God Save the King: How will the coronation of Charles III differ from the traditional one
The coronation of the eldest son of the late Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, who took the name of Charles III after succession to the throne, will be one of the year's most meaningful events.
The ceremony of accession to the throne of British monarchs has many curious details
His mother once ascended the throne during the British Empire, and Winston Churchill himself was her first prime minister. The latest is Liz Truss, elected to this post in the fall of 2022.
Elizabeth II ruled longer than the rest of her predecessors - 70 years. During this time, her own country and the world as a whole have completely changed. Charles must become the king of the new Great Britain, opening the next page of its history.
How to pronounce the throne name of Prince Charles as king?
British monarchs have certain rules for the succession of throne names. They can choose one of their middle names as it. The full name of the new king is Charles Philip Arthur George.
Initially, it was assumed that he would be called George, that is, George. This is how he would express his devotion to his grandmother and her reverence for George VI. However, in the end, the future monarch decided to leave his name.
Withh the same name - in the 17th century, Charles I and Charles II. The first ended his life on the chopping block. The second, 11 years after his father's death, was able to return England from a republic to a monarchy and rule for 25 years. Under him, the country was severely affected by the plague and the fire in London.
Where and when will the coronation of Charles III take place?
Buckingham Palace has announced that the coronation of Charles III will take place on May 6, 2023, at Westminster Abbey, in the same place where his mother first tried on the crown in the early 1950s. In this place, for 900 years, the British heirs officially ascended the throne.
It is expected that this will become one of the year's most solemn and memorable events. The event will be televised live. This will be the second time in the history of the British monarchy that millions will see the coronation.
For centuries, the coronation was considered a sacrament, so only persons close to the court could see it. However, Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952, made this event public. Her ascension to the throne was televised for the first time in history. To many at court, this seemed savage. But today, we can see how the coronation of the longest-reigning British queen occurred. Then the broadcast was watched by more than 27 million viewers, and about 8 thousand high-ranking guests were invited to the celebration.
Why does the coronation have to wait almost a year after the death of Elizabeth II?
According to tradition, the coronation of a new monarch is held at different time intervals after the death of the previous one. This is because the solemn event does not fall during mourning. In addition, a pompous procession requires careful preparation of all participants and significant expenses.
So, Elizabeth II officially took up her duties immediately after her father's death, George VI, in February 1952, but was crowned only in June 1953. That is after 16 months. This was partly due to the economic crisis in the country. There is a legend that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill personally asked the Queen to postpone the ceremony so as not to waste "a single working day" on regulating the situation in the country.
At the same time, in the history of the United Kingdom, there were cases when the coronation of the reigning monarch took place almost 15 years after the beginning of the reign. We are talking about King Edgar the Peaceful, who led the state in the 10th century. And although during his reign, the country did not fight with anyone, he discredited himself with a relationship with a nun, in union with whom his daughter was born. For this reason, his closest adviser and abbot, Dunstan, who had more power than the monarch himself, refused to crown him only after the death of Saint Edgar was they anointed king.
But Harold II, on the contrary, ascended the throne precisely on the day of the death of his predecessor, Edward the Confessor.
However, on average, the coronation of a new monarch should take place a few weeks after the death of the previous ruler. During this period,
How will the coronation of Charles III take place?
The coronation of Charles III was codenamed Operation Golden Sphere. The details of the event are being kept under wraps.
The ceremony will occur according to established traditions that have remained unchanged for centuries. However, some assumptions are still quite possible. The celebration is expected to be shorter in time, more diverse, and include a narrow circle of VIPs. At the same time, ancient rituals will coexist with modern elements, including some of the innovations of Elizabeth II.
"The coronation will reflect the monarch's role today and in the future, with a long tradition and befitting splendor," Buckingham Palace said.
It is known that his wife Camilla will be present next to Charles III. Prince William and Princess Kate of Wales will also actively participate in the ceremony. Moreover, according to anonymous sources close to the royal family, William and Camilla will play an essential role in the coronation process.
Whether Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will attend the celebration is unknown. Despite the controversy, Charles III planned to invite his grandson and wife. Still, after the release on December 8, 2022, of the documentary "Harry and Meghan" on Netflix about the scandalous revelations of their life in the palace and the leakage of excerpts from the memoirs "Spare" Sussex, the decision was canceled. Moreover, the future monarch granted new honorary titles to Prince William, his wife Kate, and Queen Consort Camilla. Curiously, the coronation date coincides with the fourth birthday of Archie, Harry and Meghan's son.
It is expected that the duration of the event will be about an hour instead of three, as was the case at the solemn ceremony of his mother's entry, Elizabeth II.
“It will be shorter and simpler than in 1953 but absolutely the same in scale and spectacle, consistent with sovereignty, history, and tradition,” the spokesman explained.
The list of guests, mainly the rest of the Windsor dynasty, has yet to be disclosed.
With what regalia is Charles III crowned?
The British monarch has a lot of jewelry at his disposal, but special regalia is used for the coronation, which is usually displayed in the Tower.
On the day of the celebration, Charles III and his wife from Buckingham Palace will head to Westminster Abbey on the golden carriage of George III. This carriage has traditionally been used for anniversaries and coronations for 260 years, including Elizabeth II. The weight of the carriage is almost 4 tons, so only a team of eight horses can set it in motion. It is known that moving in a carriage is very inconvenient because the passengers are wildly shaking. But a vintage vehicle will allow ordinary citizens to see Charles III and his wife from close range. Britons are expected to line the streets to greet the new monarch.
Upon the arrival of Charles III, staff will follow him to adjust the velvet mantle of ermine, 5 meters long and weighing 13 kilograms, at the right time. Last time, seven ladies-in-waiting helped his mother carry the train.
Accompanied by his entourage and the guests who have already gathered on both sides, the king will follow to the throne of King Edward. By the way, until 1996, the Skoon Stone was built into it, which. After being handed over to Scotland, the relic is kept at Edinburgh Castle on the condition that it be used for future coronations. Whether they will bring him on this occasion is still being determined.
Then, at the altar, Charles III will take a sacred oath in which he will swear to defend justice, law, and the Anglican Church, after which the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will perform an ancient rite and anoint his head with oil. For anointing, a golden ampoule will be used, a vessel in the shape of an eagle with spread wings, and a silver spoon with gilding and inlaid with pearls.
And finally, after pronouncing the oath, Charles III will be presented with the symbols of the British monarchy - the scepter (in the right hand) and the orb (in the left hand). On his head, they will crown the golden crown of St. Edward the Confessor, weighing 2.2 kilograms and decorated with more than 400 precious stones.
. According to Elizabeth II, wearing a crown was very difficult, but she was lucky that she and her father had a similar skull shape, so any crown on her sat like a glove.
“You can't look down while reading a speech. You have to raise the text to your eyes. Otherwise, you will break your neck, and it will fall, ”she explained.
Other symbols of the British monarchy will also be displayed during the ceremonial procession. For example, a sizeable sovereign sword (Sword of State) weighing 24 kilograms with a golden handle made of roses and thistles (emblems of England and Scotland), a sacrificial sword (Sword of Offering), a sword of spiritual justice (Sword of Spiritual Justice), a sword of worldly justice (Sword of Temporal Justice) and the sword of mercy (Sword of Mercy).
All coronation relics are decorated with parts of the world's largest Cullinan diamond, also known as the Star of Africa. Because there were cracks in the nugget, it was divided into nine large and 96 small fragments.
No less famous is the yellowish Kohinoor diamond crowning the British crown, which in Persian is called “Mountain of Light.” This stone is over 5 thousand years old. During its history, it has visited the treasuries of Indian, Iranian, and Afghan rulers. By the way, India still claims its rights to it, specifying the stone. True, it is unlikely that their claims will ever be crowned with success, since no king or queen, with all their desire, has the legal right to dispose of the Crown Jewels.
But the red stone that adorns the crown is known as the red ruby of the Black Prince. In the middle of the XIV century, it belonged to the Moorish prince Abu Said, who was killed by the Castilian king Pedro the Cruel. The latter defeated the enemy with the military assistance of the British monarch Edward III, who received the ruby as payment. For a long time, he adorned the knightly helmets of Henry V and Richard III until, in 1661; he was inserted into the crown of St. Edward on the occasion of the ascension to the throne of Charles II.
On the hand of the new ruler, there will likely be a coronation ring topped with a dark blue sapphire with a cross of St. George made of rubies framed by diamonds. The piece of jewelry was created for the coronation of William IV and symbolizes the "marriage of the monarch with the country." He has a more miniature copy ordered by Queen Victoria, whose fingers were so narrow that the original fell off her during the ceremony.
What role will Queen Consort Camilla play in the ceremony?
The British have always disliked the second wife of Prince Charles, considering her a homemaker and even the culprit in the death of Princess Diana. Perhaps the queen also did not have warm feelings for her daughter-in-law. However, at the beginning of 2022, the monarch changed her mind and granted Camilla the title of queen consort instead of the previously promised and humiliating status of princess consort.
The last time this happened was in 1937, when Elizabeth's mother was crowned with her husband, George VI. The husband of Elizabeth herself was never crowned In front of his wife and the monarch. Without restraining his feelings, he kissed her in front of the assembled public and the whole world. The historical moment can still be seen on the recording.
As for what role Camilla will play at the coronation of Charles III remains a mystery. However, it is known that she will also be crowned more straightforwardly to emphasize her new status.
“During the ceremony, His Majesty will be crowned along with the Queen Consort [Camilla],” the document says. “The coronation will reflect the role that the monarchy plays today and the vision for the future, but will also be based on long-standing ceremonial traditions,” Buckingham Palace said in an official statement.
The wife will accompany Karl in the same carriage. Whether she will be wearing any regalia at the ceremony is unknown. Judging by how the husband of Elizabeth II was dressed in a similar situation, In such cases, the Queen is usually supposed to wear either the Queen Mother's crown or the Queen Mary's crown. Still, this time it will not be possible to demonstrate them, given the painful question for India and other countries about the ownership of the Kohinoor diamond.
Since the ceremony will be in a simplified format, Camilla prefers to wear something more lightweight. It will be a gift from the late queen. So, the queen consort has repeatedly appeared in public in the Greville tiara, known as the Honeycomb tiara. She may wear a sapphire brooch of Queen Victoria, whom Elizabeth II loved very much. In addition, Camilla has her Cubitt-Shand family tiara, which she inherited from her mother.
After the event, the king and queen will most likely follow the same route to Buckingham Palace to the congratulatory exclamations of curious spectators. Like Elizabeth and Philip once, they can go out onto the balcony to greet the people again. This will be followed by a coronation banquet, which will bring together members of the royal family, representatives of foreign monarchies, and other dignitaries. The celebration will end either with fireworks or parade flights.