Millions of people in the UK and abroad are getting ready to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation, a monumental event that combines a religious service with spectacle.
The King, who will be crowned alongside Camilla, the Queen Consort, on May 6 at Westminster Abbey, will be the 40th reigning monarch to be installed there since 1066.
Customs that date back more than a thousand years will be present on the day of splendor and formality. Here is how we anticipate it to go.
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The formal festivities will start at 06:00 BST with a parade from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, with viewing spots opening along the way.
The Mall and Whitehall locations will be open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis; after those locations are full, visitors will be directed to the official screening locations in Hyde Park, Green Park, and St. James’s Park.
Outside Buckingham Palace, stands have been set up for invited guests, including veterans of the armed forces and employees of the NHS and social services.
On Saturday morning, the roughly 200 members of the military services who will be participating in the procession to Westminster Abbey will begin to assemble, with the majority coming from the Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry.
A further 1,000 service members will line the route, although the procession as a whole will be significantly less than it was in 1953, when other royal families and Commonwealth prime ministers participated.
Starting at Buckingham Palace, the procession will travel along The Mall to Trafalgar Square, then down Whitehall and Parliament Street before turning into Parliament Square and Broad Sanctuary to arrive at Westminster Abbey’s Great West Door.
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will depart on the Diamond Jubilee State Coach rather than the more dated and uncomfortable Gold State Coach, breaking with custom.
The procession is expected to arrive at the abbey shortly before 11:00, with the King likely to wear military uniform instead of the more traditional breeches and silk stockings worn by kings before him.
King Charles will enter through the Great West Door and proceed through the nave until he reaches the central space in the abbey.
The governors general and prime ministers, including UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, will accompany processions of religious leaders and representatives, as well as delegates from some Commonwealth nations who will carry their national flags. At 11:00, the ceremony is scheduled to start. The King has chosen 12 newly commissioned pieces of music, including one by Andrew Lloyd Webber, as well as Greek Orthodox music in honor of the King’s father, Prince Philip.
Along with Lola, Eliza, Gus, Louis, and Freddy, the grandchildren of Camilla will also be among the pages at Westminster Abbey: Prince George, the King’s grandson. Prior to the King, some of the participants in the procession inside the monastery will carry the regalia.