King Charles III’s coronation: carriages, crown jewels, emoji unveiled by Britain’s royal family

Among more than 2,000 guests expected to be in the Abbey will be 450 representatives of charity and community groups, who will be alongside world leaders, politicians and royalty

April 10, 2023 11:37 am | Updated 04:37 pm IST - London

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach on display at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace, London on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in which King Charles III and the Queen Consort will travel to the coronation.

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach on display at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace, London on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in which King Charles III and the Queen Consort will travel to the coronation. | Photo Credit: AP

Britain's royal family has revealed new details about King Charles III's coronation next month with information on processional routes, carriages, and coronation regalia and unveiled a new emoji to mark the ceremony that will be less elaborate than the one staged in 1953 for his mother.

Charles, 74, who immediately became king when Queen Elizabeth II died last September after her record-breaking 70-year reign, will be formally crowned on May 6.

The coronation will take place almost 70 years after the last Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953.

Buckingham Palace on Sunday revealed further details ahead of the coronation.

The new British sovereign will be crowned alongside his wife, Camilla, in a deeply religious service at Westminster Abbey.

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On the morning of the May 6, the King and Queen Consort will travel from Buckingham Palace in The King’s Procession to Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach. Created for Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Her late Majesty’s reign in 2012, the coach has only ever conveyed the Sovereign, occasionally accompanied by the consort or a visiting Head of State.

The Australian-built Diamond Jubilee State Coach IS the newest of the royal carriages, the BBC reported.

This looks traditional, but is actually modern, with air conditioning, electric windows and up-to-date suspension.

"It's made of aluminium, which is quite unusual, because most of them are made of wood, and it's also got hydraulic suspension, meaning that the ride is incredibly comfortable," says Sally Goodsir, curator at the Royal Collection Trust.

The gilded crown on the top of the Diamond Jubilee State Coach was carved from oak from HMS Victory.

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The coach’s interior is inlaid with samples of woods, metals and other materials from buildings and places with specific connections to Britain and its history; Royal Residences including Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse; cathedrals including St Paul’s and Westminster Abbey; and historic ships, such as the Mary Rose. The coach will be drawn by six Windsor Greys.

The King’s Procession, accompanied by The Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry, will depart Buckingham Palace through the Centre Gate, and proceed down The Mall, passing through the Admiralty Arch and south of King Charles I Island, down Whitehall and along Parliament Street.

The King’s Procession will travel around the east and south sides of Parliament Square to Broad Sanctuary to arrive at the Sanctuary of Westminster Abbey, where the Coronation Service will begin at 11 o’clock.

In keeping with the king’s wish for a smaller-scale ceremony, the 1.3-mile (2.1km) procession will be much shorter than that staged for the coronation of his mother, The Guardian newspaper said.

The procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace will be much larger in scale, taking the same route in reverse. The Coronation Procession will include Armed Forces from across the Commonwealth and the British Overseas Territories, and all Services of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, alongside The Sovereign’s Bodyguard and Royal Watermen.

The King and the Queen will return to the palace in the traditional — but notoriously uncomfortable — Gold State Coach, used in every coronation since the 1830s.

The coach, last seen during the Pageant of the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in June 2022, was commissioned in 1760 and was first used by King George III, to travel to the State Opening of Parliament in 1762.

The coach has been used at every Coronation since that of William IV in 1831. The coach will be drawn by eight Windsor Greys and, due to its weight of four tonnes, will travel at a walking pace.

Upon returning to Buckingham Palace following the Coronation Service, Their Majesties will receive a Royal Salute from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Armed Forces who have been on parade that day. The Royal Salute will be followed by three cheers from the assembled service personnel, as a tribute from the Armed Forces on parade to The King and The Queen.

The palace has also outlined the coronation regalia which are “sacred and secular objects” symbolic of the “responsibilities of the monarch” that will be featured in the Westminster service.

The regalia — which is held in trust by the monarch on the nation’s behalf — have played a principal role in coronation services for centuries.

Among the treasures to be used, which are usually on public display at the Tower of London, will be the Imperial State Crown which is only used at ceremonial events and was made for King George VI’s 1937 coronation.

Charles will exchange it for St Edward’s Crown at the end of the service. Made of solid gold and trimmed with ermine and velvet, it is famously heavy — weighing more than five pounds (2.23kg).

As previously announced, Camilla is reusing Queen Mary’s Crown rather than commissioning a new one to be made.

Two heavy maces made of silver gilt over oak and several ceremonial swords — The Sword of State, the Sword of Temporal Justice, the Sword of Spiritual Justice and the Sword of Mercy — will also be used. Additionally, several instruments of state will feature including the Sovereign’s orb and two sceptres, which represent the monarch’s temporal power and spiritual role.

The oldest item being used will be a spoon to hold the oil for the anointing in the coronation. This spoon, possibly 12th Century, is a rare surviving part of the original medieval coronation regalia, most of which was destroyed after the English Civil War in the 17th Century, BBC said.

Among more than 2,000 guests expected to be in the Abbey will be 450 representatives of charity and community groups, who will be alongside world leaders, politicians and royalty.

Indian-origin chef Manju Malhi, who works with a senior citizens charity in the U.K., is among the British Empire Medal (BEM) winners on the royal invitation list for the coronation.

In addition to the new details on processional routes, carriages and coronation regalia, a new emoji has even been designed to mark the celebrations. Based on St Edward’s Crown, it will appear on Twitter when coronation hashtags are used over the holiday weekend.

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