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King Charles III expected to be crowned on June 3 next year in London

Oct. 5, 2022 Updated Wed., Oct. 5, 2022 at 8:16 p.m.

By Kitty Donaldson Washington Post

King Charles III is expected to be crowned on June 3 next year in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey, U.K. officials said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity before a public announcement, the government officials said plans are converging on that Saturday near the start of the summer, although discussions over which other days will become official holidays are still going on. Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

The coronation, almost 70 years to the day after his mother was crowned, will form the centerpiece of days of celebration to mark the beginning of the monarch’s reign. Charles acceded to the throne and was named king last month following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

By June next year the king will be 74, making him the oldest person to be crowned in British history. It has been widely reported that the coronation will be a smaller, more modest version of earlier ceremonies, with space for representatives of different faiths and community groups in line with modern Britain’s diversity. Charles will be crowned alongside his wife, the Queen Consort, Camilla.

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 hold only about 2,000, providing a headache for planners.

The U.K. Foreign Office spent days devising the seating plan for the Queen’s funeral, mindful of diplomatic hierarchies and protocol.

The coronation ceremony itself is rich in tradition. 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 by senior clergy, Charles will have the crown of St Edward placed on his head.

St Edward’s Crown – named for the last Anglo-Saxon king, Edward the Confessor – is made of solid gold and features over 400 gemstones, including rubies, garnets and sapphires. The version that will be used next year was originally made for Charles II in 1661, is 30 centimeters tall and weighs 2.23 kilograms. It is usually kept under guard in the Tower of London.

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