King Charles III ascended to the throne two days after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Sept. 8, but he has yet to be officially crowned as the King of England. Now, amid reports of a potential crowning taking place near the date of his mother’s ceremony, Buckingham Palace announced that King Charles III’s coronation would take place on May 6, 2023, according to a Buckingham Palace statement obtained by the Washington Post. The ceremony will be “rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry” but will also “reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future.” As noted by the Post, May 6 is also the birthday of Charles’s grandson Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, the oldest child of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
A month after Queen Elizabeth died at age 96, Bloomberg ran a report where anonymous British governmental officials said plans were coming together for a June 3, 2023, ceremony at Westminster Abbey. That coronation date would be almost 70 years to the day when his mother was crowned.
This upcoming ceremony will make King Charles the oldest person to be crowned in British history. The Bloomberg report also hinted at this smaller affair, stating that King Charles would opt for “a more modest version of earlier ceremonies, with space for representatives of different faiths and community groups in line with modern Britain’s diversity.” Charles would be crowned alongside his wife, Camilla, Queen Consort.
Though Charles reportedly has a toned-down ceremony, it will still be full of pomp and circumstance. He will be seated on a throne known as Edward’s Chair, where he will hold the sovereign’s scepter and rod — representing his constitutional control of the nation – and the sovereign’s orb, which represents the Christian world. After senior clergy anoint Charles with oil and bless him, the crown will be placed on his head, officially making him King Charles III.
The crown – St. Edward’s Crown – is made of solid gold and features over 400 gemstones. It’s named after the last Anglo-Saxon King, Edward the Confessor, and the version that Charles will reportedly use was made in 1661. It’s 30 centimeters tall (roughly 12 inches) and weighs about five pounds.
In his first address as King, Charles celebrated his family. “I am proud to create [Prince William], Prince of Wales,” he said. “With [Kate Middleton] beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will—I know—continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given. I want also to express my love for [Prince Harry] and [Meghan Markle] as they continue to build their lives overseas.”
“Throughout her life, Her Majesty, the Queen, my beloved mother was an inspiration to all my family,” said Charles, “and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother for her love, affection, guidance, understanding, and example. Queen Elizabeth’s was a life well lived, a promise with Destiny kept, and she is mourned most deeply in her passing.”