LONDON — The royal family of Great Britain opens a new chapter on Saturday III. With the coronation of King Károly – this scene evokes medieval times, but also features modern flowers.
The pomp, pageantry and symbolism goes back more than 1,000 years, but the king’s coronation will include new twists in tradition and changes introduced by his mother, King II. Compared to Queen Elizabeth’s coronation 70 years ago.
Plans for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey call for a more subdued affair than the last, although royals from other nations, heads of state and much of Charles’ family will be there, and the monarch plans to wear the same dress Elizabeth did.
Here are some things to know about coronation:
WHY THE CORONATION IF KÁROLY IS ALREADY KING?
Charles automatically ascended the throne when Elizabeth died on September 8 and was officially proclaimed Britain’s monarch two days later in the first televised ascension ceremony.
Charles said he was “deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now devolved upon me”.
There is no legal requirement for coronations, and other European monarchies have abolished ceremonies.
But the deeply religious and ornate event was a much more formal confirmation of his role as head of state and titular head of the Church of England, and was intended to show that the king’s authority came from God.
At a service led by the church’s spiritual leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles is anointed with oil, given the traditional symbols of a monarch – including the orb and scepter – and the crown of St Edward is first placed on his head. time. Charles’ wife, Camilla, is crowned queen.
WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT FROM THE LAST CORONATION?
The coronation ceremony dates back to the Middle Ages and is largely unchanged.
Westminster Abbey has been the site of the ritual since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066.
II. Elizabeth’s coronation in June 1953 was the first to be broadcast live on television. The black and white broadcast attracted an audience of tens of millions in Britain and was later played around the world. In the age of streaming and social media, people will be able to watch Charles’ coronation live — in bright red, blue and gold — from virtually anywhere on the planet, and post their favorite shots with a crown emoji created for the occasion.
Charles has said he plans to slim down the monarchy. Her coronation is expected to reflect this: the ceremony will be shorter than her mother’s three-hour extravaganza, with no more than 2,800 guests – far fewer than the 8,000 who gathered for Elizabeth’s coronation.
In a nod to the changing religious makeup of the United Kingdom, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh religious leaders play a role at the coronation. This reflects Charles’ vow to be a “defender of the faith” as opposed to a “defender of the faith.”
The post-ceremony procession will also be decidedly shorter than the 5-mile (8-kilometer) route that Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, took around London in 1953. Charles and Camilla are planning a more modern horse-drawn wheel. on the 1.3-mile (2-kilometer) route from Buckingham Palace to the Abbey. After being crowned, they will step back in time and accompany the journey in the 260-year-old carriage – famous for its rough ride – which was built by IV. It has been used at every coronation since William’s coronation in 1831.
WHO IS ON THE GUEST LIST?
One hundred heads of state are expected to participate, including royal rights, starting with the Japanese heir to the throne Akishino and his wife, Kiko VI. to King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain.
The United States will continue its streak of never having a president attend a British royal coronation, although first lady Jill Biden will attend.
Prince William of Wales and the heir to the throne are expected to kneel before his father and swear an oath of allegiance in homage to so-called royal blood.
His younger brother Prince Harry, the disgruntled Duke of Sussex, is not expected to attend the service. Her explosive memoir Spare, which became a bestseller earlier this year, made unflattering claims about the royal family.
Until three weeks ago, it was questionable whether Harry and his wife Meghan would attend the coronation after the royal family was accused of racism and media manipulation.
While Harry is there, the Duchess will stay at the couple’s Southern California home with their two young children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.
The coronation comes just days before Harry’s first lawsuit against the British tabloids goes to court. The case may reveal several family secrets.
At a hearing in a similar case last week, Harry said in court papers that Buckingham Palace, with the Queen’s approval, had agreed with Rupert Murdoch’s English papers to settle phone-hacking allegations without trial. Harry said he was told by palace staff to stop litigating because his father wanted to curry favor with the press.
The family drama doesn’t end there. Charles’ brother, Prince Andrew, is also not expected to play a role in the ceremony. Andrew abdicated his royal duties and was stripped of his military titles and his position as a guardian after his friendship with convicted Jeffrey Epstein was revealed. Andrew settled a lawsuit with a woman who said she was forced to have sex with him when she was a teenager.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF CORONATION?
With opinion polls showing that support for the monarchy has waned in recent years, this is a chance for Charles to reach out and show his public embrace.
Crowds are expected to line the streets to cheer on the new king, and crowds will line up outside Buckingham Palace to wait for him to appear on the balcony after the procession.
While criticism of the crown has been relatively muted in recent years out of respect for the Queen and her decades of service to the country, there is likely to be much more debate about whether Britain still needs this antiquated institution or whether it should become a republic. elected head of state.
The head of the anti-monarchist group Republic said he planned to dress more than 1,000 protesters in yellow chanting “Not my king” as the royal procession passed by.
But for the vast majority, it will be a chance to celebrate being British – or show their support for an institution that is the subject of interest for so many around the world.
The streets are lined with union flags, spectators are dressed in red, white and blue, and military planes fly overhead with clouds of national-colored smoke. The pomp and circumstance of the ceremony itself is a reminder of the time when Britain was the most powerful nation in the world.
WHO WILL TAKE THE SIDE OF THE CELEBRATION?
The population pays for the coronation. There is no official estimate yet of how much it might cost. Some reports estimate it could exceed £100 million ($125 million).
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said on Tuesday that some estimates were “more fanciful than others” and that the true costs would be shared later.
The celebration comes as the UK faces a crushing cost of living crisis that has left many struggling to heat their homes and put food on their tables this winter.
But many profit from the roar.
Officials expect a boost in tourism, and there’s no shortage of coronation-themed events and commemorations that could bring in additional sales taxes.
Fans who want to remember the historic event will find everything from fine porcelain to commemorative coins or even cardboard masks of Charles and Camilla. Coronation themed biscuits, chocolates and beer are likely to be quickly forgotten.
Danica Kirka contributed to this report.