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Coronation of King Charles: what will happen and when?

King Charles III, Britain’s first new monarch in 70 years, will be crowned in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London on Saturday. Those hoping to catch a glimpse of the King and Queen on their way to and from the service line the route of the procession in central London, while others will watch the broadcast on screens in city parks, during parties streets or at home, including on a live stream on nytimes.com.

Here’s what to expect for the day. (All times are local time in Great Britain.)

9:10 a.m. (4:10 a.m. EST) Troops will begin lining up the ceremonial route, which will stretch from Buckingham Palace, along a central route known as The Mall, past Trafalgar Square and the government offices in Whitehall, to the ‘Westminster Abbey.

The day’s events are expected to involve 7,000 soldiers marching – the largest procession at a state event since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

10:20 a.m. Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort, will leave Buckingham Palace in a horse-drawn stagecoach and arrive at Westminster Abbey, a journey expected to take 33 minutes.

11am The couple will take their seats in ceremonial chairs for the service, which will take place in front of more than 2,000 guests. This service will consist of several stages:

  • Recognition, in which the king is presented to the congregation at each of the cardinal points of the compass.

  • Charles will then take a coronation oath and declaration of accession on a Bible presented by a Church of Scotland leader, before going to pray. This will be followed by readings from the Prime Minister, the Dean of the Chapels Royal and a sermon from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

  • The king will be anointed with holy oil on his hands, chest, and head, clad in vestments and a sword belt worn by monarchs in previous coronations, and presented with sacred objects.

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury will crown the new monarch, after which the congregation will be asked to shout “God save the King!”, Abbey bells will ring and shots will be fired across London and other British territories.

  • Once the king has ascended the throne, the congregation and members of the public will be asked to pay him a “public tribute”. Camilla will also be anointed and crowned, and ascend the throne as Queen.

1 p.m. The King and Queen will leave Westminster Abbey via a mile-long procession with 4,000 soldiers and 19 military bands. Members of the royal family, including Prince William and his wife, Catherine, Princess of Wales, will travel by horse-drawn carriage behind the monarch as part of the procession.

1:30 p.m. The motorcade will reach Buckingham Palace and the armed forces will return a royal salute to Charles from the garden. The King and Queen will then appear on the palace balcony with other members of the Royal Family to greet the public.

2:30 p.m. A six-minute ceremonial flight of 60 aircraft, including the Royal Air Force’s aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, is set to fly over Buckingham Palace.

This will conclude the official agenda and King Charles III will retire for a coronation portrait and family lunch. Partygoers who want to keep the festivities going can attend street parties and other live events throughout the day across London.


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