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As you’ve undoubtedly heard across just about every media outlet, on Saturday 6 May, His Majesty King Charles III will be coronated. The ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey, in London, and will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Some people are more fond of the monarchy than others – debates have raged for years about whether Britain still needs a monarchy, and if the royal family attracts enough tourism to compensate for the sort of expense a coronation brings. With royalty usually comes pageantry, which is rarely cheap!
No matter how you feel about the royal family, you may choose to watch the coronation, as it’s an important moment in history. And when it comes to the promotional merchandise, these things could be worth something later down the line!
While the official coronation isn’t until 6 May 2023, King Charles automatically became king after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Within twenty-four hours of the death of a sovereign, an Accession Council is held, during which time the heir to the throne is formally proclaimed monarch.
Shortly after this, the new king or queen will hold their first Privy Council, which normally involves a short speech about their predecessor, and an oath, to preserve the sanctity of the British Church.
It’s been officially announced that there will be a bank holiday for the coronation of King Charles III. As the ceremony itself will take place on a Saturday, the following Monday, 8 May, will be a national bank holiday.
As this is an extra bank holiday, your workplace will need to take the additional day into account when allocating holiday time for their employees. It might be a good idea to speak to your boss about your holiday allowance this year, and see if the coronation bank holiday has been included.
During the ceremony itself, King Charles will take the coronation oath, and then be anointed with oils. He will be passed the orb and sceptre, before St Edward’s Crown is placed on his head. This crown was made in 1661, and as the name suggests, once belonged to Edward the Confessor. It’s mostly made of solid gold, and weighs around 5 pounds, so it must get incredibly heavy after a while!
There will also be music, and most likely a selection of readings at the coronation. We can’t be sure how long the ceremony will take, but it has been reported that it probably won’t be as long as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The ceremony in 1953 went on for approximately three hours in total, but King Charles’ coronation will supposedly last for a little over an hour.
When it comes to watching the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was the first to be televised, and the coronation of King Charles will also be shown on television. It will be interesting to see how many people tune in – the funeral of Queen Elizabeth is considered to be the most viewed television event in history worldwide, but this coronation may reach an even larger audience.
Many people will also be making their way to London, in order to see things like the procession, and the royal balcony appearance, after the event. If you are looking to travel to London, you’ll probably have to get a good spot hours in advance!
With the current financial issues in the UK, such as the cost of living crisis, there have been concerns about the amount of money that will be spent on the coronation. Of course, as it will be broadcast across the world, and souvenirs will be sold around the globe too, there is hope that money will be brought into the country, not just spent.
The good news is that the coronation of King Charles III will be a ‘slimmed down’ version. Fortune has reported that there will be much less pomp and circumstance, setting a tone for a more modern monarchy. In comparison to Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, there will only be around a quarter of the number of guests, and many of the older rituals will be left out. These bypassed rituals include the presenting of gold ingots to the monarch.
It has been announced that the gold stagecoach, which was built in 1762, will be used however. And the anointing of the monarch, which is considered to be a key part of the ceremony, will also take place.