Plans for King Charles’ coronation on May 6, 2023, at Westminster Abbey in London are well underway, with the ceremony slated to be shorter, smaller, and sooner than his mother’s before him.
Viewers of The Crown—or students of history—remember Prince Philip’s integral role in the coronation planning for his wife, Queen Elizabeth, in 1952 and 1953. Seventy years later, Charles’ eldest son Prince William, the new Prince of Wales, is assisting in a similar capacity, especially keen that the ceremony avoids any “archaic, feudal, or imperial” elements and represents a modern Britain, The Mirror reports.
“The planning process will mark the first time an heir has played an active role in a coronation in three generations,” the outlet reports. (Charles, the Queen’s heir, was present at the coronation, but certainly not involved in planning it—he was, after all, only four years old. When her father, King George VI, was crowned, the then Princess Elizabeth was herself only 11.)
In addition to actively planning his father’s ceremony, William is also expected to take part in the coronation itself. According to The Telegraph, talks are underway as to how the ceremony can be modernized and shortened, “while also ensuring it captures the significance of the occasion,” The Mirror writes.
While Buckingham Palace has yet to confirm who is on the coronation committee, royal sources have previously said that they wanted Charles’ coronation to reflect the “climate at the time in which it happens.” Charles has long been a fan of a slimmed-down monarchy, and his coronation will likely reflect that; as opposed to his mother’s—which hosted 8,000 at the Abbey—Charles’ is expected to host 2,000, still a large number, but only 25 percent of the precedent set before him. As opposed to being three hours in length, Charles’ is expected to last about an hour, and is taking place just eight months after his reign began, as opposed to the Queen’s ceremony, which took 16 months—double the time—to plan.
The dress code will also be less formal, The Mirror reports, and “peers may possibly be allowed to wear lounge suits rather than ceremonial robes. Ancient and time-consuming rituals—including presenting the monarch with gold ingots—are also set to be axed to save time.”
The date itself is unique—likely chosen because it occurs right before the State Opening of Parliament, it also is Charles’ grandson Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor’s fourth birthday. Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams says the date itself was chosen after consultation with “the Government, the Church of England, and the Royal Household.”
“The Coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry,” Buckingham Palace said last month in a statement.
Camilla, Queen Consort will be crowned alongside her husband, unlike Prince Philip, the consort before her. Like the Queen’s ceremony, Charles’ too will be televised. And, according to The Mirror, “Palace insiders have assured while the event will be smaller than the Queen’s coronation, it will not be devoid of pageantry.”
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.
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