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Prince and Princess of Wales wave at crowds in first carriage procession with George, Charlotte and Louis

Kate Middleton and Prince William smiled and waved at the adoring crowds in first carriage procession with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis at the coronation


Princess of Wales departs the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla © Getty
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
Updated: May 6, 2023
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The Prince and Princess of Wales have marked a new milestone with their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.  Following the historic coronation, where King Charles and Queen Camilla were crowned, the young royal family looked delighted as they took part in their first family carriage procession, with Princess Charlotte waving to the crowds.

Their carriage followed the iconic 261-year-old Gold State Coach as King Charles and Queen Camilla travelled from Westminster Abbey down to Buckingham Palace following their service.  

Princess Charlotte departs the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla © Getty
Princess Charlotte departs the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla

Their Majesties were followed by three other carriages carrying working members of the royal family. 

Princess of Wales departs the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla© Getty
Princess of Wales departs the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla

The Princess Royal rode on horseback behind Charles and Camilla as Gold Stick in Waiting and Colonel of the Blues and Royals, to the rear of the Gold State Coach. 

Princess Anne rides on horseback behind the gold state coach© Getty
Princess Anne rides on horseback behind the gold state coach

In the first carriage behind the Gold State Coach were Prince William and Princess Kate with nine-year-old George, Charlotte, eight, and five-year-old Louis. It is not the youngsters' first experience of a royal carriage procession, with the trio waving to crowds from a landau during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year, though it's their first time with their father there.

WATCH: Prince Louis travel down the Mall
The Princess of Wales and Prince George return to Buckingham Palace by coach © Getty
The Princess of Wales and Prince George return to Buckingham Palace by coach
Prince William and Kate followed the King and Queen's carriage© Getty
Prince William and Kate followed the King and Queen's carriage

William has typically ridden horseback at events such as Trooping the Colour, but the Waleses made their carriage debut as a family of five at the coronation. 

The Wales children rode with their parents in a carriage for the first time
The Wales children rode with their parents in a carriage for the first time

READ: King Charles III's coronation timetable: an hour-by-hour guide 

The next carriage contained the King’s youngest brother the Duke of Edinburgh with his wife the Duchess of Edinburgh and their children Lady Louise Windsor and the Earl of Wessex. The late Queen’s cousin the Duke of Gloucester and his wife the Duchess of Gloucester, and Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence travelled in the third carriage.

Queen Camilla, wearing a modified version of Queen Mary's Crown leave Westminster Abbey after the Coronation Ceremonies i© Getty
Queen Camilla, wearing a modified version of Queen Mary's Crown leave Westminster Abbey after the Coronation Ceremonies i

Following by car were the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra, also cousins of Elizabeth II, completing the procession of royals. The Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, the man in charge of organising the historic occasion, described the return procession as a "glorious display of pageantry".

King Charles III and Queen Camilla travelling in the Gold State Coach built in 1760 and used at every Coronation since that of William IV in 1831© Getty
King Charles III and Queen Camilla travelling in the Gold State Coach built in 1760 and used at every Coronation since that of William IV in 1831

Seven thousand troops were on ceremonial duties, with 4,000 taking part in the procession itself escorting the King and Queen. There was no place in the procession for the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of York, who play no formal part in the coronation ceremony, nor for Princesses Beatrice or Eugenie.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla travelling in the Gold State Coach © Getty
King Charles III and Queen Camilla travelling in the Gold State Coach

Is the coronation carriage real gold?

The Gold State Carriage, which can only carry a Sovereign and Consort, took Charles and Camilla from the Abbey to the Palace.

Rather than solid gold, it is gilded wood, and was built in 1762 and is only ever used to convey a monarch and their consort. Sally Goodsir, Curator of Decorative Arts at The Royal Collection Trust, said of the carriage: "It is huge. It is four metres tall and seven metres long and weighs four tonnes. Because of that it can only move at a walking pace which really adds to the majesty and stateliness of this great royal procession.

"There are eight horses required to pull this carriage, which adds more of course to its length. When it passes you in the street you will just have this glimpse of gold with the Sovereign travelling inside."

WATCH: HELLO! reacts to the carriage driving past

What did Princess Kate wear to the coronation ceremony?

The Princess of Wales looked resplendent in a deep blue Royal Victorian Order mantle, edged in scarlet over an Alexander McQueen embroidered ivory silk crepe dress.

Princess Kate's coronation headpiece

In place of a tiara, Princess Kate wore a three-dimensional leaf embroidery headpiece by Jess Collett x Alexander McQueen, with her earrings a touching tribute to Prince William's late mother, with the pearl and diamond pieces belonging to Diana, Princess of Wales. She also wore Queen Elizabeth II's George VI Festoon Necklace, which George VI commissioned for his daughter Princess Elizabeth in 1950.

Princess Kate and William arriving at the Coronation© Getty
Princess Kate and William arriving at the Coronation

Princess Kate paid homage to the United Kingdom, with embroidery featuring rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock motifs; the emblems signifying the four nations also appearing on Charlotte’s dress in ivory satin stitch embroidery.

Prince William and Princess Kate at the coronation
Princess Kate wore her hair in a chic updo
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Catherine, Princess of Wales during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 06, 2023 in London, England. The Coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Br© Jeff J Mitchell
Princess Kate wore Princess Diana's earrings

Princess Charlotte's coronation headpiece

Princess Charlotte was dressed in a mini-me version of her mother's ensemble, with a similar headpiece by the same milliner. Eight-year-old Charlotte also wore an Alexander McQueen dress – with a cape – in ivory silk crepe.

Princess Charlotte was Princess Kate's mini-me© Getty
Princess Charlotte was Princess Kate's mini-me

Prince Louis, five, looked just as charming, decked out in a Hainsworth Garter Blue Doeskin Tunic with specially designed lacework embellishment to the collar, cuffs and fronts, made by bespoke Savile Row tailors Dege and Skinner.

Prince Louis wore a cute tabard© Getty
Prince Louis wore a cute tabard
Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte holding hands at King Charles' coronation© Getty
Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte holding hands at King Charles' coronation

The day marks the first time both the Prince and Princess of Wales reunited with Prince Harry following the release of his tell-all memoir, Spare. His wife, Meghan Markle, opted to remain in California with their children Princess Lilibet and Prince Archie, who has turned four today. 

Britain's Princess Charlotte of Wales and Britain's Prince Louis of Wales arrive at Westminster Abbey in central London on May 6, 2023, ahead of the coronations of Britain's King Charles III and Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort.© Getty
Princess Charlotte's hair was styled into a regal braided chignon
Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis at the coronation© Getty
Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis at the coronation

FUN: The Ultimate King Charles III Coronation Quiz 

At the coronation ceremony, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla were anointed and crowned in front of 2,000 guests at the country’s first coronation to be staged in 70 years.

Princess Kate and Prince William in their robes© Getty
Princess Kate and Prince William in their robes

The service began with the procession of faith leaders and representatives of faith communities, ecumenical leaders, realms and the choir, and then the procession of the King and the Queen Consort. Charles was seen wearing George VI's crimson Robe of State while Camilla will wear the late Queen Elizabeth II's crimson Robe of State. 

The Princess of Wales at the coronation© Getty Images
Kate sparkled at the coronation
Prince William kissing King Charles during his coronation© Getty
Prince William kissed King Charles during his coronation
Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte sat between their parents© Getty
Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte sat between their parents
The Prince of Wales, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and the Princess of Wales at the coronation ceremony© Getty
The Prince of Wales, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and the Princess of Wales at the coronation ceremony

NEED TO KNOW: King Charles III's coronation timetable: an hour-by-hour guide 

During the ceremony, Prince William placed his hands between those of his father to say: "I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God."

Prince George ahead of the coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla © Getty
Prince George ahead of the coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla

The heir to the throne is the only member of the royal family who paid "The Homage of Royal Blood," also described as the "words of fealty", after the Archbishop paid his own homage on behalf of the Church of England. 

Prince William is following in the footsteps of his grandfather the late Duke of Edinburgh, who famously swore to be Queen Elizabeth II's "liege man of life and limb" during her ceremony in 1953.

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