Today’s rain and cool temperatures didn’t dampen spirits for the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
A quick peek at the Prince and Princess of Wales as they arrived at Westminster Abbey.
We begin with coverage of visiting royals at today’s ceremony. Below, Crown Princess Victoria and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.
King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan.
King Philippe of Belgium and Queen Mathilde.
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko of Japan, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia.
From Spain, King Felipe and Queen Letizia.
A closer look at Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary.
King King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema from Bhutan.
Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.
King Letsie III and Masenate Mohato Seeiso, Queen of Lesotho.
King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand and Queen Suthida.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco.
Queen Anne-Marie, Crown Prince Pavlos, and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.
President Michael D. Higgins of Ireland.
Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Jodie Haydon.
From New Zealand, Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro, the first Māori woman to hold the office. On her left, her husband, Dr. Richard Davies, followed by Chris Hipkins, the country’s Prime Minister.
Dr. Jill Biden and her granddaughter, Finnegan Biden.
Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council, Penny Mordaunt. Ms. Mordaunt will carry the 17th-Century Sword of State into the Abbey in the King’s Procession.
Celebrities in attendance included Edward Enninful OBE and entertainer Katy Perry (in Vivienne Westwood). Carole and Michael Middleton.
James Middleton and Pippa Matthews.
Now we look at the arrivals of royal family members. Below, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
The Prince and Princess’s children, Lady Gabriella Kingston and Lord Frederick Windsor.
Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank.
Princess Beatrice, her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and Prince Harry.
In this photo, you see the Princess with her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.
The Duke of Edinburgh, his daughter, Lady Louise, and son James, Earl of Wessex.
In this photo, you can see both the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.
As guests were seated at the Abbey, the procession to Westminster Abbey with the King and Queen Consort got underway. They were riding in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach drawn by six Windsor Grey horses: Icon, Shadow, Milford Haven, Echo, Knightsbridge, and Tyrone.
More from The Guardian’s coverage.
Tens of thousands of people crammed into the Mall and along a procession route from Buckingham Palace to the abbey, many camping overnight to secure a good view of the parade. It involved 4,000 armed forces personnel and 19 military bands, the most at any state occasion since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
They were accompanied by the Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 6, 2023
Back to the events at Westminster Abbey, here you see the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester walk to their seats.
Princess Anne and Sir Tim.
A wave from Prince Louis as the Wales family arrives.
— ITV News (@itvnews) May 6, 2023
You don’t see Prince George in these photos because he was fulfilling his duties as one of the eight Pages of Honour.
A final look from Prince Louis on his way into the Abbey.
A quick video.
— ITV News (@itvnews) May 6, 2023
And a look at Wales family in the back of the Abbey.
Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Royal family members as they await the arrival of the Wales family and then the King and Queen. This photo shows Princess Alexandra, the Duke of Kent, and Prince Andrew (I did not find individual pictures of them arriving).
The Wales family in their chairs.
Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte.
Dean of Westminster David Hoyle (L) and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby await the arrival of their Majesties’ carriage.
Exiting the carriage and getting arranged to walk into the Abbey is no easy feat. Below, the King as he arrived, wearing the Robe of State worn by King George in 1937 atop a Crimson Coronation Tunic and cream silk overshirt with Royal Naval trousers.
And the Queen.
And then up the steps.
The Procession inside Westminster Abbey.
St. Edward’s Crown was carried in the procession by Nicholas Lyons, Lord Mayor of the City of London.
The service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who gave a greeting from the High Altar, welcoming the congregation. The choir, joined by Sir Bryn Terfel, sang the ‘Kyrie,’ which was sung in Welsh for the first time. In the ‘recognition’ portion of the service, the King was recognized as the true Monarch.
The King turns to each of the four points of the compass before The Archbishop of Canterbury proclaims him the ‘undoubted King’. The congregation shouts ‘God Save King Charles!’. pic.twitter.com/g6PiBLVjKu
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 6, 2023
During the ‘Oath’ portion, the King swore to govern the people with justice and mercy, and to uphold the Anglican Church of England and the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The New York Times reports, “I come not to be served, but to serve,” Charles said in his first remarks of the ceremony, setting the theme for the intimate yet grand proceedings.
More from this NY Times piece.
During the service, Charles swore to uphold the Church of England, although the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, encouraged the king to “foster an environment in which people of all faiths and beliefs can live freely.” It was one of several modifications to the liturgy, as the church and Buckingham Palace sought to adapt a 1,000-year-old service to today’s pluralistic world.
Members of the Royal Family during the service.
The Bishop of London read the Gospel.
Before the Anointing, the most sacred portion of the service, a screen was put in place.
The screen was handmade by the Royal School of Needlework—more from the Monarchy website.
The central design takes the form of a tree which includes 56 representing the 56 member countries of the Commonwealth. The King’s cypher is positioned at the base of the tree, representing the Sovereign as servant of their people.
The BBC reports, “The King’s ceremonial robe is removed and he sits in the Coronation Chair to be anointed. It’s a way of emphasizing the spiritual status of the sovereign, who is also the head of the Church of England.” A video.
The most sacred part of the Coronation Service, The Archbishop of Canterbury anoints His Majesty’s hands, chest and head with holy oil in the Coronation Chair.
Regarded as a moment between the Sovereign and God, the Anointing Screen protects the sanctity of this act. pic.twitter.com/PqC8QXSByX
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 6, 2023
The next portion of the service was the Investiture, when the King is dressed in symbolic vestments, and presented with items of Regalia, each a visible reminder of his role and his responsibility to God. The Monarchy website details the regalia:
- The Supertunica: a coat of gold silk reflecting the splendor of Christ.
- The Armills: gold bracelets representing sincerity and wisdom.
- The Sovereign’s Orb symbolizes the Christian world.
- The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Dove represents The King’s spiritual role.
- The Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross represents His Majesty’s worldly power.
In the Crowning portion of the service, St. Edward’s Crown is placed on the King’s head by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The 360-year-old crown is solid 22-carat gold and weighs almost 5 pounds.
From the BBC’s coverage.
All the talk about a coronation revolves around this moment, when that 17th-Century crown, a flurry of gold and jewels, is put upon the monarch’s head. It’s only used for this occasion, before returning to the Tower of London.
Prince William pledged his loyalty, kneeling before the King and saying, “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.”
“Thank you, William”
– King Charles III to his son after he kissed his father’s cheek following the Homage of Royal Blood ceremony at the coronation pic.twitter.com/8D6ISf7fph
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 6, 2023
He then placed his hand on St. Edward’s Crown.
This was followed by the Coronation of the Queen. Below, the Duke of Wellington carrying Queen Mary’s Crown, originally made for the wife of King George V.
The Archbishop placed Queen Mary’s Crown on her head.
The former Bishop of London, Lord Chartres, and the Bishop of Dover, The Rt. Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin presented the Queen with The Queen’s Sceptre with Cross and The Queen’s Rod with Dove.
This was followed by communion and the conclusion of the service. The procession to exit the Abbey begins.
The Wales family leaving the service.
The King and Queen started the procession back to Buckingham Palace, riding in the Gold State Coach, used at every coronation since that King William IV’s in 1831.
Riding immediately behind the Gold State Coach: Princes Anne. She had the honor of being named the “Gold-Stick-in-Waiting.”
More from People’s story.
The prestigious position, which Princess Anne has held since 1998, dates back to the 15th century when two officers — a Gold Stick and a Silver Stick — were placed close to the monarch to protect them from harm.
Princess Anne led 6,000 armed services personnel through the streets of London in the procession
The military display was tremendous.
The Wales family rode in the Australian State Coach.
The Princess of Wales.
A closer look at the Wales childrenThe crowds were large despite the rain.
The King and Queen then appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Other Royal Family members joined them.
The look on Charlotte’s face is priceless as she gazes at her younger brother.
The Duke of Edinburgh, Lady Louise, James, Earl of Wessex, the Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Charlotte, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Princess of Wales, Prince Louis, and the Prince of Wales.
Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy, a cousin of the late Queen. In the center, the Duke of Kent, another cousin of the late Queen. On the right, Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, wife of the Duke of Gloucester.
Prince George and fellow Pages Oliver Cholmondeley, Nicholas Barclay, and Ralph Tollemache.
The Prince and Princess.
Sadly, most of the planned fly-past was canceled because of the weather. Only a group of helicopters and the Red Arrows were able to take part.
Now to what people wore for the big day, beginning with the Queen.
She was in a gown by Bruce Oldfield—more from this People story.
Camilla’s dress was simple and tailored with curved shape-lines swooping into a short train, which was designed to compliment both of the robes she wore during the service.
Queen Camilla changed into a Robe of Estate before she and the King, 74, exited Westminster Abbey. They continued the coronation tradition by using two sets of robes during the church service.
If you look closely, you’ll see the embroidery includes two dogs.
We return to the People story.
The Queen Consort, 75, included her rescue dogs, Bluebell and Beth, with two embroidered gold Jack Russell Terriers near the trim of her gown.
She adopted Beth in 2011 and Bluebell a year later from South London’s famous Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, which she has visited regularly.
This is the first time in recent history that an existing crown was used for the Coronation of a Consort instead of a new commission being made.
The Queen did have the crown reset. In tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Cullinan III, IV, and V diamonds were used. They were part of Queen Elizabeth II’s personal jewellery collection for many years and were often worn by Her late Majesty as brooches.
More on the Queen’s jewelry necklace and earrings from the New York Times.
Camilla’s diamond necklace, which includes a 22.48-carat pendant, was made by Garrard in 1858 for Queen Victoria, and, along with matching earrings, is part of the “coronation suite.” It was also worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation in 1953.
The necklace and earrings when on display at Windsor Castle last year.
The Queen wore shoes by British designer Elliot Zed, made of the same silk fabric as the dress.
We now look at what the Princess of Wales wore.
The Princess of Wales is wearing an Alexander McQueen dress in ivory silk crepe with silver bullion and threadwork embroidery featuring rose, thistle, daffodil, and shamrock motifs, with the Royal Victorian Order Mantle.
More on the look from this column by The Telegraph’s fashion director, Bethan Holt.
At the request of the King and Queen, both the Princess and her husband, the Prince of Wales, are wearing formal robes and mantels to the Coronation ceremony, a decision which underscores their status as the next in line to the throne and sets them apart from the rest of the congregation who are wearing day dress. At coronations past, all female attendees would have worn robes, ivory dresses and coronets or tiaras.
This is one of the few moments in the Princess’s royal life that she has had a blank canvas for a big royal occasion, unhindered by past direct comparisons to Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth. The last Princess of Wales to attend a coronation was in 1902, when the-then Princess Mary wore a pearl encrusted gown with braid detailing to the crowning of her father-in-law King Edward VII.
One hundred and twenty one years later, the Princess of Wales has set a new template with a dress which will be remembered as one of the most important of her lifetime.
Both the Princess of Wales and her daughter wore headpieces by milliner Jess Collett and Alexander McQueen that featured three-dimensional leaf embroidery. They were made with silver bullion, crystals, and silver thread.
More on the headpiece from this Telegraph column by Lisa Armstrong; the quotes are from Jess Collett.
The Coronation headdress is made from tulle, embroidered by the team at Alexander McQueen – who designed the Princess’s Coronation robes – on both sides with bullion (a fine silver wire thread) . “It was amazing working with the embroiderers at McQueen – they’re so skilled.” What made the headpieces magical was the clear crystals that were scattered among the leaves. “They caught the light and I think that’s why they captured the imagination and gave them a fairy-tale, tiara-like effect.”
A look at the Princess’s updo.
More from this Telegraph story by Annabel Jones.
The intricacy of the Princess of Wales’s tiara, a silver bullion and crystal embroidered headpiece by Jess Collett for Alexander McQueen, was held proudly in place by her intricate updo, a true work of hair artistry that will go down as one of the Princess’s finest style moments, trumped only – and that’s debatable – by her wedding day hair.
A spectacle from every angle, the Coronation chignon, which mimicked the intricacy of her silver leaf headpiece, epitomised regal modernity.
An ode to the late Queen Elizabeth II, from the side the Princess’s updo is a contemporary interpretation of the silhouette which Elizabeth II became renowned for during her reign.
The dimensions will have been minutely calculated leaving nothing to chance. Subtle height at the crown of the head balances out the gravitas of the headpiece without overshadowing it, and allows glimpses of the Princess’s hair to be visible when her head is turned to the side, ensuring that her headpiece doesn’t drown her features.
Many recognized the earrings, the South Sea Pearl and Diamond pair that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales.
Princess Charlotte also wore Alexander McQueen, an ivory silk crepe dress and cape with rose, thistle, daffodil, and shamrock embroidery. I will have more in a What Kate’s Kids Wore post.
The Prince of Wales wore the Ceremonial dress uniform of the Welsh Guards, made from Hainsworth Scarlet Wool Doeskin. The single-breasted style has a stand-up collar with a silver leek, the emblem of the Welsh Guards, embroidered on the collar.
Because this became so long, I will do a separate post featuring fashion information for other guests and participants and some of the things I have to leave out because of the post’s length.
Kensington Palace posted a lovely video late this afternoon.
What. A. Day.
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) May 6, 2023
Buckingham Palace also posted a quick video.
What a #Coronation
Thank you to everyone who made today so special
— Department for Culture, Media and Sport (@DCMS) May 6, 2023
NOTE: The post has been corrected to reflect the Wales family traveling in the Australian State Coach, not the Diamond Jubilee Coach as originally written.
The full video is available on the Monarchy’s YouTube channel for anyone who missed yesterday’s service or wants to watch it again.
The full Kyrie sung by the choir with Sir Bryn Terfel.