King’s Coronation schedule: full list of dates, timings and events for Charles III ceremony

King Charles III celebrates his formal ascension to the throne in an action-packed coronation weekend

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Plans for the coronation of King Charles III have been unveiled to the public ahead of the highly-anticipated event at Westminster Abbey. The royal occasion is a celebration of Charles and Camilla’s official ascension to the throne after the death of the previous monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

The ceremony comes as part of an action packed weekend which includes a star-studded coronation concert at Windsor Castle. The event is expected to attract huge viewing figures and street parties and it is the first coronation to take place in the UK in 70 years.

Here is the low-down on all the key dates, timings and events ahead of the historic event which is code named Operation Golden Orb.

When is the king’s coronation?

The coronation service for King Charles III begins at 11am on Saturday 6 May at Westminster Abbey. This is followed by The King’s procession at 2pm which runs for around 1.3 miles . The royal family will then gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

The coronation concert is scheduled to take place a day later at Windsor Castle on Sunday 7 May.

What will happen at the coronation ceremony?

Charles and Camilla are scheduled to arrive at Westminster Abbey in a procession starting at Buckingham Palace which is known as the King’s Procession. The king and queen consort will be crowned in the Abbey in London in a service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Buckingham Palace explained that the ceremony is designed to reflect the monarch’s role today which looks towards the future, while remaining rooted in the long standing traditions which have been in place for over a thousand years.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “The coronation is a solemn religious service, together with an occasion for celebration and pageantry. The ceremony has retained a similar structure for over a thousand years, and this year’s coronation is expected to include some core elements while recognising the spirit of our times.

“For the last 900 years, the ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey, London. Since 1066, the service has almost always been conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Charles has asked for Greek Orthodox music to be played during the service as a tribute to his late father, Prince Philip who was born into the Greek royal family.

The coronation includes many ceremonies that were used during the late Queen’s service, including the anointing with consecrated oil, the delivery of the orb and the enthroning itself.

During the ceremony Charles vow to "maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine worship, discipline, and government thereof, as the law established in England".

To conclude events, the newly crowned monarch will appear on Buckingham Palace’s balcony with other working royals, including the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children.

Here is a summary of the day’s events

  • 6am: Viewing areas for the procession route will open to the public.
  • 7.15-8.30am: Guests for Westminster Abbey will begin to arrive at security checkpoints in Victoria Tower Gardens.
  • 9am: All guests are expected to be seated at Westminster Abbey.
  • 9.30 - 10.45am: Other key members congregate including Heads of state, overseas government representatives, Government ministers, First Ministers, former PMs, foreign royals and members of the royal family arrive.
  • 10.20am: The King and Queen Consort’s procession sets off from the Palace.
  • 10.53am: The King and Queen Consort arrive at Westminster Abbey. The service then begins at 11am.
  • 12pm: The service ends and the newly crowned King and Queen begin their coronation procession back to Buckingham Palace in the Gold State Coach.
  • 1.33pm: Charles and Camilla are expected to enter Buckingham Palace through the Centre Arch.
  • 2.15pm: The King, Queen Consort and members of the royal family appear on the Palace balcony to watch the flypast.

How many guests will there be at the coronation ceremony?

The king’s coronation will be limited to around 2,000 guests to accommodate health and safety restrictions. This is a huge drop from the 8,000 guests at Queen Elizabeth’s ceremony back in 1953.

Charles is understood to want a diverse congregation to witness the event and he has invited representatives from many charity affiliations, according to The Telegraph.

Charles is the oldest ever monarch to ascend to the throne, meanwhile Prince George is set to become the youngest future king to play an official role at a coronation at the age of nine. George has been named as one of his grandfather’s four Pages of Honour and is tasked with carrying the king’s robes alongside three other school boys which are Lord Oliver Chalmondeley, Nicholas Barclay and Ralph Tollemache - all of which are sons of his majesty’s friends.

Other key events taking place

Sunday 7 May: The Coronation Big Lunch

The Coronation Concert is set to coincide with a big lunch which is taking place throughout the UK. The event is designed to be a nationwide celebration of friendship which brings people to boost community and support charities.

Thousands of events are expected to take place in every corner of the UK as people take to their streets, gardens, parks and community spaces to join the Coronation celebrations and mark this historic occasion.

Monday 8 May: The Big Help Out

The Big Help Out takes place on Monday 8 May and it is organised by The Together Coalition which is a combination of partners such as The Scouts, The Royal Voluntary Service and faith groups across the UK.

The Big Help Out is designed to encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas.

How to watch the coronation?

King Charles’ coronation is just the second ceremony in history to be televised and he follows in the footsteps of his mother Queen Elizabeth who attracted an estimated audience of 27 million people back in 1953.

Charles is reportedly set to become the first monarch in British history to be publicly anointed and a transparent canopy has been made specifically for the occasion.

The BBC, ITV and Sky are all set to provide extensive live coverage of proceedings as they take place. The coronation can also be streamed through BBC iPlayer and ITVX.

The same broadcasters are also expected to provide coverage of the coronation concert, the exact timings of the event are yet to be announced but it is expected to start in the afternoon and go into the evening, according to Sky News.