Charles’ Coronation Plans Call for He and Camilla to Be Crowned Side-By-Side

“Operation Golden Orb” is reportedly shorter, smaller, and less expensive than the Queen’s ceremony.

charles camilla coronation
(Image credit: Getty Images)


As the royal family looks ahead to the (hopefully very distant) future when the Queen’s reign ends, plans are being drawn up for her successor Prince Charles’ coronation – which will be markedly different than Her Majesty’s 1953 affair.

A source said there are “binders and binders” of paperwork about Charles’ coronation at Westminster Abbey – codenamed “Operation Golden Orb” – and that the coronation service was rewritten in recent years to modernize the language and shorten it. (For their part, Clarence House denies any detailed plans have been drawn up.) At the ceremony, Charles and wife Camilla are expected to be crowned side-by-side.

Charles’ coronation will be, according to the Mail on Sunday, altered to “reflect modern day Britain,” but will remain an Anglican service with the vows not expected to change. However, the source told the outlet that Charles wants his coronation to be “far cheaper” than his mother’s ceremony, which cost 1.57 million pounds – the equivalent of 46 million pounds today. The Prince of Wales is said to recognize that the costs of the coronation will be met by the taxpayer, and he wants it to be of “good value.”

It will be scaled back overall, not just in money spent but also in the length of the ceremony (the Queen’s was over three hours) and in the number of attendees. The Queen had 8,251 in attendance; the Mail on Sunday reports Charles’ will have a maximum of 2,000. It took 16 months from Queen Elizabeth’s Accession Day on February 6, 1952, to her coronation on June 2, 1953, but Charles wishes to have his coronation ceremony within a year of his accession, sources say.

The ceremony will be “shorter, sooner, smaller, less expensive, and more representative of different community groups and faiths,” a source told the Mail on Sunday – and, though Charles is set to keep with tradition and have the ceremony be an Anglican service, there will be a place for other religions and Christian denominations, as well.

“It will be a slimmed-down monarchy on display throughout,” a source told the outlet.

Rachel Burchfield
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.