Buckingham Palace Details Plans for King Charles’ 3-Day Coronation Event This May
On Saturday, January 21, the palace announced its plans for the three-day Coronation Weekend, which “will reflect the Monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry,” as a statement from the palace explains.
First up, on May 6, will be the solemn Coronation Service, a religious rite set to take place that morning at Westminster Abbey. Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, will take “The King’s Procession” to the church from Buckingham Palace. And after the ceremony, they’ll return to the palace in “The Coronation Procession” and appear with royal family members on the palace’s balcony.
Then, on May 7, the palace invites U.K. communities to “share food and fun together” for the Coronation Big Lunch, billed as a nationwide act of celebration and friendship. “From a cup of tea with a neighbour to a street party, a Coronation Big Lunch brings the celebrations to your neighbourhood and is a great way to get to know your community a little better,” the palace adds.
Also that day, Windsor Castle will host a special Coronation Concert, which will be broadcast live on BBC. “The Coronation Concert will bring global music icons and contemporary stars together in celebration of the historic occasion,” Buckingham Palace says. Some of the world’s singers and dancers will perform alongside a world-class orchestra while stars of the stage and screen will recite spoken-word sequences, and a Coronation Choir brings together community choirs and amateur singers in harmony. Plus, that night’s “Lighting up the Nation” display will incorporate projections, lasers, drones, and illuminations at locations across the United Kingdom.
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And on May 8, the three-day celebration will conclude with the Big Help Out, a countrywide public service effort that “will encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas,” the palace says. The goal is “to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation Weekend.”
Of course, the coronation plans come at a tenuous time for the British monarchy, especially considering Prince Harry’s estrangement from the institution, which he has detailed in his new memoir and his and Meghan Markle’s recent Netflix docuseries.
Furthermore, as CNN reports, the anti-monarchy campaign group Republic has plans to protest Charles’ coronation. “At a cost of tens of millions of pounds, this pointless piece of theatre is a slap in the face for millions of people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis,” Republic spokesperson Graham Smith said in a statement. “We have already been in touch with the Metropolitan Police, and we expect them to facilitate peaceful and meaningful protest.”