King Charles III’s coronation is almost upon us, so you may be wondering how London will be celebrating the momentous event. We’ve put together the ultimate London guide to help you navigate the event in the city.
Table of Contents:
- When is King Charles III’s Coronation?
- Where is the Coronation?
- What is a Coronation?
- What Happens at a Coronation?
- Who Will Attend?
- How to Watch the Coronation in Person in London
- Celebrating the Coronation in London
- Travel tips
When is King Charles III’s Coronation?
The coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla will be taking place on Saturday 6th May 2023. The following Monday, 8th May 2023, will be a Bank Holiday.
Where is the 2023 Coronation Taking Place?
The 2023 Coronation will be taking place in Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey has been used for every coronation since 1066, except for Edward V and Edward VIII. That’s 39 in total – soon to be 40!
What is a Coronation?
A coronation is the formal ceremony of crowning a new King or Queen. It’s common to happen quite a few months after the new monarch has ascended the throne.
What Happens at a Coronation?
In the coronation ceremony the King and Queen will arrive at Westminster Abbey following a procession from Buckingham Palace.
Once in the Abbey the royal pair will be crowned using the Crown Jewels. His Majesty the King will wear the St Edwards’s Crown. They’ll be anointed up from Chrism oil that has been consecrated in Jerusalem in March, held in the gold eagle Ampulla.
Who Will Attend?
Roughly 2,000 people will be in attendance at Westminster Abbey for the coronation. These include:
- The Prince and Princess of Wales
- Prince Harry
- Prince George
- Princess Anne
- Foreign royals including Prince Albert & Princess Charlene of Monaco
- Queen Camilla’s children
- Fishing Sunak amd Akshata (the Prime Minister and his wife)
- Humza Yousaf (the First Minister of Scotland)
- Jill Biden, the US First Lady (Joe Biden will not be attending but his wife will represent the US)
- UK religious representatives
- Members of the British public who represent communities and charities, as well as recipients of the British Empire medal
How to Watch the Coronation in Person in London
For those of us not lucky enough to be one of the few public members to be invited into the Abbey there are still ways we can watch the festivities in person in London.
The procession to the Abbey will take Charles and Camilla in the Diamond jubilee state coach. The route will commence from the main gates at Buckingham Palace, go down The Mall, through Admiralty Arch, down Whitehall, along Parliament Street, finishing outside Westminster Abbey where the service begins at 11am.
If 2022’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are anything to go by, the public can expect to stand along the procession route. From our personal experience attending both the Jubilee celebrations and the funeral of Queen Elizabeth in London, we’d recommend getting there very early! If you don’t want to camp out overnight, we’d still say try and get there in the small hours of the morning for a good view (we’re taking 2-3am)!
For previous events the entrances closest to Victoria have been shut and you’ve had to enter through Storey’s Gate, Admiralty Arch, or the hidden entrances on the North side of the park.
The march back will be larger, but will be taking the same route in reverse. It will include armed forces from across the Commonwealth and British overseas territories. This will be in the gold stage coach (commissioned in 1760) and used for every coronation since 1831 of William IV.
How to Celebrate the Coronation in London
London is known for its celebrations of iconic royal events, and we expect the King’s Coronation will be no different.
It’s been approved for pubs, clubs, and bars to be open for extra 2 hours on Friday and Saturday. Giving you plenty more time to indulge in your favourite pint in London’s historic pubs.
There will be light displays at iconic attractions during the “lighting up the nation” event to take place at the same time as the coronation concert in Windsor on the 7th of May.
Royal locations across the city will be celebrating the historic event over the course of the British Summer. With a number of exhibitions planned to take place.
For those interested in how royalty has inflicted fashion over the centuries, you’ll adore the Crown to Couture exhibition taking place at Kensington Palace.
Lambeth Palace will have a library of coronations from the Middle Ages to the present day, for you to explore the history of the crowning of a monarch in the UK.
The Tower of London will have a new display open to the public, opening a few weeks after the Coronation. It will lead toward the Treasury and the Crown Jewels, exploring the history of some of the objects for the first time ever.
Coronation Afternoon Tea at The Cellarium Cafe at Westminster Abbey. With this London afternoon tea you’ll be able to celebrate the coronation in exactly the same place as the King himself. Inspired by the King’s passions, the afternoon tea leans heavily on his work around sustainability.
If you miss out on the procession on Coronation day, don’t worry! Just over a month later there will be the traditional Trooping the Colour For Charles III’s official birthday on the 17th June 2023.
Travel Information for London
As with any big event in London, we expect the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend to be busier than usual – however that shouldn’t put you off visiting!
If you’re looking to get close to the action, the closest main line stations and tube stations to Buckingham Palace, The Mall, and Westminster Abbey are:
- Victoria Station (mainline & tube)
- Waterloo Station (mainline & tube)
- St James’s (tube)
- Westminster (tube)
- Green Park (tube)
- Embankment (tube)
If you want to come to London for the weekend but avoid the larger crowds, the above stations and their surrounding areas are the ones we suggest avoiding.
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