Coronation of Charles III
The coronation of Charles III and his wife Camilla Shand as King and Queen consort of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms will take place on Saturday May 6, 2023.
The previous coronation took place approximately sixteen months after the Queen’s proclamation as Sovereign. Charles III ascended the British throne immediately after the death of his mother, Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022. He was proclaimed king by the Accession Council on September 10, 2022; which was followed by proclamations in other Commonwealth realms. The preparation of the ceremony taking time, the coronation “should not take place for several months”.
Charles’ coronation is codenamed “Operation Golden Orb”. The committee is chaired by Edward Fitzalan-Howard, 18th Duke of Norfolk, who holds the hereditary office of Earl Marshal. The operation is composed of prominent members of the aristocracy as well as other dignitaries, it is constitutionally separate from the private offices of Charles III or Elizabeth II.
Charles’ wife, Camilla, is also to be crowned queen consort. When Charles married her in 2005, the Prince of Wales’ cabinet indicated that Camilla would not receive the title of queen upon her accession, but that of “princess consort”. Charles, however, had long wanted her to wear the title of queen and be crowned alongside him. With Camilla’s growing popularity, Elizabeth II wished for Camilla to be crowned queen with the accession of Charles.
Place of the ceremony
The ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey and will likely be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The archbishop, currently Justin Welby, is the primate of all England, as the successor of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, who was the first holder of this late 6th century see. The coronation ceremony is both ceremonial and religious. King Charles III, as British sovereign, is now supreme governor of the Church of England. The king will be anointed with Holy Chrism, the sacred oil.
The ceremony consists in sanctifying the new sovereign, by having him take the oath, be anointed and crowned. The sovereign is seated in front of King Edward’s chair during the ceremony. Being anointed signifies that the ruler has received authority from God. By becoming a servant of God, the British sovereign sees himself receiving a mission which he cannot fail. This is also the reason why abdication is not an option. The last king to abdicate, Edward VIII, uncle of Elizabeth II, abdicated before his coronation ceremony. The ceremony ends with the blessing and the sovereign can sit on his throne. The sovereign bears the various symbols of the Crown, such as the scepter with the cross and the orb. King Charles III is also expected to wear the Imperial Crown for the first time.