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Charles III and Camilla to be crowned on May 6 at Westminster Abbey

Buckingham Palace says tradition and modernity will be present at a ceremony that is expected to be much shorter than Elizabeth II’s own coronation in 1953

Charles III and Camilla
Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla on October 11 at a public event in Ballater (United Kingdom).ANDREW MILLIGAN (AFP)
Rafa de Miguel

Over a year elapsed between Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne upon her father’s death on February 6, 1952 and her coronation at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. In the case of her son, King Charles III, the interval will be shorter. Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday that the ceremony, in which Camilla will also be crowned Queen Consort, is to take place on May 6, also at Westminster Abbey.

It is a tradition with 900 years of history that combines pageantry with elements of a religious nature, such as the moment when the monarch is anointed. The coronation ceremony of Elizabeth II was broadcast nationally for the first time through the BBC, although the anointing was done off camera.

In recent days, several British media had underscored Charles III’s desire to streamline a ceremony that could be viewed as excessive by many British people today. Buckingham Palace said in its statement that the event will combine ancient and modern elements, and remain “rooted in longstanding traditions” yet also “reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future.”

Elizabeth II’s coronation ceremony lasted three hours. Her son’s, according to sources from the British royal house, will be significantly shorter and will feature a greater diversity of guests, with relevant people from Britain’s political and social circles.

Queen Consort Camila will be crowned at the same time in a simpler ceremony. One of the first acts performed by Charles III as soon as he acceded to the throne was to confirm his mother’s wishes that Camilla should have the title of queen consort, following a tradition with the wives of kings. The bad public image that Camilla endured for years in connection with Charles and Lady Diana’s breakup led to the belief that, when the time came, Camilla would only receive the title of princess consort.

Charles III will be 74 years old on May 6, making him the oldest monarch to ever be crowned in the UK. The ceremony will be officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.


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