We’re just a few months out from King Charles’ coronation, and we’re now learning new details about the upcoming event. Buckingham Palace has confirmed that the celebrations will commence on Saturday, May 6. According to recent reports, the first 21st century royal coronation is going to differ greatly from Queen Elizabeth’s historic 1953 coronation.
According to the Daily Mail, King Charles’ official coronation ceremony will only last a single hour. For comparison, Queen Elizabeth’s lasted over three. Apparently, this is because Charles has done away with many of the ancient rituals that characterized her majesty’s own coronation.
“The king has stripped back a lot of the coronation in recognition that the world has changed in the past 70 years,” an insider told the publication.
In fact, while previous coronations have followed strict methods of honoring the British throne, reports suggest the king will be making a conscious effort to be more inclusive during the event. Apparently, Charles plans for a “more religiously and culturally diverse” service. All of these details are in line with the king’s long-surmised intentions to modernize the monarchy.
This intent is also evident in Charles’ efforts to give citizens a more active role in the coronation. On January 21, Buckingham Palace announced that Windsor Castle will host a special Coronation Concert on Sunday, May 7 to be broadcasted by the BBC and BBC studios. Free tickets will also become available to the public as the date gets closer.
According to the palace’s statement, “the Coronation Concert will bring global music icons and contemporary stars together in celebration of the historic occasion.” This marks a big change from the modest coronation concert hosted by the monarchy in 1953 (per the University of Westminster Archive) and will certainly serve as a cultural touchstone for Charles’ reign.
Additionally, charitable organizations will play a large part in the coronation celebrations. On that same Sunday, communities across the UK will take place in the Coronation Big Lunch. Hosted by the Eden Project’s Big Lunch initiative—of which the queen consort has long been a patron—various volunteers will work to bring the royal celebrations straight to local communities.
Finally, on Monday, the crown will close the coronation weekend with a “Big Help Out” event. This day is meant to encourage citizens to volunteer for their community service or charitable cause of choice.
These updates serve as a great gauge for measuring the kind of reign King Charles has ahead of him. In his efforts to focus on community building instead of showcasing royal grandeur and opulence, it seems like Charles is chasing his long-suspected goal of slimming down the British monarchy.