The Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla

The Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla

The Coronation will take place on Saturday 6 May 2023 at Westminster Abbey and will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Chapter 1

Key Roles

The Cabinet Office has issued a press release concerning the main coronation roles, as follows:

Those chosen have showed evidence that their claim relates to a historic customary service performed at previous Coronations.

Some of those who will have roles in the Coronation Service (others will be announced in due course) are as follows:

  • The Earl of Erroll
  • Barons of the Cinque Ports
  • Clerk of the Crown in Chancery (Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice)
  • The Lord Great Chamberlain
  • Lord Hastings
  • The Earl of Loudoun
  • The Bishop of Durham
  • The Bishop of Bath and Wells
  • The Dean and Chapter of the Collegiate Church of St Peter
  • The Lord Mayor of London
  • The Earl of Dundee
  • The Lord Lyon King of Arms & Heralds and Pursuivants of Scotland
  • The Walker Trust (Anglican Archbishop of Edinburgh)

The historic roles in the Coronation ceremony include:

The Lord Great Chamberlain – One of the Officers of State, the Lord Great Chamberlain traditionally plays a major role in Coronations. He will take part in the investing of The King with the regalia - the Crown Jewels.

The Dean and Chapter of the Collegiate Church of St Peter will hold the ceremony and instruct the monarch in the forms, rites and ceremonies.

The Earl of Erroll will bear a silver baton or staff as Lord High Constable of Scotland

The Bishop of Durham and Bishop of Bath and Wells will be Bishop Assistant to The King

The Earl of Dundee will carry the Quartering of the Standard (Scotland) in Procession

The Lord Lyon King of Arms & Heralds and Pursuivants of Scotland will be part of The King’s procession

The Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, will record the proceedings

Processional Roles

The first processions into Westminster Abbey will be made up of Faith Leaders and Faith Representatives followed shortly afterwards by representatives from His Majesty’s Realms. Flags of each Realm will be carried by national representatives accompanied by the Governors General and Prime Ministers.

This will be followed by The Procession of The King and The Queen which will be led by the Marquess of Anglesey, the Duke of Westminster, the Earl of Caledon and the Earl of Dundee.

Francis Dymoke will carry The Royal Standard.  The title of King or Queen’s Champion has been held by the Dymoke family since the Middle Ages. Where once the King or Queen's Champion rode into the Coronation Banquet, the role has now been changed to flag or Standard-bearer.

Also taking part in the procession will be Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff, acting as Lord High Constable of England, an office held for the day only.

Regalia Roles

The following will then process to the altar carrying Her Majesty’s Regalia:

  • Baroness (Helena) Kennedy of The Shaws – Carrying The Queen Consort's Rod
  • General Sir Patrick Sanders – Carrying The Queen Consort's Sceptre
  • The Duke of Wellington – Carrying Queen Mary’s Crown
  • The Rt. Reverend and Rt. Hon the Lord Chartres– Carrying The Queen Consort's Ring

The following will then process to the altar carrying His Majesty’s Regalia:

  • General Sir Gordon Messenger, the Governor of HM Tower of London – Carrying St Edward’s Crown as Lord High Steward of England
  • Baroness (Elizabeth) Manningham-Buller LG – Carrying St Edward's Staff
  • The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry KT – Carrying the Sceptre with Cross
  • Baroness (Floella) Benjamin OM – Carrying the Sceptre with the Dove
  • Dame Elizabeth Anionwu OM – Carrying the Orb
  • The Keeper of the Jewel House, Brigadier Andrew Jackson – Carrying The Sovereign’s Ring
  • Petty Officer Amy Taylor – Carrying the Sword of Offering
  • Lord Hastings and The Earl of Loudoun – Carrying the Spurs
  • Lord President of the Council, Penny Mordaunt – Carrying the Sword of State in The King’s Procession
  • Air Chief Marshal the Lord Peach – Carrying the Sword of Mercy (The Curtana)
  • General the Lord Richards of Herstmonceux – Carrying the Sword of Spiritual Justice

General the Lord Houghton of Richmond – Carrying the Sword of Temporal Justice

During the Coronation Service the Regalia will be presented to Their Majesties. Those presenting Regalia to His Majesty will be:

  • The Lord Carrington, Lord Great Chamberlain – Presenting the Spurs
  • The Lord (Syed) Kamall – Presenting the Armills
  • Baroness (Gillian) Merron – Presenting the Robe Royal
  • The Most Reverend John McDowell, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh – Presenting the Orb
  • Lord (Narendra) Patel KT – Presenting the Ring
  • Lord (Indarjit) Singh of Wimbledon – Presenting the Coronation Glove
  • The Most Reverend Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, and Episcopal Primus of Scotland – Presenting the Sceptre with Cross
  • The Most Reverend Andrew John, the Archbishop of Wales – Presenting the Sceptre with Dove
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury – Performing the crowning with St Edward’s Crown

Those presenting Regalia to Her Majesty will be:

  • The Rt. Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin CD, The Bishop of Dover – Presenting The Queen Consort's Rod
  • The Rt. Reverend and Rt Hon. Lord Chartres – Presenting The Queen Consort's Sceptre with Cross
  • Brigadier Andrew Jackson, The Keeper of the Jewel House at HM Tower of London – Presenting The Queen Consort's Ring
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury – Performing the crowning with Queen Mary’s Crown

 

 

Chapter 2

Coronation Procession

On the morning of the 6th May, Their Majesties will travel from Buckingham Palace ito Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, which was created for Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate the 60th anniversary of her reign in 2012.

The gilded crown on the top of the Diamond Jubilee State Coach was carved from oak from HMS Victory, and the coach’s interior is inlaid with samples of woods, metals and other materials from buildings and places with specific connections to Britain and its history; Royal Residences including Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse; cathedrals including St Paul’s and Westminster Abbey; and historic ships, such as the Mary Rose. The coach will be drawn by six Windsor Greys.

The King’s Procession, which will be accompanied by The Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry, will depart Buckingham Palace through the Centre Gate, and proceed down The Mall, through Admiralty Arch, down Whitehall and along Parliament Street. It will travel around the east and south sides of Parliament Square to arrive at the Sanctuary of Westminster Abbey, where the Coronation Service will begin at 11 o’clock.

The procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace will take the same route in reverse, but will be much larger in scale, including ,  Armed Forces from across the Commonwealth and the British Overseas Territories, and all Services of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, alongside The Sovereign’s Bodyguard and Royal Watermen.

Their Majesties will travel in the Gold State Coach. The coach was commissioned in 1760 and was first used by King George III, to travel to the State Opening of Parliament in 1762. The coach has been used at every Coronation since that of William IV in 1831. The coach will be drawn by eight Windsor Greys and, due to its weight of four tonnes, will travel at walking pace.

Upon returning to Buckingham Palace following the Coronation Service, Their Majesties will receive a Royal Salute from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Armed Forces who have been on parade that day, followed by three cheers from the assembled service personnel.

Top: Hugo Burnard/ Buckingham Palace.

Chapter 3

Foreign Dignitaries

The following world leaders will be attending the Coronation:

•Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission
•Charles Michel, EU Council President
•President Emmanuel Macron of France
•President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany
•President Sergio Mattarella of Italy
•President Andrzej Duda of Poland
•Borjana Krišto, the chair of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina
•Dr Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States
•Prime Minister Albanese of Australia
•Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan
•President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos of the Philippines.

Chapter 4

Armed Forces

More than 6,000 men and women of the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces will participate in the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla. They will take place in two processions accompanying Their Majesties to and from Westminster Abbey, participate in a Coronation flypast of over 60 aircraft from all three and will sound out gun salutes to herald the moment when the King is crowned.

Sailors and Royal Marines will wear His Majesty The King’s cypher on their uniforms for the first time at the coronation parade in May. Military personnel will also wear new Regimental cap badges showing His Majesty The King's cypher. The new design of the RAF cap badge, and other adornments to RAF uniforms, reflect the style of crown personally selected by HM The King to represent his sovereignty.  

Coronation processions

Around 5,000 Armed Forces personnel will accompany their Sovereign from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey and back in two separate processions. The first, King’s Procession, will feature just under 200 members, centred around The Sovereign’s Escort of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. The route will be flanked by 1,000 personnel from all three services.

The Coronation Procession will follow the same route back to Buckingham Palace from Westminster Abbey. Featuring nearly 4,000 personnel, this Coronation Procession will represent the diversity and traditions of the UK and Commonwealth Armed Forces.

Coronation flypast

The final crescendo following a spectacular military procession will be a six-minute flypast through the skies of London, watched on by members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team – the Red Arrows – will follow dozens of aircraft used by the Armed Forces on operations around the world.

Included will be 16 helicopters, the historic Spitfires of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the RAF’s brand-new P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, Joint RAF and RN crewed state-of-the art F-35B Lightning II jets and transport aircraft from the RAF’s Air Mobility Force. It will feature the first flypast involvement of the RAF’s new Envoy IV CC1 aircraft.

Gun salutes

Featuring more than 400 personnel, across 13 locations and deployed Royal Navy ships, 21 rounds will fire to mark the Coronation with the exception of The Tower of London and Horse Guards Parade, where a 62 round salute and a six-gun salvo will fire respectively.

Chapter 5

Coronation Music

King Charles has  commissioned 12 pieces of new Coronation music, which will be complemented by a programme of mainly British music spanning 350 years. They will consist of six orchestral commissions, five choral commissions and one organ commission, all ‘specially composed for the occasion by world-renowned British composers whose work includes Classical, Sacred, Film, Television and Musical Theatre.’

The Coronation Orchestra is conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano, Music Director for the Royal Opera House, anad the membership of the orchestra comprises some of the world’s greatest musicians drawn from eight leading orchestras of The former Prince of Wales’ Patronages, from across the UK and Canada

Pre-Service Commissions

  • A short overture composed by Judith Weir, Master of The King’s Music, ‘Brighter Visions Shine Afar’.
  • The Coronation Orchestra will be joined by the Royal Harpist, Alis Huws, to perform Sir Karl Jenkins’ ‘Tros y  Garreg (Crossing the Stone)’.
  • Classical and film composer Sarah Class has composed ‘Sacred Fire’, which will be performed by acclaimed South African soprano Pretty Yende.
  • Based on one of His Majesty's favourite hymns, ‘Be Thou my Vision - Triptych for Orchestra’ is a commission from a trio of composers, Nigel Hess, Roderick Williams and Shirley J Thompson.
  • An organ commission by Iain Farrington, ‘Voices of the World’,
  • Film composer Patrick Doyle has composeded ‘King Charles III Coronation March’.

In-Service Commissions

  • Christopher Robinson has written a series of fanfares marking ceremonial moments in the Service, which will be performed by the Fanfare Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force, conducted by Wing Commander Piers Morrell.

The five new commissions included in the main Service will be directed by Andrew Nethsingha, Organist and Master of the Choristers of Westminster Abbey:

  • Paul Mealor’s ‘Coronation Kyrie’ marks the first Welsh language performance at a Coronation.
  • A two-part composition, ‘Alleluia (O Clap your Hands)’ and ‘Alleluia (O Sing Praises)’ has been commissioned from award-winning TV and film composer Debbie Wiseman. ‘
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber has composed a Coroation anthem ‘Make a Joyful Noise’ .
  • Roxanna Panufnik has composed a ‘Coronation Sanctus’.
  • Tarik O’Regan has composed the ‘Agnus Dei’ for a reflective moment during the Coronation Service.

 

Chapter 6

The Liturgy

It is a long-standing custom that the Archbishop of Canterbury authorises a new liturgy for each Coronation, based on ancient texts and ceremonial elements that draw on centuries of tradition.

Click here for the Coronation Liturgy, authorised by The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby.

Chapter 7

Royal Robes

In accordance with tradition, Their Majesties will wear two different sets of robes during the Coronation Service. Robes of State are worn on arrival at Westminster Abbey, and Robes of Estate are worn on departure, following the Coronation Service, and are traditionally more personalised in design.

His Majesty's Robe of State

The King’s Robe of State is made of crimson velvet and was worn by King George VI at the Coronation in 1937. In preparation for the Coronation Service, the velvet has been conserved by the Royal School of Needlework, with the lining and gold lace conserved by Ede and Ravenscroft.

Her Majesty’s Robe of State

The Robe of State to be worn by The Queen Consort was originally made for Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The Robe is made of crimson velvet and has been conserved with adjustments made by robemakers at Ede and Ravenscroft ahead of the Coronation. 

His Majesty’s Robe of Estate

The King’s Robe of Estate is made of purple silk velvet embroidered in gold and was worn by King George VI in 1937. Robemakers at Ede and Ravenscroft have conserved and prepared the robe ahead of the Coronation.

Her Majesty’s Robe of Estate 

The Queen Consort’s new Robe of Estate was designed and hand embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework. The Robe itself was made by Ede and Ravenscroft. The Robe uses a rich purple velvet, chosen to match His Majesty’s Robe of Estate. For the first time, insects including bees and a beetle feature on the Coronation Robe, drawing on the themes of nature and the environment and reflecting Their Majesties’ affection for the natural world.

 

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