The coronation of King Charles III and his wife Queen Camilla, set to take place in the U.K. on Saturday morning local time, is likely to be the last major royal event for at least a decade, with thousands of guests attending Westminster Abbey in person and hundreds of millions more watching on screens across the world.
But what does a coronation actually involve? And where can you watch? Variety is here to answer all your burning royal questions.
More from Variety
What Will Happen?
Technically the crown passed to King Charles the moment that his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died last September (which is why he’s been known as King Charles since that day). But the coronation will see him officially invested with regal powers, which are mostly ceremonial these days.
The ceremony, which will see the Archbishop of Canterbury place a crown on the King’s head and anoint him with holy oil, will take around two hours followed by a parade back to Buckingham Palace. King Charles and his wife Queen Camilla will then appear on the famous balcony outside the palace alongside other members of the Royal Family (believed to include Prince William, William’s his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis) where they will wave to the military and a public. If the weather holds up there will also be a flypast by the Royal Air Force.
What Time Does it Kick Off?
7.15am The first guests will start to arrive, passing through security barriers before being seated
9am The congregation will be asked to take their seats
9.30am Dignitaries arrive including heads of state, politicians and the King’s family
10.20am King Charles and Queen Camilla will leave Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach (said to be the most modern in the fleet it even boasts air conditioning) and make their way to Westminster Abbey escorted by the Household Cavalry (the most senior regiment in the British army)
11am The King and Queen will arrive at Westminster Abbey, with King Charles taking his place on the 700-year-old Coronation Chair (Queen Camilla will be in another ceremonial chair next to him) and the coronation service will begin
12pm The Archbishop of Canterbury will anoint the King with holy oil (this will take place underneath a gold cloth, away from the cameras) before Charles takes an oath to uphold the law and the Church of England. He will be presented with the royal orb, sceptre and rod before the St Edward’s Crown, which dates back to 1661, is placed on his head. Queen Camilla will wear Queen Mary’s crown, from 1911.
1pm The ceremony ends and the King and Queen will exit Westminster Abbey and take their seats in the Gold State Coach for a procession back to Buckingham Palace. They will be accompanied by members of the British armed forces as well as military personnel from Commonwealth countries including Canada’s Mounties. Members of the royal family will also take part, including Prince William, Catherine and their children. Prince Harry, whose family relationships are at rock bottom following his recent memoir and accompanying publicity tour, will attend the ceremony but it is unlikely he will take part in the procession.
2pm The King and Queen will appear on the balcony at Buckingham Palace alongside their family to greet the crowds and watch a flypast by the Royal Air Force.
Where To Watch
ABC News and “Good Morning America” will have special TV coverage of the coronation from 5 to 10am ET. CBS will be broadcasting from 4am ET with anchors Michelle Miller, Dana Jacobson and Jeff Glor while BBC America will be broadcasting the BBC’s U.K. feed from 6 to 10am ET.
Most major networks including CNN, Fox News and BBC News will also broadcast the ceremony while streaming viewers can find it on Paramount Plus, BritBox, ABC’s website and YouTube.
The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC Two, anchored by Kirsty Young, from 7.30am BST while ITV will begin its coverage, led by news anchor (and Prince Harry’s friend) Tom Bradby and journalist Julie Etchingham at 8am BST. Sky Showcase will start their coronation broadcast, anchored by Kay Burley, from 6am running until 3pm BST.
ABC will be broadcasting the ceremony live from 7.30pm AEST with “The Drum’s” Julia Baird and ABC News presenter Jeremy Fernandez. The coverage will be preceded by a two-hour special from 5pm AEST looking at King Charles in his new role and the relevance of the monarchy to the Commonwealth.
TF1’s coverage will begin at 9am CEST and last six and a half hours anchored by special correspondents Anne-Claire Coudray and Gilles Bouleau. The broadcast will be followed by a documentary about souring relations between the Cambridges and the Sussexes titled “Meghan and Kate: Royal Duel at Buckingham.”
Das Erste will begin its broadcast of the ceremony at 9.30am CEST with ARD foreign correspondent Annette Dittert and ARD royal family expert Leontine Countess von Schmettow anchoring six hours of live reporting.
Best of Variety