The rumour was that it would happen in the spring of 2023. The date has now been confirmed: the coronation ceremony of King Charles III will take place in 2023, May 6th—eight months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The British monarchy announced the date in an official statement issued by Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, October 11th.
The statement emphasises continuity and tradition, while insisting that King Charles III is looking resolutely to the future. “The Coronation will reflect the role of the monarch today and look to the future, while being rooted in long-standing traditions and pageantry,” Buckingham said.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate, following a ceremony that has remained virtually unchanged for almost a millennium. For the past 900 years, the coronation has always taken place at Westminster Abbey and since 1066, the service has almost always been conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
It has been common to allow for a long time lapse between the death of one sovereign and the coronation of the other. Queen Elizabeth was crowned in 1953, June 2nd—almost a year and a half after the death of her father, King George VI, who was called to God in 1952, February 6th. The coronation is usually held in fine weather, as good weather makes it easier to organise. This time, the return of spring should also coincide with the easing of restrictions linked to the energy crisis.
According to a royal source quoted by the Daily Mirror, Charles III’s coronation is expected to be “shorter, smaller, and cheaper” than Elizabeth II’s coronation, which was estimated at the time to cost £1,570,000, or around €53,000,000. The number of guests will be reduced from 8,000 to 2,000. Discussions are currently held about introducing a more relaxed dress code with lounge suits instead of full ceremonial robes. Yet all the forms will be respected, and the essential ceremony guaranteed, namely the handing over of the king’s robes at Westminster, and the granting of his sovereign attributes, the crown, the two sceptres, the orb, and the royal ring.
The highly anticipated event promises to be widely covered by the media. The worldwide television audience for the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953 was estimated at 277 million viewers who watched the technical feat of the live broadcast, which was considerable for the time. To preserve the sacredness of the gesture, however, Queen Elizabeth II requested that the very moment of the anointing ceremony not be televised.
The precise details of the coronation of Charles III are not yet known.