In less than two months, King Charles’s coronation will take place at Westminster Abbey. Plenty of royals and celebrities will be in attendance, though the major talking point where the guests are concerned is if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be there after the past few months of attacks on the Royal Family.
Buckingham Palace has released some details about the coronation, though many question marks remain regarding some of the roles different members of the Royal Family will take on. Reports suggest that Prince George – King Charles’ grandson – might even have a part to play.
At the time of writing, it’s been suggested that Camilla might also have her grandchildren get their time in the spotlight. She is said to have requested that four of them perform a very special duty – though one royal expert has warned the future queen that it might anger a significant amount of people.
The coronation for King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, will be the first in nearly 70 years. The last time it happened was when the late Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on June 2, 1953, at Westminster Abbey in London. On May 6, royal fans worldwide will tune in to see a new king and queen, though the question of Camilla’s actual title has been hotly debated.
King Charles & Camilla Queen Consort’s coronation
It’s been reported that Camilla will be officially known as “Queen” after her and King Charles’ coronation on May 6. However, other reports suggest that she might drop the “Consort” in her title even before the coronation.
According to the Express Royal Correspondent and expert Richard Palmer, it’s likely that Camilla’s title will change before the coronation. Though he said, “no official word from the Palace on that,” he suggests that a change is coming.
“Some papers refer to her as the Queen. I think they will drop the Consort at some point. Every queen consort has just been known as The Queen,” Palmer said on the Express podcast Royal Round-Up.
Camilla has been accepted by the public and is today recognized as one of the most popular members of the Royal Family. Following the Queen’s passing, she symbolized strength and courage and continued to serve the crown significantly.
“A case of putting some distance between her death and how Camilla is described,” Palmer added.
“By the Coronation, they will just be calling her the Queen.”
Ever since the Queen’s death, speculation surrounding what Charles’ coronation might look like has been rampant. Finally, Buckingham Palace revealed details of the first royal coronation in over 70 years – and it looks set to be a big one.
The coronation – an “occasion for celebration and pageantry”
On May 6, there will first be a “Coronation Big Lunch” and a “Coronation Concert” the day after.
Moreover, Brits will get an extra bank holiday on Monday and are invited to join “The Big Help Out,” which entails volunteering in their communities.
“Across the Coronation Weekend, there will be further opportunities for people to come together in celebration of the historic occasion. On Sunday, May 7, 2023, a special Coronation Concert will be staged and broadcast live at Windsor Castle by the BBC and BBC Studios, with several thousand pairs of tickets to be made available via public ballot,” Buckingham Palace wrote in a statement.
“The Coronation Big Lunch, at which neighbors and communities are invited to share food and fun together, will take place across the country on the same date.”
The coronation will occur at Westminster Abbey and is to be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
It will be “a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry.” As the Palace describes, it will “reflect the Monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.”
As reported by CNN, the above line has been interpreted by experts differently. Some argue it’s a hint that Charles’ coronation will be very much different from the one Queen Elizabeth had. That includes a shorter ceremony than the one for Her Majesty, which lasted for about three hours.
So what will Charles and Camilla do on the big day, May 6?
May 6 coronation – events, date, times
First, they will arrive at Westminster from Buckingham Palace, a journey known as “The King’s procession.”
Royals and other prominent guests will be waiting at Westminster – the subsequent ceremony consists of several parts.
First comes the Recognition, where King Charles – standing beside the Coronation Chair – will be presented to the people gathered at the Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
“God Save The King” will be shouted – and trumpet sounds will fill the historical church.
Then it will be time for Charles to take the oath. Now, there isn’t one strict format or wording to the oath; it has varied over the centuries. Queen Elizabeth II, for example, swore to rule according to law, exercise justice with mercy, and maintain the Church of England. It’s been assumed, however, that Charles’s oath will be similar to his mother’s.
Next, the ceremony moves on with the Anointing. At that point, the king’s ceremonial robe will be removed, and he will take his place in the Coronation Chair. A golden cloth is held over the chair to conceal Charles from the guests and television cameras in the Abbey.
Then, the Archbishop of Canterbury anoints the king’s head, breast, and hands with holy oil. The recipe for the oil is still a secret, but according to the BBC, it contains ambergris, orange flowers, roses, jasmine, and cinnamon.
King Charles and Camilla are to be anointed and crowned
Once the King has been anointed, he will be presented with several items, including the Royal Orb – which represents moral and religious authority – the Sceptre – representing power – and the Sovereign’s Sceptre, which is a symbol of justice and mercy.
Lastly, Charles will be presented with St Edward’s Crown, which the Archbishop will place on his head. King Charles will then stand up, leave the Coronation Chair, and move to his throne. Peers then kneel before him to pay homage.
The ceremony will then continue, with Camilla being anointed and crowned. She will be the first queen consort crowned in nearly 90 years.
Together, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will return to Buckingham Palace in a ceremonial procession known as “The Coronation Procession.”
Other members of the Royal Family will join in the procession. Many yet wonder if Harry and Meghan will be there to celebrate Charles and Camilla’s big day, though the Palace is still to officially comment on the matter.
“It would help Charles a lot in terms of his image if Harry and Meghan were there,” royal historian Kate Williams previously told CNN.
In the months leading up to the coronation, questions have also been raised over what crown Camilla will wear.
Controversy over Camilla’s crown
In February, Buckingham Palace announced that Camilla would be crowned with Queen Mary’s Crown on May 6. It is set with 2,200 diamonds and was worn by Queen Mary for the coronation alongside her husband, King George V, in 1911.
The crown will be altered for the coronation, however. Queen Mary’s Crown will honor the late Queen Elizabeth, as the headpiece will be replaced with diamonds Cullinan III, IV, and V. They were a part of the late monarch’s personal jewelry collection. She often wore them as brooches, as reported by People.
In the past, a new crown was commissioned anytime a Queen Consort was to be crowned – this will be the first time in recent history an existing crown will be used as the Palace has stated it is “in the interests of sustainability and efficiency.”
Previously, it was suggested that Camilla might wear the Koh-i Nûr diamond, one of the largest cut diamonds in the world, in her crown. The Queen mother’s crown for her 1937 coronation featured a diamond.
The diamond came into British possession in 1849 when the East India Company took it from a 10-year-old boy named Maharaja Duleep Singh, a ruler of the Sikh Empire. It was surrendered to Queen Victoria as a part of their peace treaty. However, historians have suggested that the diamond is only a symbol of conquest, and India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan have claimed ownership of it.
“The coronation of Camilla and the use of the crown jewel Koh-i-Nûr brings back painful memories of the colonial past,” a source from the Bharatiya Janata Party in India told The Telegraph last year.
“Most Indians have very little memory of the oppressive past. Five to six generations of Indians suffered under multiple foreign rules for over five centuries. The coronation of the new Queen Camilla and the use of the Koh-i-Nûr do transport a few Indians back to the days of the British Empire in India,” the source added.
Camilla’s grandchildren to have a part in the coronation?
It has been reported that Prince George, son of Prince William and grandson of King Charles, will have some sort of role in the coronation. New reports also suggest that Camilla’s grandchildren might be involved.
Camilla has two children, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes. She has five grandchildren; Tom’s two children, Lola and Freddy; Laura’s daughter Eliza, and twins Louis and Gus. It has previously been revealed that they call her by her nickname, “GaGa.”
According to the Daily Star, Camilla has suggested that Lola and Eliza, both 15, as well as Freddy and twins Louis and Gus, all 13, could hold the canopy above her head as she is anointed with holy oil.
However, royal expert Kinsey Schofield says that Camilla might be taking a step too far away from royal tradition by doing so.
However, she also claims that Camilla’s plan for having her grandchildren play that big a role in the coronation might go under the radar, as much of the discourse appears to be about Harry and Meghan.
“You will anger and disappoint a significant amount of people”
“I can’t help but ask myself after reading Spare if much of the hype surrounding Harry and Meghan’s ‘will they/won’t they’ coronation plans is a buffer to distract from stories like dropping the word consort or including Camilla’s grandchildren… but not all of the King’s,” Schofield told the Daily Star.
She added: “The Royal Family’s value is in their traditions. Traditions and ceremonies that the world envies. When they sway too far from those customs, you will anger and disappoint a significant amount of people that feel like those actions strip away at the mystique.”
No one yet knows if Harry and Meghan will be at the coronation. Differing reports suggest that Charles has or has not invited them, while others claim Harry and Meghan have already said yes. Others still say the couple has declined the invitation.
Though Camilla’s grandchildren have gotten more attention in recent years, Schofield suggests that they won’t interest the royal fans watching.
“Camilla’s popularity may have increased, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be any interest in her grandchildren,” the royal expert said.
“Nepo babies obviously exist, but if you look at the success of Princess Diana’s nieces, Ladies Kitty Spencer, Amelia Spencer, and Eliza Spencer… they all share a striking resemblance to their Aunt Diana, who is universally adored.”
Kinsey Schofield concluded: “I think people have come to accept Camilla but likely don’t love and respect her the way they did Queen Elizabeth or Princess Diana. I also don’t think Camilla cares. She is perfectly content with where she is in her life. She is happy with her heart.”
King Charles has the power to give royal titles to Camilla’s children
Camilla’s two children, Tom and Laura, aren’t keen on living in the royal spotlight. However, Laura was very much involved in the wedding of William and Kate Middleton in 2011, as her youngest daughter Eliza was a flower girl. Laura and her husband, Harry Lopes, also attended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May 2018.
Though Tom and Laura are “only normal” citizens today, King Charles will have the power and opportunity to bestow royal titles upon his step-children, according to the Express.
That means that Laura and Tom, in other words, could become a duchess/duke or maybe a countess/count during Charles’ reign.
We don’t know if this will happen or if Laura and her brother Tom even want it. At a glance, it looks like they are pretty happy not to be a part of the inner royal sphere. But, as we all know, of course, such things can change quickly.
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