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King Charles III
Photograph: Daniel Leal / Getty Images

When is King Charles’s coronation and how can I see it?

We’re officially in the era of King Charles III – here’s everything we know about when he might be crowned

India Lawrence
Written by
India Lawrence

The Queen died at Balmoral on September 8 2022 aged 96 and her eldest son Charles automatically became King. Queen Elizabeth II’s death kicked off a plan for the days to follow called ‘Operation London Bridge’. This involved a series of events including the lying in state, which saw crowds queue for hours on end to see her coffin in Westminster Hall, and a funeral held at Westminster Abbey to mourn the loss of our longest-reigning monarch. But what happens to the new King? 

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When does Charles become King?

Having been the heir to the throne since he was just three, Charles automatically became King when the Queen died, but he won’t be crowned for a while. Charles was officially announced as King at the First Proclamation on Saturday September 10. He was given the title King Charles III at a ceremony at St James’s Palace.

So will Camilla become Queen?

No. Camilla becomes the Queen Consort, ‘consort’ being the title given to the spouse of the monarch (she and Charles got married on April 5 2005).

When is King Charles’s coronation?

We don’t know exactly when Charles’s Coronation will take place, but it’s not expected to happen for at least a few months – and quite possibly not until next summer. When Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952 she wasn’t crowned until more than a year later. This is down to a period of mourning taking place and the sheer amount of preparation it takes to organise such a momentous ceremony. 

Where is King Charles’s coronation?

As per tradition, the new monarch will be crowned at Westminster Abbey. The church has been the setting for coronations for the past 900 years. 

What happens at the coronation ceremony?

On the royal family’s website it says that the coronation ceremony is ‘an occasion for pageantry and celebration, but it is also a solemn religious ceremony, [and] has remained essentially the same over a thousand years.

‘For the last 900 years, the ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey, London. The service is conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose task this has almost always been since the Norman Conquest in 1066.’

During the proceedings, King Charles will take the coronation oath, he will then be anointed and blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury before being seated on the throne. He’ll then be handed the Royal Orb and Sceptre, and St Edward’s Crown will be placed on his head. 

Will there be a coronation medal?

When Queen Elizabeth II was crowned Queen, a special commemorative medal was issued to mark the occasion. It was given to over 120,000 chosen people, including royals, government officials and members of the army, air force, navy and police. We don’t know whether there will be a King Charles III medal yet. 

Which royals will be at the ceremony?

Charles’s children, Princes William and Harry, will definitely be at the coronation of their father. We don’t know yet whether Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle or either prince’s children (Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet) will be there. 

The spectacle will also be attended by the prime minister, cabinet ministers and representatives from Commonwealth and other foreign countries. 

Can I go to the coronation?

Regular folk won’t actually be able to go inside the abbey for the coronation. All attendees will be people of political importance and nobility, but there will be a procession through London to mark the occasion. 

How can I watch the coronation?

In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation was broadcast to an estimated 20 million people, alongside the 8,000 guests in attendance. It was the first time cameras were placed inside Westminster Abbey, making it an iconic moment. The exact details of King Charles III’s coronation haven’t been planned, but it will no doubt be broadcast live around the world. 

Will King Charles III move into Buckingham Palace?

The King currently lives at Clarence House and there has been some speculation over the years that he’d want to stay put. But those rumours turned out not to be true, as it was reported in February 2022 that he would move into Buckingham Palace when he became King. 

How old is King Charles III?

King Charles III is 73 years old, making him the oldest British monarch to ascend the throne. 

Will there be a bank holiday for King Charles’s coronation?

Yes. King Charles’s coronation has already been declared a UK bank holiday by the government.

In pictures: British coronations through the years

Where will King Charles live? Which palace will he pick as his main residence?

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