Buckingham Palace on Saturday unveiled details of King Charles III’s coronation, which will be less extravagant than his mother’s ceremony 70 years ago, in a reflection of the cost-of-living crisis many Britons are enduring.
Three days of festivities will take place, with the coronation on Saturday 6th May, a ‘Coronation Grand Lunch’ and ‘Coronation Concert’ the following day, and an extra bank holiday on Monday. The public will be invited on the last day to join “The Big Help” by volunteering in their communities.
“Everyone is invited to join on any day,” Michelle Donelan, UK Secretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said in a statement.
“Whether that’s hosting a special street party, watching the Coronation ceremony or a spectacular concert on TV, or stepping forward during The Big Help to help causes that matter to them.”
The coronation itself will be “a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and spectacle”, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the palace said.
It, repeated the palace, “will reflect the role of the monarch today and look to the future, being rooted in long-standing traditions and spectacle.”
That line of the palace was interpreted by experts as a suggestion that the coronation of Charles will be different and more subdued from the one his late mother experienced seven decades ago, with a shorter ceremony and amendments to some of the feudal elements of the ritual. Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was the first live televised royal event and lasted three hours.
Charles and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort, will arrive at Westminster Abbey in a procession from Buckingham Palace, known as “The King’s Procession”, and return later in a larger ceremonial procession, known as “The Coronation Procession”, accompanied by other members of the royal family.
The King and Queen Consort, along with members of the royal family, will then appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to conclude the day’s events.
At this point, the palace has not specified which members of the family will appear in the procession and on the balcony, following Prince Andrew’s continued exile from public life as a result of historic sexual abuse allegations and the publication of Prince Harry’s memoir which insulted against his family
“It would help Charles a lot in terms of his image if Harry and Meghan were there,” royal historian Kate Williams previously told CNN. “It will look especially bad for him if his son isn’t there because, of course, Harry is still very high in line to the throne, as are his children.”
On the following day, May 7, thousands of events will take place across the country as part of the “Coronation Big Lunch”, while as yet unnamed “global music icons and contemporary stars”, will come together for a “Coronation”. Concert” held on the East Lawn of Windsor Castle, the palace said.
“The Big Coronation Lunch helps you bring the party right into your own street or backyard,” said Peter Stewart, Chief Executive Officer at the event’s organizing body, the Eden Project.
“Sharing friendship, food and fun together gives people more than just a good time – people feel less lonely, make friends and stay more engaged in their community,” he added in a statement.
The concert will be attended by a public audience composed of volunteers from the charity affiliates of the King and Queen Consort as well as several thousand members of the public chosen through a national ballot held by the BBC.
They will watch “a world-class orchestra play renditions of musical favorites led by some of the world’s greatest entertainers, alongside performers from the world of dance… and a selection of spoken word sequences performed by stars of stage and screen,” the palace said. . , adding that a lineup would be released in due course.
A diverse group comprising the British Refugee Choirs, NHS Choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups and deaf signing choirs, will form ‘The Coronation Choir’ and will also perform at the concert, alongside ‘The Virtual Choir’, made up of singers from across the Commonwealth .
Well-known locations across the country will also be lit up using projections, lasers, drone screens and light fixtures as part of the concert.
The festivities will wrap up on bank holiday Monday with hundreds of activities planned by local community groups for “The Big Help.”
“It’s going to be a festival of volunteerism,” said Jon Knight, CEO of the Together Coalition.
“The aim is to create a legacy of better connected communities long beyond the Coronation itself.”
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