Buckingham Palace on Saturday revealed details of King Charles III’s coronation, which will see three days of festivities across the country in which the public will be invited to take part.
The coronation will take place on Saturday 6 May, a “Big Coronation Lunch” and “Coronation Gala” the following day, and an additional bank holiday on Monday. On the final day, the public will be invited to join “The Big Help Out” by volunteering in their communities.
“Everyone is welcome to join, any day,” Michelle Donnellan, the UK’s Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said in a statement.
“Whether it’s hosting a private street party, watching a coronation or a great concert on TV, or stepping through The Big Help Out to help out with causes that matter to them.”
The palace said the coronation itself would be “a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry,” led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
It will, the palace reiterated, “reflect the role of the monarch today and look to the future, while being rooted in ancient traditions and delights.”
This line from the palace has been interpreted by experts as a hint that Charles’ coronation will be different and more subdued than the one experienced by his late mother seven decades earlier, with a shorter ceremony and modifications to some of the feudal elements of the ritual. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth was the first live televised royal event and lasted three hours.
Charles and his wife Camilla, Queen Consort, would arrive at Westminster Abbey in a procession from Buckingham Palace, known as the “King’s Procession”, and return later in a larger ceremonial procession, known as the “Coronation March”, accompanied by other members of the royal family.
The King and Queen, along with members of the Royal Family, will appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to wrap up the day’s events.
At this point, the palace has not specified which family members will appear in the procession and on the balcony, after Prince Andrew’s continued banishment from public life as a result of the historic sexual abuse allegations and the publication of Prince Harry’s memoirs that criticized his family.
“It would help Charles a lot in terms of his image if Harry and Meghan were there,” royal historian Kate Williams previously told CNN. “It would look especially bad for him if his son wasn’t around because, of course, Harry is still very high in the line to the throne, and so are his children.”
In a sign that not all Britons will celebrate the event, the anti-monarchy campaign group Republic has vowed to protest near Westminster Abbey. “A coronation is a celebration of power and hereditary privilege, which has no place in a modern society,” company spokesman Graham Smith said in a statement.
At a cost of tens of millions of pounds, this pointless theatrical piece is a slap in the face to millions of people suffering from a cost-of-living crisis.
We have already been in contact with the Metropolitan Police, and we expect them to facilitate peaceful and meaningful protest. We intend to make our presence felt in Parliament Square as the royal cortege passes to the Abbey.”
On the day after the coronation, May 7, thousands of events are expected to take place across the country as part of the “big coronation lunch,” while “world music icons and contemporary stars” who have not yet been named will gather for the “culmination ceremony,” which was held, the palace said. In the east garden of Windsor Castle.
“The Grand Coronation Lunch helps you bring the celebration straight to your street or to your own backyard,” said Peter Stewart, chief purpose officer for the event’s organizing body, The Eden Project.
“Sharing friendship, food and fun together gives people more than just a good time – people feel less alone, make friends and stay more involved with their community,” he added in a statement.
The ceremony will be attended by a general audience made up of volunteers from the King and Queen’s charities, as well as several thousand audience members chosen through a national poll conducted by the BBC.
Palace said they will see “world-class orchestral theatrical interpretations of musical favorites in front of some of the world’s biggest artists, alongside artists from the world of dance… and a selection of spoken word series delivered by the stars of stage and screen.” , adding that a list will be released in due course.
A diverse group made up of British refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups and Deaf signature choirs, will form the ‘Coronation Chorus’ and will also perform at the concert, along with the ‘Virtual Choir’, made up of singers from across the Commonwealth.
Known locations around the country will also be lit up with projections, lasers, drone shows, and lighting as part of the concert.
The Bank Holiday festivities will conclude on Monday with hundreds of activities planned by local community groups for “The Big Help Out”.
It will be a festival of volunteering,” said John Knight, CEO of the Together Alliance.
“The goal is to create a legacy of more connected communities long after the coronation itself.”
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