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King Charles III's coronation will be a 'proud moment in our national history'

The Earl Marshal's family has been responsible for organising state occasions since 1483

King Charles III And The Queen Consort Visit Malton In Yorkshire© Getty
Emily Nash
Emily Nash - London
Royal EditorLondon
May 3, 2023
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The coronation will be a "proud moment in our national history," according to the man who has organised it.

The Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, also hailed the King's crowning on May 6 as an opportunity to bring the UK, its overseas Realms and the Commonwealth closer by "plugging into the power of the past".

The two-hour ceremony will be watched inside Westminster Abbey by more than 2,300 guests, including for the first time at a British coronation, 100 heads of state.

Millions more will watch worldwide as King Charles III and Queen Camilla are anointed and crowned in a ritual dating back more than 1,000 years.

But the Duke, whose family has been responsible for organising state occasions since 1483, described the event as "blending the best of tradition and history while reflecting the nation we are today".

MORE: King Charles to re-use golden garment worn by late Queen during his coronation 

SEE:  First look at Queen Consort Camilla’s coronation robes - including sweet tribute to late Queen

The Duke of Norfolk is in charge of organising the coronation© Getty
The Duke of Norfolk is in charge of organising the coronation

He said the congregation would reflect a "broad cross-section of national and international guests" including local heroes, British Empire medallists and others who have contributed to British society.

He also highlighted those from other faith backgrounds who will take part in a coronation for the first time, reflecting the diversity of modern Britain.

The Queen's 1953 coronation© Getty
The Queen's 1953 coronation

He said: "During the coronation, the King will swear before God and the nation to serve our country as head of state, upholding our laws and maintaining justice for all.

"But this is also a time to remind ourselves of the pride we have in our great country and our unwritten constitution, which has served us so well for over 1,000 years during our long history.

"The late Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned for 70 years and who dedicated her life to service, earned the admiration and respect of the world.

The King and Queen Consort attended a coronation reception at the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday© Getty
The King and Queen Consort attended a coronation reception at the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday

"Now we have the continuity of a new King who will follow in her footsteps, but do it in his own way with his wife and family carrying out their loyal service alongside His Majesty.

"It is a system which has constantly evolved over time, helping to secure the freedom we enjoy today.

"The coronation is an opportunity to bring our great nation, the realms and Commonwealth closer together, plugging into the power of the past, promoting our shared values to the wider world with all that we have to offer."

He also promised a "glorious display of pageantry" in the coronation procession back to Buckingham Palace. See the route the King and Queen Consort will take from Westminster Abbey to the palace...

Asked about the cost of the occasion, which will be revealed in the coming months, a spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: "The planning process has been ever-mindful that this is a time of economic challenge for many, so efficiencies have been found in key areas – for example through reusing many ceremonial elements, rather than commissioning new ones."

WATCH: King Charles's coronation - everything you need to know

For the past seven months, the Duke, Edward Fitzalan-Howard, has led an organising group of more than 100 people from across Government, Buckingham Palace, the heralds, the church, the military, the police, the BBC and elsewhere.

"However, the baton of responsibility rests with me," he added.

He said the King's coronation would be different to Queen Elizabeth II’s in 1953.

"This coronation has at its heart a Christian service, but it is also about service," the Duke said.

"The service the King is proud to perform as sovereign and the service so many selfless individuals devote to their communities for the public good around the nation, realms and Commonwealth."

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