King's Coronation - Saturday 6th May
The King's Coronation is fast approaching. My guests who have stayed in London told me that media trucks are already lining some of the streets and rehearsals for the processions have been taking place at night!
Saturday 6th May will be a historic occasion for the country. I wasn't even alive the last time we had a coronation! If you plan to be in the UK during this time here are some key timings for you to be aware of...
11am - The Coronation Ceremony will take place at Westminster Abbey and will last for approx. 2 hours. If you are in London, the King will head to the Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach in a procession from Buckingham Palace. Viewing places along the processional route will open up to the public at 6am. I suspect people will be camping overnight to get the best spots!
1pm (approx.) - The King will return to Buckingham Palace along the same route in the Gold State Coach - a reportedly uncomfortable coach which weighs 4 tonnes and has been used in every coronation since 1831! The King will be accompanied by members of the Royal Family and a large military parade of nearly 4,000 personnel. This is the procession known as the "Coronation Procession".
After arriving at Buckingham Palace the King will present himself to the public on the Buckingham Palace Balcony along with other members from the Royal Family and there will be a 6 minute fly past of military planes ending with a display by the famous Red Arrows.
Many cities, towns and villages are organising events to mark the occasion. If you will be in Bath the Bath Abbey will be broadcasting the coronation live so you do not need to sit in your hotel room to watch it! The Bath Abbey is where King Edgar was crowned King of all England and the coronation for that King has served as the template for all subsequent coronations so it would be an iconic place to watch it!
The BBC has produced an excellent page giving more details about the day including interesting information about the ceremony and a map of where the procession will be taking place which will be useful if you plan to be in London. Guests have already asked me what will happen with the Scottish Stone of Destiny which used to sit under the throne and has now been returned to Scotland - the page answers that question and more! You can access this page here.
During some of my tours I talk about important relics which used to be kept in the area. I was therefore interested to hear that the Pope has given the King relics of the True Cross as a coronation gift. These relics are being embedded in a new silver cross which will be used at the head of the coronation procession in the abbey. You can read more about this here.
Wherever you are in the world during the coronation, if you are watching the event I hope you enjoy all the pomp and ceremony!