• Sunday, May 28, 2023

HEADLINE STORY

Coronation: King Charles and Britain will look to future

Watched by about 100 heads of state and dignitaries including US first lady Jill Biden, Charles follows 40 predecessors in being crowned at the Westminster Abbey

Well-wishers line the route of the ‘King’s Procession’, a two kilometres stretch from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, in central London, on May 6, 2023 ahead of the coronation of King Charles III. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

Charles III will be crowned king on Saturday (6) in Britain’s biggest ceremonial event for seven decades, a sumptuous display of pageantry dating back 1,000 years.

Charles succeeded his mother Queen Elizabeth when she died last September and at 74, he will become the oldest British monarch to have the 360-year-old St Edward’s Crown placed on his head as he sits upon a 14th century throne at London’s Westminster Abbey.

Watched by about 100 heads of state and dignitaries including US first lady Jill Biden, Charles follows 40 predecessors in being crowned at the abbey – which has staged all the coronations since William the Conqueror back in 1066.

His second wife Camilla, 75, will also be crowned queen during the two-hour ceremony which, while rooted in history, will attempt to present a forward-looking monarchy and nation.

Saturday’s event will be on a smaller scale than that staged for Queen Elizabeth in 1953, but will still aim to be spectacular, featuring an array of historical regalia from golden orbs and bejewelled swords to a sceptre holding the world’s largest colourless cut diamond.

After the service, Charles and Camilla will depart in the four-tonne Gold State Coach that was built for George III, the last king of Britain’s American colonies, riding back to Buckingham Palace in a one-mile procession of 4,000 military personnel from 39 nations in ceremonial uniforms.

It will be the largest show of its kind in Britain since the coronation of Charles’ mother. Thousands are expected to line the streets and millions will watch at home and abroad.

Antonina Strain, 53, travelled from Toronto to be on The Mall, saying she had been born in London and coming back for the coronation was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“I couldn’t imagine the United Kingdom without a monarch. It’s ingrained into the soul of the country.”

(Reuters)

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