The first coronation of a new U.K. monarch in 70 years will take place over a three-day weekend in May, Buckingham Palace announced Saturday. King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, will have their coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on May 6, with more ceremonies following on May 7 and 8. Charles became King on Sept. 8, immediately following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The coronation service will start on the morning of May 6 at Westminster Abbey. "As previously announced, the Service will reflect the Monarch's role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry," Buckingham Palace said. The service will start with the King and Queen Consort arriving in a procession.
After the ceremony, there will be a larger ceremonial procession called "The Coronation Procession" at Buckingham Palace. Other members of the royal family will join Charles and Camilla during the procession. The royal family will make an appearance at the Buckingham Palace balcony to conclude the first day.
On Sunday, May 7, Windsor Castle will host a special Coronation Concert, produced and broadcast by the BBC and BBC Studios. The full concert line-up will be announced at a later date, but Buckingham Palace announced that the "Coronation Choir" will perform. "This diverse group will be created from the nation's keenest community choirs and amateur singers from across the United Kingdom, such as Refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups, and deaf signing choirs," Buckingham Palace said. There will later be a documentary about the formation of the group. They will be joined by "The Virtual Choir," made up of singers from across the Commonwealth of Nations.
The centerpiece of the concert is "Lighting up the Nation," in which residents from across the U.K. will light up important locations. The BBC will hold a national lottery to give away free tickets to the concert. Volunteers from the King and Queen Consort's charity affiliations will also attend. There will also be a Coronation Big Lunch event, organized by the Big Lunch team at the Eden Project.
Everything wraps up on Monday, May 8 with The Big Help Out. This will be an event to encourage volunteer service. "In tribute to His Majesty The King's public service, The Big Help Out will encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas," Buckingham Palace said. "The aim of The Big Help Out is to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation Weekend."
King Charles III's coronation is the first in the U.K. since Queen Elizabeth's in 1953. His mother was on the throne for over 70 years, making her the longest-reigning British monarch in history. Charles became king at 73, making him the oldest person to ascend to the U.K. throne.