Excitement is building as Charles III prepares to be crowned King in a historic ceremony full of pomp and pageantry which will be watched by millions of people at home and across the world.
Hundreds of royal fans are camping out at The Mall in London in a sea of tents draped in union jack flags, in a bid to secure a spot to catch a glimpse of the King in the country’s first coronation in 70 years.
World leaders, kings and queens from across the world, celebrities, everyday heroes and family and friends of the couple will be among over 2,000 guests attending the Westminster Abbey service which starts at 11am.
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The nation’s armed forces have promised a “spectacular” display of military pomp and pageantry when the King and Queen Consort travel by carriage through the streets of the capital.
During the ceremony, the St Edward’s Crown, which dates back to 1661, will be placed on the monarch’s head as cries of “God Save the King” will ring out around the abbey and his wife will become Queen Camilla.
The crowned couple will then ride in the four-tonne Gold State Coach back to Buckingham Palace in a mile-long coronation procession featuring 4,000 ceremonial troops.
‘Precision and detail’
The event is the military’s largest ceremonial operation since Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, with 9,000 servicemen and women deployed.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “It will be spectacular and with the precision and detail you would expect, we have taken key lessons and best bits from previous coronations, the Platinum Jubilee, Her Late Majesty’s funeral and added them to our plan.”
A massive security and policing operation, dubbed Golden Orb, is under way that will see 11,500 police officers on duty alongside more than 9,000 military personnel taking part in the ceremony.
Thousands of street parties set to take place
Meanwhile around the country, thousands of street parties and events are set to take place to celebrate the occasion with coronation-themed cakes, activities and decorations.
The King, Queen and other royals are also expected to make an appearance on the famous balcony at Buckingham Palace after returning from the service – but it’s still unclear which members have made the cut.
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Speculation has been rife as to why the palace has not yet announced which members of the royal clan will appear on the famous balcony.
Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Prince Harry and Prince Andrew, who are no longer working royals, will not have any formal role at the coronation but will attend the service.
Anticipation continues over whether the six-minute flypast, featuring more than 60 aircraft which are due to soar over London, will go ahead amid concerns of wet weather which could mean it is cancelled at the last minute.
While many people will gather to celebrate the occasion, the coronation is taking place amid a cost of living crisis and public scepticism, particularly among the young, about the role and relevance of the monarchy.
Anti-monarchy group Republic is among a number of groups which have organised protests on the day.
It argues that the coronation pageant will cost tens of millions in taxpayers’ money and points out that many families and households are struggling with spiralling costs as these celebrations take place.
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