coronation weekend guide

King Charles III’s Coronation: The complete guide to Coronation Weekend

27 Apr 2023 | |By Annie Lewis

Golden carriages, Crown Jewels and patriotic pomp at the ready, King Charles III’s Coronation is now less than two weeks away. Here’s our guide to the most regal event of 2023

Within weeks of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September 2022, plans for the coronation of the next monarch were well underway. And, while seven months may seem like plenty of time to plan such an event, as it’s set to be one of the most iconic displays from the British Royal Family in the 21st century, you would be sorely mistaken. 

Organised by the UK’s most experienced planners, royal aides and representatives with military-style precision, trust that they’ve sweated the small details to ensure London puts on a regal show filled with all of the pomp and ceremony us Brits (and the rest of the world) have come to know and love. 

It’s rumoured that our new King — who, at 74, will become the oldest new monarch in English history — has favoured a more modest event than that of the last coronation, which saw his mother become Queen at 25 in 1953. While the event itself is steeped in ancient tradition and will, of course, feature the famous Crown Jewels, the ceremony itself will be much shorter than the original three-hour event, the procession will follow a quicker route and the three-day occasion will also include more modern touches (including a new emoji to pay homage to our social media-dominated era). 

Whether you plan to line the streets of the capital in support, or wish to watch the day unfold from the comfort of your sofa, here’s our guide to King Charles III’s Coronation on 6 May 2023. 

Coronation Weekend itinerary 

Saturday 6 May

westminster abbey
Image: Shutterstock

The Coronation Service will begin at 11am at Westminster Abbey, after King Charles and Queen Camilla have travelled the route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster’s Abbey, dubbed the King’s Procession, in the Gold State Carriage. Conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the ceremony — also known as Operation Golden Orb — will see King Charles anointed with holy oil while being handed the orb, coronation ring and sceptre which will then be blessed and consecrated. The King will then take his rightful seat on the 14th-century King Edward’s Chair to be crowned with the St Edward’s Crown.

Camilla, Queen Consort, previously known as the Duchess of Cornwall, will also be anointed and crowned during the ceremony. It was revealed months before Queen Elizabeth II’s death that she wished for Charles’ second wife to be recognised as Queen when the time arrived. 

king charles III coronation
Image: Shutterstock/Lyudmila Voronova

Following the ceremony, the new monarchs will travel the longer ceremonial route, known as the Coronation Procession, through the capital towards Buckingham Palace alongside other members of the Royal Family before all appear on the palace balcony. The traditional Armed Forces flypast — comprising 60 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force — will take place over The Mall and Buckingham Palace at 2.30pm that afternoon. 

military flypast london
Image: Shutterstock/Reimar

Sunday 7 May 2023

The Coronation Concert, situated in the grounds of Windsor Castle in Berkshire and hosted by Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville, will be broadcast live from 8pm by the BBC. Take That, Lionel Richie (who was the first global ambassador of King Charles’ charity The Prince’s Trust) and Katy Perry (ambassador for the British Asian Trust) are among the headliners, while Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, Welsh singer Sir Bryn Terfel and singer-songwriter Freya Ridings are also set to perform. 

A whopping 10,000 tickets were given to the public, but if you weren’t one of the lucky ones you can also catch a live stream in St James’s Park. Not in London? Not to worry. Watch out for the special ‘Lighting up the Nation’ segment during the concert, which will see iconic locations across the UK lit up with projections, lasers and illuminations. 

For those who love a good, old-fashioned street party, ensure your finger sandwiches and Union Jack flags are ready for the afternoon of 7 May. Named the Coronation Big Lunch, the public are encouraged to enjoy their local street parties and garden get-togethers to commemorate the regal occasion with neighbours, family and friends. To find your closest Big Lunch, check out the interactive map here

Monday 8 May 2023

king charles III coronation
Image: Shutterstock/Peter Rhys Williams

Early on in the planning process, the government granted an extra UK bank holiday for the Monday after the Coronation. The 8 May has been dubbed the Big Help Out and has been organised by The Together Coalition and 25 of the UK’s biggest charities to encourage volunteers to give back to their community. In tribute to King Charles’ many decades of public service, members of the public and the Royal Family plan to help out at leading organisations such as the RSPCA, British Red Cross, Samaritans, the British Heart Foundation and Citizens Advice, to name a few. If you fancy lending a hand and putting your extra day off to good use, register here

The Coronation procession route in London

Described as the largest military ceremonial operation for 70 years, London’s streets will be lined with more than 6,000 military personnel from the UK and Commonwealth on 6 May. Both the King’s Procession and the Coronation Procession will be escorted by the aforementioned military and will follow the same route (the latter in reverse) from Buckingham Palace to proceed down The Mall, passing through Admiralty Arch down Whitehall and along Parliament Street. 

How to watch the Coronation on TV

king charles III coronation
Image: Shutterstock/Reimar

The BBC will be the main broadcaster for the Coronation, with coverage starting at 6am. However, you can also watch the ceremony unfold on ITV and Sky too. 


Read more: Where to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III in London