Prince William Is Actively Planning King Charles’ Coronation—Much Like Prince Philip Did for Queen Elizabeth

It’s the first time an heir has helped plan a coronation in three generations.

King Charles and Prince William
(Image credit: Getty)

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
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.