King Charles III delivers his address to the nation
King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace, London. Image Credit: Reuters file photo

London: King Charles III's coronation will take place on May 6 in a millennium-old ceremony at London's Westminster Abbey.

The monarch will be crowned alongside his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, with proceedings due to be overseen by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday in a statement.

Charles - who acceded to the throne and was named king last month following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II - will be 74 at the time of the ceremony making him the oldest person to be crowned in British history.

"The coronation will reflect the monarch's role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry," the palace said.

The coronation will be a solemn religious service, though the occasion will also be marked by celebration and pomp. It will include the same core elements that it has for over a thousand years, though the British media has reported that it's likely to be a smaller, more modest affair.

Charles is due to sign a proclamation formally declaring the date of the coronation at a meeting of the Privy Council later this year. Officials had previously been planning for the event to be on June 3 but an earlier date was chosen due to concerns the weather may be too hot, according to a person familiar with the government's planning.

For the last 900 years, the ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey and since 1066, it has almost always been conducted by the Archbishop. The coronation traditionally takes place some months after accession to the throne, following a period of national mourning and allowing time for the ceremony to be prepared.

The king is seated on a throne known as Edward's Chair, holding the sovereign's scepter and rod - to represent his constitutional control of the nation - and the sovereign's orb - to represent the Christian world. After being anointed with oil, blessed and consecrated, Charles will have the crown of Saint Edward placed on his head.

When Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953 more than 8,000 guests from 129 nations traveled to Westminster Abbey in the center of London, with temporary platforms erected to seat the guests, including every member of the British aristocracy. Safety restrictions mean that nowadays the church can only hold about 2,000 people.