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Ceremonial details of the King’s coronation unveiled

Ceremonial details of the King’s coronation unveiled

The procession route, carriages and chosen Crown Jewels have been revealed

Details of the King’s coronation on May 6 have been unveiled for the first time, including the procession route, carriages and which Crown Jewels will make an appearance.

Charles and the Queen Consort will travel in a shorter procession route than the late Elizabeth II and break with tradition by only using the elaborate 260-year-old Gold State Coach on their return.

The monarch and Camilla have personally decided to make the 1.3 mile outward journey – known as the King’s Procession – from Buckingham Palace in the more modern, comfortable Diamond Jubilee State Coach.

The coach has shock absorbers, heating and air conditioning.

The ceremonial celebrations will be watched by millions across the UK - most of whom have never seen a Royal coronation - on the bank holiday Monday. Thousands of street parties are also expected.


The procession route


Charles and Camilla will travel down The Mall via Admiralty Arch, along the south side of Trafalgar Square, along Whitehall and Parliament Street, around the east and south sides of Parliament Square to Broad Sanctuary to arrive at the Abbey.

The coronation service on May 6 will begin at 11am.


The late Queen rode both ways in the Gold State Coach for her 1953 coronation, famously describing the bumpy experience in the carriage, which is suspended on leather straps, as “horrible”.

Her outward procession was 1.6 miles long but her return procession was five miles, taking her down Piccadilly, along Oxford Street and Regent Street and Haymarket.

It took two hours to complete, featured 16,000 participants and was designed to allow her to be seen by as many people as possible.

Queen Elizabeth II


A newly crowned Charles and Camilla will instead travel just 1.3 miles back in the Gold State Coach after the ceremony, reversing their outward journey as they wave to the crowds, with the King wearing the Imperial State Crown.

The route is understood to have been chosen for practical reasons, being a familiar tried and tested journey for many royal occasions.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The carriages chosen reflect the smaller procession to the Abbey and the larger procession back to Buckingham Palace.

“They were the personal choice of Their Majesties.”

The Palace declined to comment on whether the decision to opt for the Diamond Jubilee State Coach at the start has anything to do with ongoing back pain the King has suffered for many decades. Camilla has also endured back problems over the years.

The black and gold Diamond Jubilee carriage, built in Australia and first used by the late Queen at the State Opening of Parliament in 2014, is the newest in the Royal Mews.

It features modern technology, with six hydraulic stabilisers to stop it from swaying, and traditional craftmanship with interior wooden panels made from objects donated by more than 100 historic sites including royal residences, the Mary Rose, 10 Downing Street and the Antarctic bases of Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Charles’ Coronation Procession in the Gold State Coach will feature a cast of hundreds of members of the Armed Forces from the UK, Commonwealth and the British Overseas Territories, as well as the Sovereign’s Bodyguard and Royal Watermen.

Gold State Coach

It will take longer than his outward journey because the historic gilded carriage, which will be drawn by eight Windsor greys, is so heavy it has to travel at walking pace.

Sally Goodsir, curator of decorative arts at the Royal Collection Trust, said: “The Gold State Coach will be the centrepiece of the much larger procession from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace on coronation day.

“It weighs four tonnes and because of that it can only be used at walking pace which really adds to the majesty and stateliness of this great royal procession.”


The Crown Jewels


The priceless array of coronation regalia from the Crown Jewels - which will be used during the religious service in the Abbey - has also been confirmed.

It will include the Sovereign’s Orb, the Golden Spurs, bracelets known as Armills, two maces, five symbolic swords, the Sovereign’s Ring, the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross and the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Dove.

Sovereign’s Orb

Camilla will be crowned, as previously announced, with the modified Queen Mary’s Crown, but she will also hold the Queen Consort’s Rod with Dove – despite the controversial rod being made from ivory.

The piece is said to symbolise equity and mercy, and the dove, with its folded wings, represents the Holy Ghost.

Camilla will also hold the Queen Consort’s Sceptre with Cross, which originally made for the coronation of Mary of Modena, Queen Consort of James II, in 1685 and is inlaid with rock crystals.

As part of the proceedings, she will receive the Queen Consort’s Ring – a ruby in a gold setting made for theCoronation of King William IV and Queen Adelaide in 1831, and used by three further Queens Consort – Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary, and the Queen Mother.

As previously announced, Charles will be crowned with the 17th century St Edward’s Crown which has been resized to fit his head.

He will switch it for the lighter Imperial State Crown at the end of the ceremony as is the custom.


A Twitter emoji and Royal salute


Other details announced by the Palace include a new Twitter emoji.

The motif of St Edward’s Crown has been specially designed to mark the weekend of coronation festivities.

The King and Queen Consort will also receive a royal salute in the Buckingham Palace gardens from the military troops on parade.

They will take the salute from the West Terrace after the ceremony and the servicemen and women will give three cheers – a special coronation tribute from the Armed Forces to the couple.

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