King Charles III will be crowned at Westminster Abbey in London on Saturday in a ceremony that promises to be brimming with royal splendour and rituals that date back more than 1,000 years.
Camilla Parker Bowles, Charles’s wife, is set to receive the title of queen consort and will also be crowned.
Here is what you need to know about the day:
- 05:00 GMT: Coronation viewing areas will open along the main procession route. Public access to sites along the procession route will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
- 08:00 GMT: The congregation will arrive and be seated in Westminster Abbey.
- 08:30-09:45 GMT: High-profile guests including the royal family, heads of state and former prime ministers are scheduled to arrive for the coronation.
- 09:20 GMT: The king and queen consort will set off from Buckingham Palace, moving along The Mall to Trafalgar Square and then to Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.
- 10:00 GMT: The coronation will begin with music, selected by Charles, playing the background.
The ceremony is expected to last a little under two hours and will be split into five stages:
- Recognition – This will be led by the archbishop of Canterbury, the principal leader of the Church of England. Charles will stand beside the 700-year-old Coronation Chair as he faces the attendees. After a short ceremonial presentation, the congregation will announce, “God Save the King.”
- The oath – Moving on from the ceremonial, the archbishop will get down to the legal requirement of the coronation oath. The king will be asked if he will uphold the law and maintain Christianity in the country. Other religious groups are expected to be acknowledged at the event. Charles will then take a second oath called the Accession Declaration Oath, in which he promises to be a “faithful Protestant”.
- The anointing – Now comes the spiritual ceremonial traditions. The archbishop will pour an oil made in Jerusalem from a golden flask called an ampulla onto the coronation spoon before officially anointing Charles. This part of the ceremony will be performed behind a closed curtain.
- Investiture and crowning – At this point, Charles will finally be crowned. The gold headpiece, which contains more than 400 gemstones, has been used since the coronation of Charles II in 1661.
- The enthronement – The final stage is when Charles will sit on the throne. His eldest son, Prince William, will then pay homage to the new king by kneeling and swearing allegiance by kissing his right hand. Some guests will then be invited up to pay homage to the new king.
- 12:00 GMT: After another religious element in the ceremony, holy communion, Charles and Camilla will enter the Gold State Coach as they travel back to Buckingham Palace in the coronation procession.
- 12:45 GMT: Charles and Camilla will receive a royal salute on the West Terrace of the Buckingham Palace garden. Three cheers will ring out through the crowd.
- 13:15 GMT: There will be a six-minute fly-past, which will include the army, navy and air force and a display by the Red Arrows, also known as the Royal Air Force aerobatic team.