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When will King Charles III’s coronation take place?

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, her eldest son Charles immediately succeeded her as King, but when will he be crowned?

Britain's Prince Charles, known as the Duke of Rothesay while in Scotland, takes part in a roundtable with attendees of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation seminar to discuss allergies and the environment, at Dumfries House in Cumnock, Scotland, Britain, September 7, 2022. Jane Barlow/Pool via REUTERS

Immediately after today’s passing of Queen Elizabeth II, her eldest son and heir Charles was proclaimed King of the United Kingdom and 14 Commonwealth realms including Canada, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand. Charles, who along with other members of the immediate family was at his mother’s bedside during her final hours, issued a statement to express his sadness.

“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world. During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”

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This is a moment that the former Prince of Wales has been preparing himself for during many years but now that he is the new King, the actual formal investiture, the ceremony when he is crowned may not take place until the New Year - even though he already possesses regal powers.

When the Queen’s father George VI died at the relatively young age of 56 on 6 February 1952, Elizabeth’s coronation didn’t take place until over a year later, on 2 June 1953. But that was over 70 years ago and times have changed, nevertheless, King Charles III’s coronation isn’t something that will happen right away. There are more pressing issues to attend to first - a period of mourning, the Queen will spend five days lying-in-state before the funeral service and her internment in the royal vault at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. But the main reason why coronations are delayed until months after a monarch has died is that it is meant to be a moment to celebrate, a joyous event and that can only happen once the mourning period has passed. Charles III’s coronation will most likely take place in the summer of 2023.

Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953.
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Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953.Topical Press AgencyDiarioAS

Royal coronations

The United Kingdom is one of the few monarchies in the world that has preserved the coronation ceremony. Every other nation in Europe has long abandoned the formal ritual of crowning a new monarch but in the UK, the initiation ceremony can be traced back to Edgar’s regal consecration in 973 AD at Bath. It is believed that the ceremony has changed little since then.

Charles’ coronation will almost certainly take place at Westminster Abbey, where every British monarch has been formally invested with regalia and crowned since William the Conqueror on Christmas Day 1066.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will conduct the ceremony, and King Charles III will then take the coronation oath, be anointed with holy oil, invested with coronation regalia, crowned and formally enthroned. The imperial state crown was modified to fit Elizabeth II in 1953 and may need to undergo another revamp for Charles’ coronation although only three people are allowed to touch it - the monarch, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Crown Jeweller.

Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953 was a huge event, it was broadcast live on television by the BBC and drew a national audience of around 20 million. Charles’ will be just the third live broadcast of a coronation but will be beamed around the world. The event will be attended by dignitaries and heads of state from all parts of the world. Following the ceremony, Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort will be taken to Buckingham Palace in the Gold State Coach, which has been the tradition in every coronation since George IV in 1821.


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