Coronation day: King Charles III, Queen Camilla crowned
King Charles III

Everything that happened at Charles III coronation: King and Camilla crowned, celebration

Coronation day has come and gone. While King Charles III has been monarch from the moment his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died on Sept. 8, 2022, the ceremony Saturday marked a formal confirmation of his role as head of state.

  • It's been 70 years since Britain has crowned a new monarch.
  • The official service began at Westminster Abbey at 6 a.m. EDT.
  • Prominent attendees included first lady Jill Biden, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.
  • Prince Harry attended, but without wife Meghan and their kids.

See below for everything that happened during King Charles and Camilla's coronation.

Biggest moments from the coronation:King Charles and Camilla crowned, Prince Harry arrives

Coronation day winds down, celebration continues

The king and queen retreated from the balcony and the pomp and ceremony began to wind down for the day. The pair was set to enjoy a late lunch.

Meanwhile, the party is far from over. Thousands remained in the streets of London despite unfortunate weather conditions. On Sunday, the coronation concert will carry on the tune of celebration.

— Morgan Hines

King Charles, Queen Camilla, royal family make Buckingham balcony appearance

It's a time-honored tradition for the British royals: the balcony appearance to greet the populace – think coronations, royal weddings, jubilees. Thousands gathered, pressing as close as possible to see Buckingham Palace. The anticipated appearance is often gleeful, but one question cast a shadow over the approaching moment: whether Prince Harry would join his family members despite stepping back from royal duties.

The royal couple walked out together to a roar of applause, leading out their attendants and pages. Other members of the royal family, including the working royals such as Princess Anne, the Prince and Princess of Wales, their children, and cousins of the king, appeared as the rain poured down. Prince Harry and Prince Andrew were not included in the balcony moment.

Britain's King Charles III and Queen Camilla wave to the crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their coronation ceremony, in London, Saturday, May 6, 2023.

The moment included a flyover and a sort of encore appearance with the newly crowned duo coming back out for a final wave set to the tone of the cheers below.

– Morgan Hines

See the photos:King Charles, royal family (not Harry) together on Buckingham Palace balcony

Who paid for the coronation?

The British public is footing the bill for the coronation. There is no official estimate yet of what it cost, though some reports estimate it could top $125 million. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said days before the coronation that some estimates were "more fanciful than others" and that the true cost would be shared later.

The celebration comes as the U.K. weathers a bruising cost-of-living crisis that left many struggling to heat their homes this winter and put food on their tables. But officials are expecting to see a tourism boost, and there is no shortage of coronation-themed events and commemorative products that could ring up additional sales taxes.

– Brian Melley, The Associated Press

George, Charlotte, Louis:See the royal grandchildren on coronation day

4,000-person royal salute to new monarchs

Bagpipes played as troops gathered, walking in unison to take their places on the grounds of Buckingham Palace preparing to give their commander-in-chief a royal salute made up of 4,000 people, including Princess Anne.

Once in formation, facing where King Charles III and Queen Camilla stepped out in full robes and crowns to receive their salute. "Royal salute, present arms," said a uniformed man before music commenced. Most troops removed their headdress before saluting, and a resounding "hooray" rang out.

– Morgan Hines

Is King Charles' coronation a bank holiday?

If you are reading this from the U.S., move along, because it doesn’t really pertain to you. However, for those in the U.K., a bank holiday will take place on Monday, May 8, two days after the ceremony, to mark the coronation of King Charles III, per the BBC. On Monday, members of the public are to be encouraged to join "The Big Help Out" – which is being organized as a nod to Charles’ public service efforts – and volunteer in their local communities.

– Amy Haneline and Morgan Hines

Royal procession to Buckingham Palace

The rain stopped for some time as the newly crowned king and queen processed toward Buckingham Palace while onlookers strove to catch a glimpse or wave a British flag, with some dressed up to fit the theme.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla waved to the crowd from a gilded carriage, the Gold State Coach, used only on the way to Buckingham Palace for the coronation procession. Parade participants bobbed around the carriage in formal dress on horseback while many others walked.

Queen Camilla traveling in the Gold State Coach built in 1760 and used at every Coronation since that of William IV in 1831sets off from Westminster Abbey on route to Buckingham Palace during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6, 2023, in London, England. The Coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and the other Commonwealth realms are at Westminster Abbey today. Charles acceded to the throne on 8 September 2022, upon the death of his mother, Elizabeth II.

In a subsequent carriage, Prince William and Princess Kate rode with their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Princess Anne rode atop a horse following King Charles III, her brother, as she did on the way to the coronation ceremony earlier in the day.

– Morgan Hines

Princess Kate and Princess Charlotte'smatching McQueen moment at the coronation

Congregation sings British National Anthem 'God Save the King' as Charles exits coronation

All attendees at the coronation sang "God Save the King" as King Charles and Queen Camilla left Westminster Abbey for the procession back to Buckingham Palace.

Britain's King Charles III wearing the Imperial state Crown and carrying the Sovereign's Orb and Sceptre leave Westminster Abbey after the coronation in central London Saturday, May 6, 2023. The set-piece coronation is the first in Britain in 70 years, and only the second in history to be televised. Charles will be the 40th reigning monarch to be crowned at the central London church since King William I in 1066.

Read the full lyrics:

God save our gracious King, long live our noble King, God save The King! Send him victorious, happy and glorious, long to reign over us, God save The King! Thy choicest gifts in store on him be pleased to pour, long may he reign: May he defend our laws, and ever give us cause to sing with heart and voice. God save The King!

– Naledi Ushe

Joe Biden congratulates Charles and Camilla on their coronation

President Joe Biden said in a tweet that "the enduring friendship between the U.S. and the U.K. is a source of strength for both our peoples."

First lady Jill Biden, who was representing the United States at the ceremony, called it an honor to be at Westminster Abbey "on this historic day."

– Naledi Ushe

Charles and Camilla take Holy Communion as coronation service nears end

King Charles III and Queen Camilla took holy communion as their coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey neared its end.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, led the congregation in saying the Lord’s Prayer, and the choir sang as the royal couple were presented with bread and wine.

– Sylvia Hui and Brian Melley, The Associated Press

'Not My King' protestors arrestedduring coronation of King Charles III

Camilla is crowned as queen consort

Camilla was coronated in a shorter and simpler ceremony following Charles' crowning. Camilla was crowned with Queen Mary's crown, marking the first time an existing crown was used for the queen consort's coronation.

Britain's Camilla walks wearing a modified version of Queen Mary's Crown during the coronation ceremony.

"May thy servant Camilla, who wears this crown, be filled by thine abundant grace and with all princely virtues; reign in her heart, O King of love, that, being certain of thy protection, she may be crowned with thy gracious favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen," the Archbishop of Canterbury said as he placed the crown on Camilla's head.

Camilla’s title is not changing after coronation. Since her husband became king, she assumed the title Queen Consort Camilla. However Queen Camilla will do. It's nicely alliterative and the "consort" part is understood.

– Naledi Ushe

Prince William kneels before Charles and swears his loyalty

The Prince of Wales, first in line to the British throne, swore his loyalty to Charles in a ceremony known as "The Homage of Royal Blood."

William kneeled before his father, placing his hands in between Charles' hands as he said, "I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God."

Britain's Prince William kisses his father, King Charles III, during his coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, London, Saturday, May 6, 2023.

The ceremonious vow took place shortly after Charles' crowning and "The Homage of The Church of England," which was carried out by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Following William's oath was the "Homage of The People," which is also led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. This is a new addition to the coronation, which invites the general public to declare: "I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God."

– Naledi Ushe

Charles is crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury

Charles was crowned with St. Edward's crown.

"Stand firm, and hold fast from henceforth this seat of royal dignity, which is yours by the authority of Almighty God. May that same God, whose throne endures forever, establish your throne in righteousness, that it may stand fast for evermore," the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said as he placed the crown on Charles' head.

– Naledi Ushe

King Charles III after being crowned as Britain's monarch.

Various items of regalia are presented to Charles

Charles was presented with the sword of state for the jeweled sword of offering, an orb, a glove, a scepter with cross, scepter with dove and more at the coronation altar. 

The king's scepter with a cross "represents the sovereign's temporal power," according to Buckingham Palace, and consists of the Cullinan I diamond set by a heart-shaped gold enamel. Camilla's corresponding cross scepter is pared down with crystals instead of diamonds, with a cross sitting on the top. 

The dove scepter, which is also named "The Rod of Equity and Mercy," is representative of Charles' spiritual duties with the dove signifying the Holy Ghost. Camilla's dove rod will be made of ivory with a dove sitting atop a golden globe. 

King Charles' orb, which weighs almost 3 pounds, and was made in the 17th century. The crown jewel represents the king's power while representing the Christian world as a cross sits atop the sphere. The orb is placed in King Charles' right hand before its placed at the altar.

— Elise Brisco

St Edward's Crown is carried during the coronation ceremony of Britain's King Charles III at Westminster Abbey in London Saturday, May 6, 2023.

Guide of crowns, rings, scepters and other shiny royal jewels

Charles wears two crowns during the ceremony: St. Edward's crown and the Imperial State Crown. The former crown is used for ceremony purposes before being switched out for the Imperial Crown, or Tudor Crown, for the procession back to Buckingham Palace. Camilla wore Queen Mary's Crown. 

For more on the crowns, rings, rods and scepters you see during the ceremony, check out our guide to coronation jewels.

– Elise Brisco

Charles is anointed with a special coronation oil

Archbishop of Canterbury anoints the king in the form of a cross using a special coronation oil behind an anointing screen. The Chrism oil used in his coronation was in Jerusalem in March to be consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III and Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum. The chrism oil, or holy oil, used in Charles’ coronation is based from the same oil that was used in Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953.

Comprised of olives harvested from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, the oil was taken from groves located at the Monastery of the Ascension and the Monastery of Mary Magdalene, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace. The Monastery of Mary Magdelene is the burial place of King Charles III's paternal grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece.

– Elise Brisco

King Charles III's coronation oilhas special connection to late mother Queen Elizabeth II

What crown is Charles wearing?

Following tradition, Charles is crowned with St. Edward's crown. The crown was made for King Charles II in 1661 as a replacement for a medieval crown that melted down in 1649. 

Charles' mother, Queen Elizabeth, wore the same crown at her 1953 coronation.

– Naledi Ushe

King Charles and Queen Consort seated on the coronation chairs.

What crown is Queen Consort Camilla wearing?

Camilla was crowned with Queen Mary's crown, marking the first time an existing crown was used for the queen consort's coronation.

The queen consort is wearing a white coat dress designed by Bruce Oldfield and created in Bruce Oldfield’s couture workrooms in Battersea, London.

– Naledi Ushe

Queen Camilla looks regalas she prepares to be crowned at Charles III coronation: See photos

Who is in the congregation?

Roughly 2,000 people are attending Charles’ coronation including members of the royal family and international representatives from 203 countries, including first lady Jill Biden.

The congregation includes: 

  • Members of the Royal Family 
  • Family members and friends of Their Majesties 
  • Members of Foreign Royal Families 
  • Heads of State and Foreign Ministers 
  • Governors-General and Realm Prime Ministers 
  • Members of the Government, Parliament and Devolved Administrations, including former Prime Ministers
  • Lord-Lieutenants and Lord Provosts
  •  Representatives from the Church and other faiths 
  • Representatives from the Defence Services, including serving and former Armed Forces personnel 
  • Representatives from The King’s patronages, including The Prince’s Trust and The Prince’s Foundation 
  • Members of the Diplomatic Corps 
  • Public Service organisations and the emergency services 
  • Representatives from The Queen Consort’s patronages 
  • Representatives from the Law 
  • Nobel Prize Winners
  • British Empire Medal recipients 
  • Representatives from the Realms nominated by the High Commissions

King Charles III takes on coronation dayEverything to know about the monarch's big day

King Charles III arrives at Westminster Abbey in central London on May 6, 2023, for his coronation.

Charles swears on the Holy Bible

Charles was presented the Holy Bible from the Right Reverend Dr Iain Greenshields. The king then swore on the bible to uphold laws governed by the Church of England. 

In an innovation that reflects the changed religious landscape in Britain, the king for the first time prayed for grace to be "a blessing to all of every faith and belief."

Charles ceremoniously took the "coronation oath" over the bible "to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, your other Realms and the Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining."

As he placed his hand on the bible, Charles said, "The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God."

He then kissed the bible as the Archbishop of Canterbury said, "Your Majesty, are you willing to make, subscribe, and declare to the statutory Accession Declaration Oath?"

"I am willing," Charles responded. "I Charles do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God profess, testify, and declare that I am a faithful Protestant, and that I will, according to the true intent of the enactments which secure the Protestant succession to the Throne, uphold and maintain the said enactments to the best of my powers according to law."

– Naledi Ushe

The Archbishop of Canterbury recognizes Charles as the 'undoubted King'

Charles proceeded to stand next to the coronation chair during the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recognition. Throughout the ceremony, the monarch faced all compass directions to symbolize his place in the world.

"I here present unto you King Charles, your undoubted King: Wherefore all you who are come this day to do your homage and service, are you willing to do the same?" the Archbishop asked the clergy. 

"God save King Charles," all responded.

Baroness (Valerie) Amos LG, Lady Elish Angiolini LT, and Christopher Finney GC, Chair of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association, repeated the call and response.

– Naledi Ushe

Justin Welby, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, kicks off the coronation service

Welby, who crowned Charles, began the official service by telling the clergy: "Dearly beloved, we are gathered to offer worship and praise to Almighty God; to celebrate the life of our nations; to pray for Charles, our King; to recognise and to give thanks for his life of service to this Nation, the Realms, and the Commonwealth; and to witness with joy his anointing and crowning, his being set apart and consecrated for the service of his people."

"Let us dedicate ourselves alike, in body, mind, and spirit, to a renewed faith, a joyful hope, and a commitment to serve one another in love," Welby said.

– Naledi Ushe

Charles is recognized upon arrival at Westminster Abbey

Samuel Stratchan, Child of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, was the first to recognize Charles after arriving to Westminster Abbey. In a formal ceremony, Strachan tells the sovereign, "Your Majesty, as children of the kingdom of God we welcome you in the name of the King of kings."

Charles replied: "In his name and after his example I come not to be served but to serve."

– Naledi Ushe

Prince Louis attends, Prince George holds King Charles' robe

Despite rumors that 5-year-old Prince Louis may not attend the coronation, the spunky youngest child of Prince William and Princess Kate made an appearance at the event. The 5-year-old stole the show at the late queen’s Platinum Jubilee with his meme-worthy facial expressions during the flypast as the royal family gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

William and Kate's other son, 9-year-old Prince George, served as one of King Charles' Pages of Honor. In his role, he helped hold King Charles robe during the King’s Procession at the outset of the ceremony. The couple's 8-year-old daughter Princess Charlotte also attended.

– Naledi Ushe and Amy Haneline

George, Charlotte, Louis:What role will King Charles III's grandchildren play in coronation?

Prince Harry arrives alone

Amid his ongoing rift with the royal family, Prince Harry arrived to the service early, followed by more senior members of the royal family, including Prince Charles’ sister Princess Anne. He was seated among other royal family members, but behind Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, arrives at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023, ahead of the coronations of King Charles III, his father, and Camilla, Queen Consort.

Harry walked in alongside Princess Eugenie. He attended the coronation alone, while Duchess Meghan and his children remained in California to celebrate Archie's 4th birthday.

– Amy Haneline

King Charles and Queen Camilla begin journey to Westminster Abbey

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla began their short ride in the gilded Diamond Jubilee Coach from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, where they were anointed and crowned in a ceremony steeped in history.

They were escorted by the Sovereign’s Escort, comprising of about 160 soldiers on horseback. The Household Cavalry Mounted Band is leading the military procession.

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort traveling in the Diamond Jubilee Coach, built in 2012 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, at Buckingham Palace ahead of the coronation on May 6, 2023, in London.

It’s a much smaller procession than the one for the return route from the abbey, with some 4,000 troops featured in a spectacular display of pageantry.

The state coach Charles and Camilla traveled in was created in 2012 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th year on the throne. The procession took about half an hour.

– Associated Press

Is Prince Harry attending? Where is Duchess Meghan?

Prince Harry attended Charles' and Camilla's coronation, but without his wife, Duchess Meghan, and kids, Prince Archie, 4 and Princess Lilibet, 1, Buckingham Palace and the couple’s spokesperson confirmed in April. Prince Harry’s family stayed in California, where they moved in 2020 after stepping back from royal duties.

Archie's 4th birthday is also Saturday. 

– Naledi Ushe

Harry and Meghan:Duchess and kids stay in California during coronation

First lady Jill Biden arrives for coronation ceremony with granddaughter Finnegan Biden

First lady Jill Biden arrived Saturday morning wearing a royal blue Ralph Lauren suit dress with a matching bow headpiece without President Biden (no sitting U.S. president has ever attended a British royal coronation). By her side was her granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, who wore yellow head to toe in Markarian.

U.S. first lady Dr. Jill Biden and granddaughter Finnegan Biden ahead of the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6, 2023, in London.

The president and the first lady jointly attended last year’s funeral in London for Queen Elizabeth II. Jill Biden wore a similar fascinator headband to the funeral, but in black. Some criticized the first lady for her selection, noting that fascinators are often seen at joyous events. While they can be worn to somber events like funerals, the more accepted etiquette would be to wear a hat as a sign of respect. 

– Amy Haneline

Crowds line procession route with supporters and protestors

Thousands of people from across the U.K. and around the world camped overnight along the 1.3-mile route to catch a glimpse of the monarch. The crowd included both supporters and protestors.

The anti-monarchy group Republic told the Associated Press several of its members have been arrested as they prepared to protest the coronation and hold "Not my king" signs. But on Saturday morning, several of the group’s members were stopped near Trafalgar Square and led to police vans.

Others managed to protest along the route, waving signs that read "king parasite" and "abolish the monarchy." Police have said they will have have a "low tolerance" for people seeking to disrupt the day, sparking criticism that they are clamping down on free speech.

– Amy Haneline and The Associated Press

Video of previous protests:Police arrest man for throwing eggs at King Charles III and Camilla

When is the coronation concert and who’s performing?

Lionel Richie arrives at Westminster Abbey in central London on May 6, 2023, ahead of the coronations of Britain's King Charles III and Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort.

After the coronation is the coronation concert. On Sunday, the day after the ceremony, the newly-minted king of England will celebrate with a star-studded concert to be broadcast across BBC's channels.

Performers include "American Idol" judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry. British pop group Take That, Andrea Bocelli, Sir Bryn Terfel, Freya Ridings and Alexis Ffrench will also take the stage.

The artists will perform at Windsor Castle.

Perry and Richie were some of the early arrivals Saturday morning for the coronation ceremony. Perry donned a lilac dress and short-sleeved peplum jacket with matching opera gloves and fascinator.

– Naledi Ushe and Anika Reed

Coronation concert details:Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, more to perform

What time does the coronation start?

If you want to watch the ceremony live, you'll need to be up early. The official service will begin at Westminster Abbey at 6 a.m. EDT (11 a.m. British Standard Time). The service is expected to last around two hours.

– Naledi Ushe

King Charles’ coronation:Everything you need to know

King Charles III greets members of the public along the Mall as preparations continue ahead of the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 05, 2023 in London, England.

Why have the coronation if Charles is already king?

Charles has already been king for several months. He immediately ascended the throne when Elizabeth died Sept. 8. But the deeply religious and regalia-heavy event is a more formal confirmation of his role as head of state and titular head of the Church of England and was intended to show the king’s authority was derived from God.

That said, there is no legal requirement for a coronation, and other European monarchies have done away with the ceremonies. 

– Brian Melley, The Associated Press

How and where can you watch the coronation?

Tune into USA TODAY's livestream and follow along with us here during the ceremony. But of course, there are many ways to watch the monumental occasion across the globe.

Audiences in London can queue along designated viewing areas between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey to watch the coronation live. For everyone else, major cable networks, including CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNN and more will be covering the coronation, with most broadcasts beginning at 5 a.m. EDT.

See the full viewing guide, including livestreams here.

– Naledi Ushe

More on King Charles III’s coronation

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