What Will the Ceremony Be Like?
We know that Charles is keen to be seen as a “defender of faiths”—plural—and his spokespeople say he is focused on a ceremony that is multicultural, diverse and inclusive to reflect a more modern-day Britain (and a nation in an extreme cost of living crisis), as well as his ongoing goal of a “slimmed down monarchy.”
The ceremony will see Charles and Camilla crowned side by side in a “solemn religious service” conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, according to the Palace. The event will reportedly clock in at just over an hour, in contrast to his mother’s ceremony that lasted over three hours. There are six major sections to the ceremony: the recognition, oath, anointing, investiture, crowning and homage (you can read more about each one here).
Buckingham Palace shut down earlier reports that key elements of his mother’s coronation that were thought to be too sacred to be broadcast on live television, like the anointing with holy oil, would be shown to the public for the first time.
The crowning and anointing parts of the ceremony will involve a chair from the 1300s, called the Coronation Chair, and a rock that will be brought from Scotland that sits inside the chair, called the Stone of Scone (pronounced "skoon"). Both the Coronation chair and Stone of Scone have been used in crowning ceremonies for hundreds of years. A Coronation Bible will be presented to the King during the Coronation service, who will then place his hand upon the Bible when he takes the Coronation Oath.
Charles will also pay tribute to his late mother and father in various ways throughout the day. The music for the ceremony was personally selected by the King and will include twelve newly commissioned pieces, including a version of the Coronation Anthem by Andrew Llyod Weber and Greek Orthodox music by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble as a tribute to the late Prince Philip (who was born in Greece).
On April 17, the royal family revealed the 84-page official souvenir coronation program, including a family photo from 2018 that features Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. The program is available for purchase at the Royal Collection Shop for £10 (or about $13).
What Will the Royals Wear?
Charles seems especially open to modernizing in the clothing department. The Palace have announced that peers from the House of Lords will not wear crimson-and-ermine robes and coronets, but rather have the option of parliamentary robes (donned for the state opening of Parliament each year) or “standard business dress.” Charles will also ditch the traditional silk stockings and breeches and perhaps opt for a military uniform, according to The Telegraph. He will enter Westminster Abbey in the Robe of State over his uniform, and then change into four other robes throughout the ceremony.
Queen Camilla tapped Bruce Oldfield, one of her go-to designers, to create her custom coronation gown. She recently wore a Bruce Oldfield gown for her British Vogue cover story, as well as during her and King Charles's state visit to Germany in March.
Guests are probably going to be instructed to wear “day dress,” according to The Telegraph, which consists of dresses, trouser suits, hats, morning suits and business attire, and which may give us a clue as to what other members of the royal family, like Prince William and Kate Middleton, will opt to wear.