It is a historic event: Charles and Camilla have been crowned king and queen – before the eyes of numerous prominent guests from all over the world. But there are also protests.
Centuries-old traditions meet political and show celebrities from all over the world: Charles and Camilla were crowned king and queen in a historic ceremony in London. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, placed the Edwardian crown and the crown of Queen Mary on them in London’s Westminster Abbey. As part of the ceremony, 74-year-old Charles was anointed with holy oil, and his eldest son, heir to the throne Prince William, dressed his father in royal robes.
Three grandchildren for Charles
The children of William and Princess Kate were once again delighted. Charlotte, 8, and Louis, 5, sat in the front row with their parents during the service and sang along to the national anthem “God Save the King” at the top of their lungs. Nine-year-old Prince George had a special role: he and three other boys served as his grandfather Charles’ page of honour. Later, all three grandchildren, along with their cousins, waved to the cheering crowds from the balcony.
After the two-hour service, the royal couple drove to Buckingham Palace in the 261-year-old Golden State Coach, which is only used for coronations. Charles’ sister Princess Anne rode behind the carriage, despite the rain. Thousands of soldiers from the British Army and the Commonwealth countries marched in the magnificent procession. “These are also pictures that we don’t see otherwise,” said royal house expert Leontine von Schmettow on ARD. “And that’s all the splendor that we associate with Great Britain.”
“Down with the Crown” – protest and arrests
But not everyone likes this splendor. Although the length of the coronation procession for King Charles III. only about a quarter of the distance that his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, traveled 70 years ago. Nevertheless, opponents of the monarchy used the day for protests, with chants such as “Down with the Crown” being demonstrated in several British cities. In London, the police arrested 52 demonstrators, which caused heavy criticism.
“This is something you would expect in Moscow, but not in London,” Human Rights Watch UK director Yasmine Ahmed said in a statement. “Peaceful protests allow people to hold those in power accountable. It’s something the UK government seems increasingly reluctant to do.”
Civil rights activist Peter Tatchell tweeted that the police had erected huge barriers to cover banners critical of the monarchy. “The right to peaceful protest suppressed. Shame!” The London police had announced a rigorous crackdown on people who they believed wanted to disrupt the coronation.
Crowned heads and a strolling Harry
But tens of thousands of others were celebrating royalty, flocking to central London to catch a glimpse of Charles, Camilla and the other royals. If you wanted a good view of the procession, you had to secure your spot on The Mall early in the morning.
It was more comfortable for the invited guests in the church, who traveled to the coronation from all over the world. Among them were royalty such as Willem-Alexander and Máxima of the Netherlands and Felipe and Letizia of Spain. King Carl Gustaf and his daughter Victoria came from Sweden. Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary came for the Danish royal family, Haakon and Mette-Marit traveled for the Norwegians. Charles’ younger son Prince Harry attended the ceremony alone, while his wife Meghan stayed in the United States with their two children.
As expected, Harry wasn’t there later when the royal family presented themselves on the palace balcony and waved to the fans. According to British media, he immediately made his way home to the United States after the coronation. It had previously been read that Harry wanted to fly home immediately as his son Prince Archie celebrated his fourth birthday on Coronation Day.
Political celebrities and British bad weather
The guest list showed that the British monarchy also has political significance worldwide. The ceremony included French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former British Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Tony Blair, US First Lady Jill Biden and the wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy , Olena Selenska. Show stars such as Nick Cave, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie were also guests at the ceremony.
Charles has been king since his mother’s death on September 8, 2022. The coronation merely symbolizes his assumption of office. It is the first coronation of a British monarch in 70 and the first of a king in 86 years. Since there is no such coronation ritual in the royal families of other countries, the celebration was a unique and historic event for most of the guests.
Two fans of the Royals announced in the morning: “It’s a British holiday, of course it will rain!” And that’s how it happened. Because of the bad weather, the military aerobatic squadron had to be smaller than planned. Only the “Red Arrows” and helicopters could be seen against a cloudy gray sky. The royal family smiled and marveled as the planes sprayed the colors of the Union Jack national flag – blue, white and red – into the sky.
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.