A moment of history that the world has not seen in more than 70 years, Great Britain has seen the coronation of a new king.
King Charles III became king upon the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth III on Sept. 8, 2022, but Saturday marks the ceremonial crowning of the king, eight months in the making.
King, Queen leave balcony, end of public ceremony
Update 9:36 a.m. EDT, May 6: After a quick encore on the balcony by Charles and Camilla, the public spectacle of the coronation has come to an end as the king and queen left the balcony of Buckingham Palace. They will sit for their official portraits and will have a private lunch.
The portraits are expected to be released by the palace on Sunday.
King, Queen appear on balcony
Update 9:26 a.m. EDT, May 6: King Charles III and Queen Camilla have appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with the pages, including Prince George.
They are accompanied by the working members of the Royal Family, among them, the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children.
Prince Harry and Prince Andrew are not among the members on the balcony.
The flyover filled the sky with red, white and blue smoke in honor of the king as the aircraft zoomed over the palace.
Weather dampens part of post-coronation ceremony
Update 9:06 a.m. EDT, May 6: Rains have scaled down a massive display of the UK military. There had been plans of about 60 types of aircraft flying over Buckingham Palace as the Royal Family appeared on the balcony. But the rain has dampened the full display, but it has not been canceled.
The flypast will only consist of helicopters and the Red Arrows display team, CNN reported. Instead of the planned six minutes, the flyover will now be about two and a half.
Protestors speak out during coronation
Update 9:02 a.m. EDT, May 6: Protestors did occur leading up to and after the coronation ceremony. Police made some arrests of anti-monarchy protestors prior to the coronation.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla receive royal salute
Update 8:52 a.m. EDT, May 6: The king and queen have received their royal salute from the armed forces of the United Kingdom after they returned to Buckingham Palace, CNN reported.
They appeared on the West Terrace steps overlooking the gardens of the palace, BBC News reported.
King Charles III leaves Westminster Abbey
Update 8:04 a.m. EDT, May 6: King Charles III and Queen Camilla have left Westminster Abbey and have taken their place inside the Gold State Coach as Charles wears the Imperial State Crown to take the 1.42-mile procession to Buckingham Palace.
Almost 4,000 members of the military representing all of the United Kingdom are part of the procession, which the BBC described as the largest of its kind in a generation.
‘God Save the King’ ends coronation service
Update 7:59 a.m. EDT, May 6: “God Save the King” being sung by guests at Westminster Abbey to bring an end to the coronation service. It was followed by the procession of the king and queen as they leave the abbey, CNN reported.
President Joe Biden offers King congratulations
Update 7:51 a.m. EDT, May 6: While not there in person, President Joe Biden has offered his congratulations to King Charles III and Queen Camilla via Twitter. The president is being represented by his wife, first lady Dr. Jill Biden.
King and queen leave for St. Edward’s Chapel
Update 7:44 a.m. EDT, May 6: King Charles III and Queen Camilla have left their thrones to retire behind the altar in St. Edward’s Chapel. They are preparing to begin the Coronation Procession to return to Buckingham Palace, BBC News reported.
King and queen receive Holy Communion
Update 7:33 a.m. EDT, May 6: The regents received Holy Communion, or the taking of bread and wine that has been blessed. The King acknowledged the bread and wine before the Archbishop prayed, reciting the Prayer Over the Gifts and the Eucharistic Prayer. After the Santus was sung, the Eucharistic Prayer continued, followed by the Lord’s Prayer. The king and queen then received Communion before more prayers were offered, CNN reported.
Charles and Camilla removed their crowns prior to receiving the bread and the wine, BBC News reported.
Coronation of Queen Camilla
Update 7:15 a.m. EDT, May 6: The coronation of Queen Camilla has begun with the receiving of a royal ring and the placing of the crown upon her head.
The ceremony follows her anointing by the Archbishop of Canterbury, which was not hidden behind a screen, CNN reported.
She was presented with the Consort’s Ring, a promise and commitment of her marriage to not only the King but also God and people.
Camilla was then crowned with Queen Mary’s crown before being presented the Queen Consort’s Sceptre with Cross and Rod with Dove, The Associated Press reported.
Finally, she walked to her throne, next to King Charles.
With her crowning and enthronement, Queen Consort Camilla became Queen Camilla, BBC News reported.
Prince William pledges loyalty to his father
Update 7:11 a.m. EDT, May 6: William, Prince of Wales, knelt before his father, pledging loyalty to King Charles III.
Crown placed on King Charles III
Update 7:01 a.m. EDT, May 6: St. Edward’s Crown has been placed on the head of King Charles III. After the placing of the nearly 5-pound crown, those in attendance repeated the phrase “God Save the King.”
It is the only time Charles will wear the crown in his life, BBC News reported.
As the crown was prepared for the king, the Archbishop said: “King of kings and Lord of lords, bless, we beseech thee, this Crown, and so sanctify thy servant Charles, upon whose head this day thou dost place it for a sign of royal majesty, that he may be crowned with thy gracious favour and filled with abundant grace and all princely virtues; through him who liveth and reigneth supreme over all things, one God, world without end. Amen.”
After the crowning, there was fanfare as a 62-round salute was fired from the Tower of London, a six-gun salute was fired at Horse Guards Parade and 21 rounds were fired at other locations across the UK, CNN reported.
The bells of the abbey were also rung.
King Charles III sits in Coronation Chair, receives regalia
Update 5:53 a.m. EDT, May 6: King Charles III takes his place in the Coronation Chair for his investiture.
He was presented the Sword of Offering, otherwise known as the Jewelled Sword, which was carried and presented by a woman for the first time.
There are other swords on display during the investiture: the Sword of State, the Sword of Spiritual Justice and the Sword of Mercy, also known as Curtana, CNN reported.
He was also presented with the Bracelets of Sincerity and Widsom and after being dressed in the robes, was given the Orb, Sceptre and Rod and ring.
King Charles III anointed
Update 6:46 a.m. EDT, May 6: King Charles III went through the private portion of the coronation ceremony — the anointing, CNN reported.
After the removal of his robes, the king was taken behind a set of screens to be blessed with holy oil poured from the Ampulla, a gold eagle-shaped flask. The oil was poured on the Coronation Spoon before the Archbishop of Canterbury spread the oil on Charles’ head, chest and hands.
The Coronation Spoon is the oldest object used in Saturday’s coronation, surviving the destruction of royal regalia during the English Civil War, CNN reported. The Ampulla, the original of which was probably melted down, which was recreated for King Charles II’s coronation in 1661.
King Charles III takes the oath to rule
Update 6:15 a.m. EDT, May 6: King Charles has taken the oath to rule after being presented with the Coronation Bible, CNN reported.
Taking the Coronation Oath is a legal requirement of the ceremony, BBC News reported.
After being presented with the Bible, a part of the ceremony dating back to the 1689 joint coronation of William III and Mary II, Charles agreed to the conditions including fostering “an environment in which people of all faiths and beliefs may live freely,” alluding to when Queen Elizabeth II said that the church’s role “is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions,” but instead has a “duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country,” CNN reported.
Charles then put his hands on the Bible, swearing to govern the people of the commonwealth while upholding the laws of God.
The king also broke from tradition, praying out loud during the service, CNN reported.
He read: “God of compassion and mercy whose Son was sent not to be served but to serve, give grace that I may find in thy service perfect freedom and in that freedom knowledge of thy truth. Grant that I may be a blessing to all thy children, of every faith and belief, that together we may discover the ways of gentleness and be led into the paths of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Archbishop of Canterbury begins service
Update 6:07 a.m. EDT, May 6: Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury has begun the service saying, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered to offer worship and praise to Almighty God; to celebrate the life of our nations; to pray for Charles, our King; to recognize and to give thanks for his life of service to this Nation, the Realms, and the Commonwealth; and to witness with joy his anointing and crowning, his being set apart and consecrated for the service of his people.”
King Charles III, Queen Consort Camilla arrive at Westminster Abbey
Update 5:50 a.m. EDT, May 6: King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla have arrived at Westminster Abbey, The Associated Press reported. CNN reported their arrival was slightly earlier than their planned arrival at 10:53 a.m. London time, or 5:53 a.m. EDT.
The Prince and Princess of Wales along with their children arrived just after the king and queen, CNN reported.
Charles and Camilla entered the Abbey to “I was glad” the coronation anthem written for King Edward VII in 1902, performed by the Choir of Westminster Abbey, along with the Choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St. James’ Palace and choristers from Methodist College, Belfast; the Choir of Truro Cathedral and a group from the Monteverdi Choir, CNN reported.
Prince Harry, Princess Anne, Prince Edward arrive at Westminster Abbey
Update 5:39 a.m. EDT, May 6: Prince Harry has entered Westminster Abbey with the start of the arrivals of the royal family. He is attending the ceremony alone as his wife Meghan, remained at home for their son Archie’s birthday.
CNN reported that Harry has no official role in the ceremony. BBC News reported that Harry looked “happy and relaxed” as he entered the abbey with his cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
He is seated in the third row, The Washington Post reported.
Eugenie arrived at the abbey with her father, Prince Andrew, BBC News reported.
Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie entered the abbey shortly after Harry.
Camilla’s family, including her former husband Andrew Parker-Bowles, arrived before the members of the royal family, CNN reported.
Images from the coronation
Celebrities in attendance
Update 5:35 a.m. EDT, May 6: Several celebrities are in attendance inside Westminster Abbey including Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Lionel Ritchie and Katy Perry, The Associated Press reported.
Diamond Jubilee State Coach leaves Buckingham Palace
Update 5:22 a.m. EDT, May 6: King Charles III and Queen Camilla have left Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach as the song “God Save the King,” the national anthem of the United Kingdom played.
The last time this procession happened was for the coronation of the king’s mother Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
Both the king and queen are dressed in their Robes of State, CNN reported.
Faith leaders arrive at Westminster Abbey
Update 5:18 a.m. EDT, May 6: Faith leaders, including those of non-Protestant faiths, were the first to enter Westminster Abbey, followed by representatives from the countries and territories over which King Charles III rules, CNN reported. The flags of the nations will accompany governors-general and prime ministers.
Current British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is in attendance, along with all of his predecessors — Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, John Major, David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, CNN reported.
French President Emmanuel Macron is also there. President Joe Biden, however, is not. Instead, first lady Jill Biden is accompanied by her granddaughter. They are seated next to the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska. Jill Biden is wearing blue while her granddaughter is wearing yellow, the colors of Ukraine.
Original report: Crowds had their first sitting of the king and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla as they arrived at Buckingham Palace less than two hours before the ceremony began, CNN reported. They will process from the palace to Westminster Abbey where guests and heads of state have gathered to take part in the historic event.
Check back for more on this developing story.
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