King Charles' Coronation Celebration Set for May 2023

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort

Senedd Cymru / Welsh Parliament from Wales

The U.K. monarchy has been in slow decline for over a century since the outbreak of the Great War, ending the power of the British aristocracy. Elizabeth II’s unprecedented reign on the English throne managed to cannily hold the system up while releasing most of its underpinnings, from the end of the Empire in the late 1940s to the beginning of the dissolution of the Commonwealth in the last few years. But conventional wisdom always seemed to have held that somehow, the system would crack with her passing, that Charles would not be able to step up. However, it appears that Keeping On and Carrying On has run in the family, and King Charles will be coronated in due course.

Elizabeth’s coronation took over a year to prepare; her father, George VI, passed on February 2, 1952, but her ceremony did not occur until June 2, 1953. Charles is not waiting so long, nor will his coronation take nearly as many days. Elizabeth’s coronation came with two bank holidays and four days of celebration, though it was only considered a single-day event. Charles will only have a single bank holiday, but the entire three days weekend is being treated as a celebration, a shrinkflation worthy of the monarchy.

The coronation will occur on Saturday, May 6, 2023, which guarantees that Friday will default to a “no one does anything” day, even if it is not a formal bank holiday. Sunday, May 7, will feature a “Coronation Big Lunch” and “Coronation Concert,” the latter of which is expected to be broadcast countrywide with as many stars of the day as can be rounded up. Monday, May 8, the official bank holiday, is being billed as “The Big Help Out,” a day to volunteer in the community in honor of Charles’ ascension, driving emphasis to his decades of charity work.

In a statement about the upcoming coronation, which is expected to be broadcast worldwide the same as Elizabeth’s funeral was. (Her coronation, the first ever broadcast, was seen around the western world, but not the globe.) According to the palace’s official statement, it will be “a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry.” It will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, “reflect[ing] the Monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.”

The British press speculates that Charles is not planning nearly as lavish a ceremony as his mother’s back in the 1950s. To be fair, as hers was the first ever to be broadcast, there was no actual debate about the details, as simply putting the cameras in the room in the first place was controversial enough. There was no thought of cutting down the three-hour ceremony or cutting back on the pomp and circumstance. However, 70 years on, cameras in the room are de rigueur; it’s now a matter of how long a ceremony can go on without losing an audience (or cutting to commercial) before networks start to balk. 

At this point, the palace has not specified who will attend the coronation nor who will star in the big bash that follows. However, we here at Telly Visions expect that BritBox and PBS will once again clear all programming for the historic event as they did for the funeral last September, with American rolling news cutting in just before the ceremony itself. As for who will get rights to the concert, it is likely that if Disney bids for it again, American viewers will be forced to watch a condensed version with commercial interruption on ABC, and that actual viewing will be by VPN only.

This post will be updated with more details as they come in. King Charles’ Coronation is scheduled to occur on Saturday, May 6, 2023.


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Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found at Elite Daily, NBC News' THINK, and others. A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on Twitter: @anibundel