London. 06 May 2023. The coronation was conducted by the Church of England and contained several distinct elements, which were structured around a service of Holy Communion. Charles and Camilla first proceeded into the abbey, then Charles was presented to the people and recognised as monarch. After this Charles took an oath stating that he will uphold the law and maintain the Church of England. He then was anointed with holy oil, invested with the coronation regalia, and crowned with St Edward’s Crown. After this he was enthroned and received homage from Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, and William, Prince of Wales, and the people were invited to swear allegiance. Camilla then was anointed, crowned, and enthroned. The King and Queen ended the service by taking Holy Communion, and processed out of the abbey.

On the day of the coronation Charles and Camilla travelled to Westminster Abbey in procession. They departed Buckingham Palace at 10:20 BST and went along The Mall, down Whitehall and along Parliament Street, and around the east and south sides of Parliament Square before reaching the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey, a distance of 1.42 miles (2.29 km). Charles and Camilla used the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, drawn by six Windsor Greys, and were accompanied by the Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

The procession into the abbey was led by leaders and representatives from non-Christian religions, including the Baháʼí, Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Shia and Sunni Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian communities. They were followed by leaders from different Christian denominations, including the Church of England. After this the flags of the Commonwealth realms were carried by representatives, accompanied by their governors general and prime ministers. The choir followed.

Charles and Camilla arrived shortly before 11:00 and formed their own procession. It was led by four peers carrying heraldic standards displaying the arms of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, followed by the King’s champion, Francis Dymoke, carrying the royal standard. The Lord High Constable of England and the Earl Marshal also took part. Charles and Camilla were each attended by four pages of honour, including Prince George of Wales and Camilla’s grandsons. Camilla was also accompanied by two ladies in attendance: Annabel Elliot, her sister, and Fiona Petty-Fitzmaurice, the Marchioness of Lansdowne. Unexpectedly the Prince and Princess of Wales and their two younger children arrived at the Abbey after the King and joined the procession after their majesties. The choir sang Hubert Parry’s “I was glad”, during which the King’s Scholars of Westminster School sang “Vivat Regina Camilla” and “Vivat Rex Carolus” (‘Long live Queen Camilla’ and ‘Long live King Charles’).

After this the coronation regalia was processed to the altar. At Charles’s request, the sixth-century St Augustine Gospels was also carried in the procession. The Coronation Chair, which housed the Stone of Scone, was used by Charles during the ceremony. For this coronation, the chair was fitted with a new seat cushion and armrests.

The service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, began with the King and Queen having a silent moment of prayer before seating themselves on their chairs of estate, made for the 1953 coronation. In a new element of the service, the king was welcomed by one of the Children of the Chapel, to which he replied that he came “not to be served but to serve”. Paul Mealor’s “Coronation Kyrie” was sung in Welsh by Sir Bryn Terfel. After this the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lady Elish Angiolini, Christopher Finney, and Baroness Amos stood facing east, south, west, and north and in turn asked the congregation to recognise Charles as king; the crowd replied “God save King Charles!” each time. Charles was then presented with a new Bible by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The Archbishop of Canterbury acknowledged the existence of multiple faiths and beliefs in the United Kingdom. Charles then took the coronation oath, in which he swore to govern each of his countries according to their respective laws and customs, to administer law and justice with mercy, and to uphold Protestantism in the United Kingdom and protect the Church of England. Subsequently, he made the statutory accession declaration. Charles then signed a written form of the oath, before kneeling before the altar and saying a prayer.

The service of Holy Communion then continued. The Archbishop of Canterbury delivered the collect, and the epistle and gospel were read by the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, and the bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, respectively. This was followed by a sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Charles removed his robe of state and was seated on the Coronation Chair. He then was anointed with holy oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury, using the ampulla and a medieval spoon, the latter the oldest part of the coronation regalia. The anointing emphasised the spiritual role of the sovereign. It was a private part of the service; as in 1953 it was not televised, and Charles was concealed by a screen. During this the choir sang the anthem Zadok the Priest.

In the next part of the service, Charles was presented with several items from the coronation regalia. The spurs, armills, Sword of State, and Sword of Offering were given to the King, who touched them with his hand, before they were removed again. During this, Psalm 71 was chanted in Greek by an Orthodox choir in tribute of the King’s father, Prince Philip, who was born a prince of Greece. The King was invested with the stole royal, robe royal, and the sovereign’s orb, and presented with the sovereign’s ring, which he touched but did not wear. He was then invested with the glove, the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross, and the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Dove.

The King then was crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with the Archbishop and then the congregation chanting, “God save the King!”. At the moment of crowning the church bells of the abbey rang, 21-gun salutes were fired at 13 locations around the United Kingdom and on deployed Royal Navy ships, and 62-gun salutes and a six-gun salvo were fired from the Tower of London and Horse Guards Parade.

Charles then received a blessing read by the Archbishop of York, the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, the Moderator of the Free Churches, the Secretary General of Churches Together in England, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, representing the Anglican, Greek Orthodox, Nonconformist, ecumenical, and Roman Catholic traditions respectively.

Charles moved to the throne (originally made for George VI in 1937) and the Archbishop of Canterbury and William, Prince of Wales, offered him their fealty. The Archbishop of Canterbury then invited the people of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms to swear allegiance to the King, the first time this has occurred.

The next part of the service concerned Camilla. She was anointed in public view, thought to be the first time this has occurred, and then presented with the Queen Consort’s Ring. The Queen then was crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury using Queen Mary’s Crown. Camilla then was presented with the Queen Consort’s Sceptre with Cross and the Queen Consort’s Rod with Dove (which, unlike other queens consort, she chose not to carry), before sitting on her own throne (originally made for Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1937) beside the King.

This was the first coronation of a consort since that of Charles’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth in 1937.

The offertory followed, during which gifts of bread and wine were brought before the King and prayed over; the prayer was a translation from the Liber Regalis, which dates from c. 1382 and is one of the oldest sources for the English coronation service. Charles and Camilla then received Holy Communion from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the congregation recited the Lord’s Prayer, before a final blessing.

At the end of the service the King changed into the Imperial State Crown. Charles and Camilla then proceeded to the west door of the abbey as the national anthem, “God Save the King”, was sung. At the end of the procession the King received a greeting by leaders and representatives from the Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, and Buddhist faiths.