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  • Writer's pictureTracy Tristram

Coronation 101: Guide to King Charles III's Big Day in London


coronation

The bunting is up, the Pimms is chilling and we're almost (but not quite) getting to grips with not adding the word 'spaniel' every time we say King Charles. Yep, it's almost time to crown the King so without further ado we give you all the details of the coronation celebrations in London.


When is King Charles’s coronation and where's it at?


The coronation will take place on Saturday May 6 2023, and we'll all be getting an extra bank holiday (8th May) to mark the occasion. The main event, i.e. the ceremony, will be held at Westminster Abbey where Charles will be crowned alongside the Queen Consort Camilla. Fancy stuff.


Tell us about the Coronation Procession

coronation

Many of the world's big cheeses will be there including Heads of State and other important people, as well as a plethora of British VIPs. The coronation itself will take place at Westminster Abbey, and if your name's not down, you're not getting in. Invite only, folks. It will, of course be televised (more on that in a mo), but you can see the procession part of the pomp which will start at Buckingham Palace. It will head down The Mall, turning right around the corner of St James's Park, though Horse Guard's Parade, down Parliament Street and then to Westminster Abbey in time for the 11am ceremony. It's not going to be for the fainthearted mind: hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pitch up for a spot along the route. In fact, when we wandered in the area yesterday there were already people camping for prime pitches! This part - known as the King's Procession - will begin at 10.20am and Charles and Camilla will be using the horse-drawn Diamond Jubilee State Coach (not an Uber).


Ooo Gun Salutes!


About halfway through the two-hour coronation ceremony, gun salutes involving 400 personnel will mark the moment St Edward's Crown is placed on the King's head. Twenty-one rounds will be fired at 11 locations around the UK - including Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast - and on Royal Navy ships at sea. In London there will be a whopping 62-round salute at the Tower of London, along with a six-gun salvo on Horse Guards Parade. Pomp and ceremony at its finest.


Can I see the coronation on the big screen in London?


Yes indeedy! There are a fair few spots around London with big screens and large capacity:

  • Walpole Park, Ealing (6,000 person capacity).

  • Valence Park, Dagenham (7,000 person capacity).

  • Holland Park (4,000 person capacity).

  • Battersea Park (2,500 person capacity).

What happens after the coronation ceremony?

coronation

Once all the crowning business is done, Their Majesties will return to Buckingham Palace in a larger ceremonial procession, known as ‘The Coronation Procession’. Other members of the Royal Family will join in with this one including, rumour has it, Prince Harry.


Once back at the palace, and in a coronation first, all those marching will form up in the palace gardens where they will give a Royal Salute and three cheers to the King and Queen Consort, before the new King and Queen Consort, along with senior royals, head out to the famous front balcony to wave at the crowds. Look up at 2.30pm for the Red Arrows fly past!


Are there Tube closures I need to contend with?

coronation

Let's face it, even on a good day there is always the odd closure on the underground, and Transport for London has advised that some Tube stations will be closed for a time on Saturday 6 May, and will open some time later on, including:

  • St James's Park tube station will be completely closed in the morning

  • Hyde Park Corner will be exit-only

It's probably a good idea to also avoid, if you can, the stations closest to the viewing areas: it's going to be a squash and a squeeze for sure. These include:

  • Westminster

  • Green Park

  • Charing CrossEmbankment

  • Victoria

  • Hyde Park Corner

  • Knightsbridge

  • Leicester Square

  • Piccadilly Circus

  • Temple

  • Marble Arch

To control crowds both on trains and on platforms, people have been warned to expect long queues, changes to station exits and last-minute closures.


That's it, royal subjects, you're all set for the historical day! Don't forget to #londonforkidz with your coronation in London pics! If anyone needs us, we'll be cracking into that Pimms we mentioned earlier.


Like this story? Here are some more that might float your boat for things to do in London with kids...


How to ace the London underground with kids

Best museums in London

10 'must visit' places for kids in London

Kid-friendly restaurants we love in London

Family guide to the Tower of London

Outdoor adventures for families in London


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