The moment Queen Elizabeth II died, her eldest son, Charles, became king. However, Charles’s official coronation won’t actually take place for “some months” after the accession, following a period of mourning for the Queen and after the necessary preparations have been made. A coronation is not necessary to become king—Edward VIII reigned as King without ever being crowned.
Charles, whose regnal name is King Charles III, is in London with Camilla, who is now the Queen Consort.
After Queen Elizabeth’s accession on February 6, 1952, her coronation took place on June 2, 1953, over a year later.
Per the British royal family’s website, the coronation ceremony is “an occasion for pageantry and celebration, but it is also a solemn religious ceremony, has remained essentially the same over a thousand years. For the last 900 years, the ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey, London. The service is conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose task this has almost always been since the Norman Conquest in 1066.”
King Charles was just 4 years old at his mother’s coronation in 1953; there, he sat in the royal box at Westminster Abbey between his grandmother, the Queen mother, and his aunt, Princess Margaret.
The King’s children, Prince William and Prince Harry, are likely expected to be in attendance. Also in the audience will be representatives of the Houses of Parliament, the Church of England, and United Kingdom. World leaders and citizens from around Commonwealth also attend the coronation ceremony. The British government pays for the coronation, and has ultimate control of the guest list.
Camilla, as new Queen consort, will also be crowned during the ceremony.
Emily Burack (she/her) is the news writer for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royals, and a range of other subjects. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy managing editor at Hey Alma, a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram.
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