The Coronation of King Charles

 Members of the British royal family, British citizens, and people around the world gathered to view the coronation of King Charles III, in-person or on TV, on Saturday, May 6. Charles assumed the throne at the age of 74 as he was next in line after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Sept. 8, 2022. After Charles, Prince William is next in line to assume the throne.

The coronation started at 11 a.m. and ended the next day with a concert featuring performances from Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Charles’ wife, Camilla, was also crowned Queen Consort. The difference between a queen consort, such as Camilla, and a queen, such as Elizabeth, is that a queen consort is someone who is married to the king, while a queen is someone who was born into the royal family. 

The coronation took place in Westminster Abbey. Charles and Camilla rode up to the cathedral in a horse-drawn coach, called the Diamond Jubilee State Coach. After the events of the coronation, the couple returned to Buckingham Palace in what is known as the “coronation procession.”

Throughout the coronation, singers in the choir of Westminster Abbey sang “Zadok the Priest,” which has been sung at every coronation since King George II in 1727. The ceremony began with the Dean of Westminster pouring holy oil on the coronation spoon. The coronation spoon is a silver-gilt spoon from the 12th century that is used only for ceremonial purposes. Next, the Archbishop of Canterbury anointed Charles. Then, St. Edward’s Crown was placed on Charles’ head. This crown is a five pound gold crown that is only reserved for coronations, meaning it will not be worn again until another coronation. Camilla was crowned in a similar fashion with Queen Mary’s Crown.

For many, this was the first coronation that has taken place in his or her lifetime. Sophomore Olivia Palleschi said, “I thought it was really cool since the last coronation was before I was born.”

Foreign Language Department Chairperson Lennie Bruno enjoyed the pomp and circumstance of the coronation. “Everything was so meticulously planned to the minute. I loved that the music was so much a part of the entire celebration. It is amazing that the beauty of the service has its roots in the past and can be traced back to ancient Israel,” Bruno said. He also enjoyed the appearance of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Sophomore Jillian Weston recognized the beauty too: “The coronation was beautiful, especially the crown jewels. I saw them in person, and they sparkled from a mile away.”

Along with the beauty of the coronation, other parts also stood out to viewers. Bruno remarked, “Something that stuck out to me was that even though King Charles III promised to maintain the Protestant Reformed Religion, he received blessings from Christians, Orthodox leaders, and greetings from Jewish, Hindi, Muslims, and Buddhists. I couldn’t believe how Christian the ceremony was. This ultimately shows how this new monarchy will try to work alongside many different people and groups.”

Since the coronation was announced, questions arose over whether Prince Harry would attend his father’s coronation. He did attend; however, his wife, Meghan Markle, did not. He also did not join the family on the balcony of the palace as it was reserved for only working members of the family. Bruno commented, “Despite the fact that Prince Harry has been on the ‘outs’ with his brother and perhaps even his father, he did have the courage to attend the coronation but didn’t seem to have had a great role or made to feel like a significant participant in the ceremony.”

There are varying views on the new king and queen. Weston added, “I think Charles will make a good king. He cares about the environment, and he’s into the commonwealth of people. I think that Camilla, his current wife, shouldn’t be queen, but I have prejudice because I love Princess Diana.” Bruno holds similar views: “I personally feel that although King Charles may not feel adequate for the job, he waited a long time for this moment to be anointed king after his mother, Queen Elizabeth, died and had reigned for 70 years. He has stepped forward to do the work and to be the best king possible in his quest to unite and to bring together the people that he serves.” Charles and Camilla will now carry on their lives as king and queen, doing whatever they can for their people.