By Connor Steel
KING CHARLES III has officially become the sovereign of the UK and Commonwealth as he was crowned in a solemn service at Westminster Abbey on Saturday (May 6); sparking a day of national celebration and also joyous scenes of royal pomp as millions of people watched this first Coronation event seen since June 1953.
This religious ceremony focused on the “importance of service'”, which was reflected in all oaths and prayers made by the Monarch. The sermon also featured subtle references to the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip; with Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Sikh representatives all making contributions during the spectacle.
Starting at 11am the first act saw the “recognition”, in which King Charles was presented to the people as he turned to face four individual sides of Westminster Abbey. He was proclaimed as the “undoubted King” by all sides of the congregation who were asked to show their homage and service by saying “God Save the King”
The “Coronation Oath” was then taken by the Monarch, a legal requirement that outlined the King will always “uphold the law” in his new role. This was swiftly followed by the “anointing”; this stage seeing the ceremonial robes taken off and the King transferred to the Coronation Chair where special oil was applied to both hands.
An investiture of King Charles was undertaken at 12:01pm and was “literally the crowning moment” after the Monarch returned from the anointing behind concealed scenes. This act saw the ‘St Edward’s Crown’ placed on his head for the only ever time in his life; weighing over two kilograms and was first created back in 1661.
He was presented with items including the Coronation ring and spectres before all Abbey bells were rung for exactly two minutes. At this time trumpets were played and a gun salute fired across the country; including in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, London, and from the multiple Royal Navy ships on deployment across the world.
Proceedings then moved into the “enthronement” act, which saw the King take the throne with Prince William paying homage by kneeling at his feet. People were invited to state their allegiance by saying: “I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”
Queen Camilla was further crowned and enthroned using Queen Mary’s Crown, although she didn’t have to take an oath like her husband. Both King and Queen then took their Holy Communion before the Coronation concluded just after 1pm; the pair meeting with faith community representatives as they departed the Abbey.
This occasion was attended by over two thousand VIP guests from 203 nations; the most high profile being French President Emmanuel Macron, Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska and US First Lady Jill Biden. Our Prime Minster Rishi Sunak gave a bible reading, with Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt being a sword bearer.
Before this ceremony, formal proceedings had begun at 10:20am with the procession starting at Buckingham Palace; travelling through the Mall, Trafalgar Square and Westminster. The King and (then) Queen’s Consort made this journey using the Diamond Jubilee State Coach; featuring a crown made of oak from HMS Victory.
After departing from the Abbey the reverse journey was made using the Gold State Coach; which was built in 1762 and has now been used at every Coronation since 1831. The parade was led by almost 4000 members of the Armed Forces despite rainy weather in the capital; the Monarch entering the Palace at around 1:35pm.
The large ceremonial operation continued for these military personnel who marched onto the lawn, where all the divisions greeted the King and Queen with a Royal Salute before offering three cheers to His Majesty. In the meantime crowds of up to 60,000 people were able to emerge from barriers to line the mall for the finale.
Coronation Day ended with a balcony appearance from the Royal Family including the new King and Queen starting at 2:30pm; a weather affected flypast soon following to conclude the public celebrations. A reception behind closed doors will take place this afternoon attended by VIPs, the Royal Family and invited dignitaries.
Readers are encouraged to visit media sites such as BBC News, Sky News and ITV News for all developing updates on the celebrations; which will see street parties, volunteering schemes and a concert from Windsor.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2R01TEH): King Charles III has been formally crowned as Monarch after a historic ceremony at Westminster Abbey; the first such occasion since 1953 watched by millions across the country.