It’s the United Kingdom’s first time crowning a new monarch in the past 70 years. It was a day full of history as the United Kingdom crowned its first new monarch in seven decades.
King Charles and his wife Queen Camilla took part in a long-standing ceremony that dates back a thousand years. It’s an event that’s marked with regal pageantry and traditions, along with an assortment of flashy ceremonial objects and stunning royal garb.
Still, King Charles wasn’t afraid of breaking customs with his coronation on May 6.
For the first time in 900 years, the King decided to invite royalty from around the world to attend the ceremony. The coronation was also the first in the country’s history where languages spoken across Britain were included, with a prayer in Welsh as well as a hymn in Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish.
Born in 1948 and ascending to the throne in 2022 following his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September of that year, Charles was the longest-serving heir apparent in British history. Now, a new age of British monarchy is on the horizon.
A chance to see the royals
Thousands of people gathered in London on May 6, with some even spending the whole night in preparation for a chance to catch a glimpse of the royals.
Notable military procession
The military procession was the largest of its kind since the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Approximately 5,000 members of the British Armed Forces participated, alongside troops from 30 Commonwealth countries. That included 45 members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
An uncomfortable side of the Coronation
Gloomy, rainy weather wasn’t preventing protesters from gathering on the day of the coronation, showing an uncomfortable side to the ceremony. Hundreds of anti-royalists were confronted by police on Saturday, with many being arrested.
Arrival at Westminster Abbey
King Charles and Queen Camilla were each accompanied by four Pages of Honour who helped carry their heavy royal outfits as they entered Westminster Abbey. Charles was joined by Prince George, Nicholas Barclay, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley and Ralph Tollemache. For Camilla, brothers Gus and Louis Lopes, Frederick Parker Bowles and Arthur Elliot joined her side.
Queen Camilla’s crowning
Invitations for the coronation ceremony revealed that King Charles’s wife would no longer be called Camilla, Queen’s Consort. Instead, Buckingham Palace planned to drop the 75-year-old’s “consort” label in favour of Queen Camilla.
King Charles’s crowning
At age 74, King Charles is the oldest royal to ever ascend to the British throne. After waiting a lifetime to assume the title, the U.K.’s new monarch will have much to achieve in little time.
A tender father-son moment
One moment some viewers may have missed was a sweet kiss Prince William gave his father during the ceremony. After the crowning, the first-in-line to the throne noted to his dad, “I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God.” In response, King Charles was seen mouthing the words, “Thank you, William,” after the touching act of affection.
A new dawn of British monarchy
While leaving Westminster Abbey, King Charles wore the Imperial State Crown and carried the Sovereign’s Orb and Sceptre. The sacred items — part of the U.K.’s Crown Jewels — were last seen being placed on the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II.
Gold State Coach’s departure
Following the crowning, King Charles departed Westminster Abbey in the Gold State Coach, which was built in 1760. The elegant eight-horse-drawn carriage has been used in every coronation since William IV’s in 1831.
Towards the end of the day, military personnel gave the newly-crowned King Charles and Queen Camilla the royal salute at Buckingham Palace’s west terrace.
Buckingham Palace balcony wave
The couple waved to visitors on the Buckingham Palace balcony as they viewed the Royal Air Force fly-past at the end of the day.
The new royal family
Members of the royal family, including Prince Philip, Prince Edward, Duchess Sophie, Lady Louise Windsor, Princess Charlotte, Princess Kate, Prince Louis and Prince William, joined the King and Queen on the Buckingham Palace balcony.