Skip to main contentSkip to footer

How King Charles III's coronation will differ to Queen Elizabeth II's

The King's big day is set to be a slimmed-down affair without the extravagant trappings

queen charles coronation
Phoebe Tatham
Content Writer
Share this:

King Charles is set to be crowned on 6 May after ascending to the throne on the death of his beloved mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Billed as a "solemn religious" event, Charles' modernised coronation is expected to be a "reflection" of the monarch's role in today's society while being "rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry".

In this video you can see what will happen on the day.

WATCH: A look back at the Queen's 1953 Coronation

As you can see many of the long-standing traditions and ancient rituals will return to Westminster Abbey for Charles' coronation. However, there will be significant differences between the King's ceremony and that of his late mother Queen Elizabeth II. In this article, HELLO! runs through these changes.

DON'T MISS: King Charles III's coronation - details about service, concert and more

 

westminster abbey queen funeral© Photo: Getty Images

 

Inside Westminster Abbey

Unlike Her Majesty's grandiose coronation ceremony which cost around £1.57million, Charles' big day is set to be a slimmed-down affair without the extravagant trappings witnessed in the past.

prince charles elizabeth coronation© Photo: Getty Images

The then-Prince Charles at his mother's coronation

Keep scrolling to discover how exactly King Charles' coronation will differ from his late mother's…

A slimmed-down coronation

In keeping with a more modest coronation, King Charles has reportedly slashed his guestlist to just 2,000 guests. For context, the late Queen's coronation was attended by 8,250 guests. Some stands were 11 tiers high to cater for guests.

queen maids of honour© Photo: Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II with her maids of honour

Beyond this, some 96,000 paying guests gathered outside Westminster Abbey to grab a slice of the action. Tickets for a covered seat rocketed to £6 (equivalent to £127 in today's money).

Elsewhere, Queen Elizabeth II's grand procession featured more than 40,000 UK and Commonwealth service personnel and 24 marching military bands.

elizabeth st edwards crown© Photo: Getty Images

The late Queen wearing St. Edward's majestic crown

Given that Britain's Armed Forces are shrinking at an alarming rate, the size of Charles' procession is likely to be much smaller.

MORE: Proof King Charles and Camilla have the BEST time on royal tour

In terms of the religious service itself, Charles' coronation has been cut down to a mere 60 minutes - compared to the late Queen's lengthy four-hour service.

A modern dress code?

King Charles will very likely introduce a more relaxed dress code featuring lounge suits in lieu of full ceremonial robes made from crimson velvet and ermine, according to reports.

queen jubilee charles outfit© Photo: Getty Images

The late monarch enjoying her Platinum Jubilee celebrations

As for the monarch himself, Charles may break with tradition - ditching the more traditional clothing worn by his predecessors. Reflecting modern Britain, it has been argued that His Majesty may choose to wear his military uniform.

Back in 1953, a 25-year-old Queen Elizabeth II slipped into an extravagant white duchesse satin gown embroidered with strings of pearls, sequins and crystals.

queen june coronation© Photo: Getty Images

Elizabeth and Philip tied the knot in 1947

The Norman Hartnell-designed dress moreover featured embroidered national and Commonwealth floral emblems in gold, silver and pastel-coloured silks.

On top of her sumptuous gown, the late monarch wore a six-and-a-half-metre Robe of Estate - made by royal robe-makers Ede & Ravenscroft.

queen elizabeth white coronation gown© Photo: Getty Images

The royal in her breathtaking silk gown

The making of her purple silk velvet robe was no easy feat! It took a team of 12 seamstresses, using 18 types of gold thread, a whopping 3,500 hours to complete the Queen’s embroidered cipher and surrounding wheat ears and olive branches, symbolising prosperity and peace.

RELATED: 10 incredible photos from the Queen's coronation in 1953

Camilla will be crowned alongside Charles

Camilla will be the first Queen Consort in almost a century to be crowned in Westminster Abbey.

King George VI's wife, Queen Elizabeth (also known as The Queen Mother), was named the new Queen Consort in 1937 and received a crown with over 2,000 diamonds on the exterior. However, at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, her husband, Prince Philip, was not crowned alongside her despite being the Queen's consort.

charles camilla marriage© Photo: Getty Images

Charles and Camilla wed in April 2005

During the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022, Her Majesty penned a letter to the public where she publicly supported Camilla as future Queen Consort.

MORE CAMILLA: Will Queen Consort Camilla wear the Queen Mother's crown

The letter read: "I was blessed that in Prince Philip I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it. It is a role I saw my own mother perform during my father's reign.

charles camilla queen balcony© Photo: Getty Images

Camilla will be known as Queen Camilla

"And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me; and it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service."

LATEST: Why Archie won't attend King Charles's coronation on his birthday

In comparison to her husband's, Camilla's coronation will be a much simpler ceremony. Buckingham Palace's website reads: "Unless decided otherwise, a Queen consort is crowned with the King, in a similar but simpler ceremony. If the new Sovereign is a Queen, her consort is not crowned or anointed at the coronation ceremony."

MORE: The six ancient traditions of King Charles' coronation revealed

LISTEN: Arthur Edwards reveals why Charles will never cut off Prince Harry

 

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to The Royal Explainer newsletter to receive your weekly dose of royal features and other exclusive content straight to your inbox.