Not even the steady showers could dampen the pomp and fanfare Saturday as King Charles III and Queen Camilla were crowned at London’s Westminster Abbey.
Thousands of royal watchers descended upon the two-kilometre procession route to catch a glimpse of the monarch. Millions of others watched the broadcast, as the King took his coronation oath, was anointed and received the iconic crown of St. Edward.
As coronation day in the UK draws to a close, here’s a look at memorable moments from the event, as captured in seven photos.
King Charles III accepts the Crown of St. Edward
It’s an iconic image that will go down in history: Charles III, sitting on the historic chair of St. Edward, officially receives the crown on his head. The bells of Westminster Abbey ring as the 2,000-member congregation gathered at the church exuberantly cry, “God save the King!” Outside, there was a ceremonial gun salute acknowledging the newly crowned monarch.
A future king pays homage to his father
In one of the day’s most moving moments, Prince William, the heir apparent to the throne, paid homage to his father after he was crowned. “I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you, and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God,” said William, kneeling in front of the King before rising, touching the iconic crown and giving his father a kiss on the cheek, which Charles appeared to receive emotionally.
The King and Queen ride in style
The King and Queen rode to Westminster Abbey in style, travelling in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, drawn by six Windsor Grey horses. The vehicle, built in Australia, was made to honour the late Queen Elizabeth II on the 60th anniversary of her reign in 2012. Though traditional in design, it’s equipped with all the modern technology needed to make for a comfortable ride, including air conditioning, an aluminum body and six hydraulic stabilizers.
A procession steeped in tradition
On the way back from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, the King and Queen traded in their 21st-century carriage for the notoriously uncomfortable, but blindingly opulent, Gold State Coach, pulled by eight Windsor Grey Horses. The iconic carriage, built in 1762 and used for every coronation since 1831, features painted panels of Roman deities and an interior lined with velvet and satin. But it’s also been criticized for its lack of comfort. The late Queen Elizabeth II once described her coronation journey in that carriage as “horrible” and “not very comfortable.”
A stone-faced Prince Harry attends the church service
Leading up to coronation day, there was much speculation about whether Prince Harry would attend his father’s coronation. That chatter came, of course, after the prince published his bombshell memoir “Spare,” which painted a less than flattering portrait of the Royal Family, both as an institution and as individuals. In the end, Harry did attend the coronation, though his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, elected to skip the event and remain at home in California with their two children. At the service, Harry appeared to sit stone-faced in the third row, with his cousins Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Young Prince Louis steals the show
If the King was upstaged on his special day, it was by his five-year-old grandson, Prince Louis, who stole the show not just once but multiple times, as captured in various photos throughout the coronation. At the Westminster Abbey service, the young prince could be seen widely yawning during the solemn service. Later, as he, his parents and siblings made their way back to Buckingham Palace, little Louis waved exuberantly at the crowd from his carriage. He carried that excitement all the way to the Buckingham Palace balcony, where he continued to wildly wave at the throng of crowds gathered below.
Anti-monarchists protest in full force
Anti-monarchists groups demonstrated in full force Saturday. Protesters lining the procession route could be seen holding signs and wearing T-shirts with the words “Not My King.” Several demonstrators were arrested during the coronation, including the head of Republic, a prominent anti-monarchist group. King Charles III is generally viewed less favourably than his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Since his ascension to the throne, questions have arisen in the UK, Canada and other parts of the Commonwealth about the future of the monarchy and its relevancy in modern society.
The King and Queen appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony
At the end of the proceedings, the King and Queen, along with other Royal Family members, gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to observe a ceremonial flyby — scaled down due to the wet weather conditions, but nonetheless offering a picture-perfect opportunity for the crowd to catch a glimpse of the newly crowned couple.
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