Buckingham Palace began to unveil this Saturday the program of the three-day festivities on the occasion of the coronation of King Charles III: after the ceremony on May 6 at Westminster Abbey there will be a concert of stars, a “great campaign of lunches and initiatives to promote volunteerism.
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The coronation of Carlos, 74, will take place eight months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8 at the age of 96.
Buckingham wants to make “this historic event” a moment of celebration, providing “an opportunity for people to come together.”
But will the royal family reunite? Buckingham did not say in his statement whether Harry and his wife Meghan, in exile in California, will be present.
The palace has never officially reacted to the prince’s explosive book, “The Substitute,” published on January 10, in which he makes harsh accusations against several members of the royal family, notably his brother William and Queen Consort Camilla.
The coronation traditionally takes place in the months following accession to the throne. This period allows both to observe the national mourning and the royal mourning, as well as to organize the ceremony.
The last coronation, that of Elizabeth II, dates from June 2, 1953. For the first time, the grandiose ceremony had been broadcast on television and seen by 27 million Britons, for 36 million inhabitants at that time. It had lasted for more than three hours, in front of 8,251 guests gathered at the Abbey. 129 nations and territories were officially represented.
Charles III’s coronation ceremony will take place on the morning of May 6 at Westminster Abbey, like previous coronations of British monarchs for 900 years. As tradition dictates, it will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church.
“The coronation is a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry,” says Buckingham. The ceremony will “look to the future, while being steeped in longstanding tradition and pomp.”
Charles’s wife, Camilla, will also be crowned.
Charles III and Camilla will arrive in Westminster from Buckingham Palace in a procession called the ‘King’s Procession’. After the ceremony, they will return to Buckingham as part of the ‘Coronation Procession’, joined by other members of the Royal Family.
To conclude this first day, the king and queen consort, accompanied by members of the royal family, will appear on Buckingham’s balcony to greet the crowd.
The next day there will be a concert at Windsor Castle, west London, with “international music icons and contemporary stars.” It will be broadcast by the BBC. Buckingham, however, did not mention the names of the artists who will perform on stage.
Among the audience will be volunteers from charities supported by Charles and Camilla.
A “coronation choir” will also perform a concert, featuring singers from refugee choirs, the public health service, LGBTQ+ and deaf singing groups.
At night, iconic locations across the UK will light up.
The population will also be invited on May 7 to participate in the “great coronation breakfast,” neighborhood parties to “celebrate friendship.” “Thousands of events” should take place in the streets, gardens, parks, according to Buckingham.
These popular celebrations are reminiscent of those that took place in June 2022 for Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, for her 70-year reign. Across the UK, tens of thousands of neighborhood luncheons and picnics were organized to celebrate this hugely popular monarch.
On Monday May 8, which will be a public holiday, people will be encouraged to volunteer. The move is intended to “bring people together and create a volunteer movement that will last beyond coronation weekend,” the palace said.
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