Plans for King Charles III’s coronation are officially here. As many of us read up about what exactly a coronation is, the royal family and event planners far and wide have been busy organizing, devising, and practicing every element of the coronation in minute detail.
The occasion, which formalizes King Charles’s role as the head of the church of England and the country’s sovereign, will take place at 6 am EST. He will be traveling in a gold state coach from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, along with Queen Consort Camilla, from 5:20 am EST through London. Following the service, during which the St Edwards crown will be placed on his head, they will travel in a larger procession back to Buckingham Palace before hitting the balcony with members of the royal family to watch the flypast.
We also know that Prince Harry will be attending the coronation alone. It was announced on April 12 that the king’s son will be traveling to London to be reunited with the royals without his wife, Meghan Markle, or children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. The announcement was hardly surprising considering it will also be Archie’s 4th birthday on the coronation day and in light of recent conflicts between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family, fueled by the revelations in Harry’s memoir, “Spare.”
But Markle isn’t the only recognizable face expected to be absent from the celebrations. Sarah Ferguson, ex-wife of Prince Andrew and mother of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, has been snubbed from the guest list, although she understands why. “I’m not [going], it’s a state occasion, and being divorced I don’t think you can have it both ways,” she said on “Good Morning Britain” on April 20. “I am divorced and I’m really loving being divorced to my ex-husband, not from him but to him, it’s important to differentiate.” She added she will be there in private. “That’s a lovely feeling to be part of, it really is, and as I said you can’t have it both ways. You mustn’t sit on the fence. You’re either in or out, don’t muck around.” Lady Pamela Hicks, the late queen’s former bridesmaid, has also not been invited as the king is reported to have slimmed down the guest list.
While all eyes will be on the King and Camilla, who is also getting crowned, Prince William, as the heir to the throne, is set to have a significant role in the ceremony — and so will his three children. The Times has reported that Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and 4-year-old Prince Louis will all be joining their grandfather and step-grandmother as they exit Westminster Abbey once the ceremony has finished and take part in the coronation procession back to Buckingham Palace.
While the siblings have taken part in many Royal events (who could forget Louis’s hilarious star moment at Queen Elizabeth II’s jubilee concert?), it was decided that the youngest was too young to take part in Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral last year, while Charlotte and George did attend. However, being that much older at the king’s coronation, it looks likely that Louis is ready for his ceremonial debut this weekend.
The weekend will end with a coronation concert in Windsor on May 7, headlined by Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.
“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 in a previous statement. This could be alluding to rumors that King Charles is planning a simpler service than that of his mother’s, which included 8,000 guests and lasted three hours. “Charles became King Charles the moment his mother died, but the coronation is to do with the job and being the monarch in the eyes of all the people,” royal historian Robert Lacey told People, adding that, while tradition will be honored, we can likely expect to see a more modern ceremony with “interfaith” qualities.
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