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Coronation set for 6 May, Buckingham Palace announces

12 October 2022

Palace statement hints at a balancing act between pomp and modernity

Westminster Abbey

The Coronation Chair, or King Edward’s Chair, in St George’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey

The Coronation Chair, or King Edward’s Chair, in St George’s Chapel, Westminster Abbey

THE Coronation of the King and the Queen Consort will be held at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May next year, it was announced this week.

“Buckingham Palace is pleased to announce that the coronation of His Majesty The King will take place on Saturday 6 May 2023,” a statement issued on Tuesday said.

“The coronation ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey, London, and will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“The ceremony will see His Majesty King Charles III crowned alongside the Queen Consort.”

In recent weeks, there have been suggestions that the event will be a “slimmed-down” version of the late Queen’s coronation in 1953, which lasted almost three hours, and 8000 guests were catered for.

Details are yet to be released, but the Palace statement hinted at a balancing act between pomp and modernity. “The coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry,” it said.

Although the King succeeded to the throne immediately on the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II (News, 8 September), the anointing and coronation of the monarch have always completed the inauguration of a new reign.

Previous coronations have involved swearing an oath to “maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine worship, discipline, and government thereof, as the law established in England”. The ceremony traditionally takes place within a celebration of holy communion, at which the newly crowned monarch communicates.

The monarch has been anointed with holy oil, and received the orb, coronation ring, and sceptre, and crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury with St Edward’s Crown, which was originally made for King Charles II in 1661.

The Coronation Chair, or King Edward’s Chair, was made in 1300 to contain the coronation stone of Scotland, the Stone of Scone. This has been used for every monarch since 1626. The stone will be brought temporarily from Edinburgh Castle for the ceremony, Historic Environment Scotland, which manages the castle, has reportedly confirmed.

Senior figures, including the Archbishop, royal blood princes, and peers, have paid homage to the monarch.

The coronation is the first to be held on a Saturday since King Edward VII’s coronation in 1902. It is not yet known whether there will be an extra public holiday in honour of the event. The early Spring Bank Holiday falls at the start of the same week, on Monday 1 May; another follows at the end of the month on Monday 29 May. Concerns have been expressed about the effect on the economy of creating an additional day off.

In 1953, an estimated 20 million people watched the service on television. King Charles III’s coronation is expected to attract a worldwide television audience of hundreds of millions.

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