearing the crown so that she could get used to its weight on her head before the coronation ceremony; of thousands of people gathered in The Mall outside Buckingham Palace chanting 'We want the Queen' and keeping me awake at night."

The late Queen as a girl on her father King George VI's coronation day

 

What did the Queen say in her coronation address to the nation?

In her broadcast address to the nation on the evening of her coronation, the young Queen said: "All of you, near or far, have been united in one purpose. It is hard for me to find words in which to tell you of the strength which this knowledge has given me."

She added: "I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust."

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