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Britain's King Charles III stands in front of the plane after arriving at Berlin Airport in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, March 29, 2023. King Charles III won plenty of hearts during his three-day visit to Germany, his first foreign trip since becoming king. Image Credit: AP

With around a month until King Charles III’s coronation, plans are at an advanced stage to mark his historic accession to the throne - Britain’s first in seven decades.

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla
Britain's King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla pose for a picture in the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, London, Britain, in this undated handout picture obtained by Reuters April 4, 2023. Image Credit: Reuters/Buckingham Palace

Charles, 74, immediately became king when Queen Elizabeth died aged 96 last September, ending her record-breaking 70-year reign following a period of declining health. But a British monarch’s coronation traditionally takes place some months later, after national and royal mourning as well as intense preparation.

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Britain's King Charles III (L) and Britain's Camilla (R), Queen Consort, greet wellwishers from the balcony of the city Hall, in Hamburg, northern Germany on March 31, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

Three-day celebration

The early May coronation weekend will feature a star-studded concert, nationwide “big lunch” and volunteering initiative, as well as the traditional ceremony and royal processions. The three days of ceremonial, celebratory and community events have been heralded by Buckingham Palace as a chance for “people to come together in celebration of the historic occasion”.

Britain's King Charles III greets President Michael D Higgins during a Service of Reflection for the life of Queen Elizabeth II at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast on September 13, 2022, during his visit to Northern Ireland. Image Credit: AFP

It will begin with Charles’ formal crowning at London’s Westminster Abbey on Saturday May 6, in a tradition dating back more than 900 years. The next day will then see a “special coronation concert” staged at Windsor Castle, west of London, to be produced and broadcast live by the BBC and featuring “global music icons and contemporary stars,” the palace has said. Charles will wear the St Edward’s Crown.

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King Charles III of Great Britain, right, looks at a cake made especially for his visit in the Brodowin eco-village Germany, Thursday, March 30, 2023. A heavy thunderstorm with lightning and thunder upset the strict protocol of the royal visit to the in Brandenburg. (Jens Buettner/DPA via AP, Pool) Image Credit: AP

Also on May 7, neighbours and communities will be invited to host thousands of “coronation big lunches”, billed as a “nationwide act of celebration and friendship”. The final part of coronation weekend, dubbed “the big help out”, will be held on Monday May 8 - designated a UK public holiday this year.

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Tower Captain Paul Flavell (L) teaches Charlotte Mafi during a bell ringing training session at All Saints Church, in Kingston-upon-Thames, in southwest London, on March 25, 2023. - At the top of 52 steep, narrow stone steps at All Saints' church near London, expert bell ringers are putting two new recruits through their paces ahead of King Charles III's coronation. The novices are just two of over 1,000 people who had their interest piqued by the appeal for new recruits by the UK's Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. (Photo by Justin TALLIS / AFP) Image Credit: AFP

Organised by community forums and various faith groups, it will “highlight the positive impact volunteering has on communities across the nation”.

Scaled-down ceremony

In another sign of Charles’s eagerness for a streamlined monarchy, his coronation ceremony will be shorter and less elaborate than the one staged for his late mother in 1953. Then, proceedings lasted almost three hours, drew 8,251 official guests crammed into temporary tiers and included representatives from 129 nations and territories.

Instead, the palace confirmed Tuesday it will be inviting a mere 2,000 guests, while the service is set to last around an hour.

Coronation invite
This photo released by Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, April 4, 2023 displays the invitation to the Coronation of Britain's King Charles III in Westminster Abbey. King Charles III’s wife has been officially identified as Queen Camilla for the first time, with Buckingham Palace using the title on invitations for the monarch’s May 6 coronation.

Alongside releasing a new photograph of Charles and Queen Consort Camilla taken last month, Buckingham Palace also unveiled the formal invitation to be dispatched “in due course”.

Designed by heraldic artist and manuscript illuminator Andrew Jamieson, it features the motif of “the Green Man”, an ancient figure from British folklore, “symbolic of spring and rebirth, to celebrate the new reign,” the palace noted.

Guest list

Set to be watched worldwide, various global dignitaries including political leaders, heads of state and other monarchs and civil society representatives will be in attendance. The palace is yet to release a list of those invited.

190722 Prince George
The palace also announced Tuesday that Charles’ eldest grandson Prince George - Prince William and wife Kate’s nine-year-old son - will be one of four Pages of Honour for the king
Major roles for grandchildren
King Charles's grandson Prince George and the grandchildren of the Queen Consort Camilla will play major roles in the coronation of the British monarch next month, Buckingham Palace confirmed on Tuesday.

George, 9, the eldest son of heir to the throne Prince William, will be one of the king's four pages of honour who will accompany him at the grand ceremony on May 6, and join the procession through the nave of London's Westminster Abbey.

Camilla's four pages will be made up of her grandchildren Freddy Parker Bowles, and Gus and Louis Lopes, as well as her great-nephew Arthur Elliot.

Britain’s royal family will obviously be well represented. The palace also announced Tuesday that Charles’ eldest grandson Prince George - Prince William and wife Kate’s nine-year-old son - will be one of four Pages of Honour for the king. Meanwhile, some foreign royals, including Prince Albert of Monaco and Prince Fumihito and his wife Kiko of Japan, have confirmed their attendance.

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In this Friday Dec. 11, 2020 file photo, Britain's Prince William and Kate, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, Prince Louis, left, Princess Charlotte and Prince George arrive for a special pantomime performance at London's Palladium Theatre.

Several European leaders are expected and the United States will be represented by First Lady Jill Biden but without her husband, according to reports. Among the members of the public invited is a teenager who has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for a hospice by camping in his garden every night for three years.

Harry and Meghan?

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It is yet unsure whether Prince Harry and wife Meghan will attend the coronation.

Suspense remains around whether Prince Harry and wife Meghan will travel from their US home to be at the coronation. The controversial California-based couple are increasingly estranged from the rest of the British monarchy, after giving a series of incendiary interviews criticising aspects of the institution.

Harry also published an autobiography earlier this year which, like a prior Netflix docuseries made with his wife, revealed deep rifts within the family. A spokesperson for the pair confirmed last month that they have been invited, but would not say if they had agreed to attend. Talks are taking place with the palace about their roles and over security, according to British media.


Queen Consort Camilla will also be formally crowned on May 6 - wearing Queen Mary’s Crown. More than a century old, it was commissioned by Queen Mary for her 1911 coronation alongside King George V.

Queen Elizabeth II, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, said she wanted Camilla, the wife of her heir Prince Charles, to ultimately be known as Queen Consort. Before the monarch's intervention, it was possible that Camilla could have been the first British queen not to be called queen.

Camilla’s family, through her first marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles, will also be involved, with three of her five grandchildren and a great-nephew serving as her Pages of Honour at the service.