A boy band reunion, Kermit the Frog struggling for the best seat and royals grooving to the music: Around 20,000 fans watched the coronation of King Charles III in front of a spectacularly illuminated backdrop of Windsor Castle. and his wife Camilla celebrated with a star-studded concert.
The show in the "Garden of the Royal Family", as the British actor Hugh Bonneville ("Downton Abbey", "Paddington") moderated the spectacle, was the party highlight of the coronation weekend. With spring-like temperatures and a sunny festival atmosphere, opera greats like Andrea Bocelli alternated with pop stars like Lionel Richie and Katy Perry and a coronation chorus consisting of several hundred voices. The 300 performers reciting Emile Sande's "Brighter Days" included a fire brigade choir, a deaf choir and a South Asian choir.
Dancers from the Royal Ballet collaborated with the Royal Shakespeare Company and other royal artistic institutions in honor of Charles. They performed a mixture of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and Leonard Bernstein's musical "West Side Story".
As rock musician Steve Windwood sang "Higher Love" with the Commonwealth Choir, made up of participants from various British ex-colonies, Charles' niece Zara Tindall and husband Mike danced in their seats. The finale was an acclaimed reunion performance by the boy band Take That, in which the other royals could no longer stay in their seats.
Prince William pays tribute to King Charles
Heir to the throne Prince William addressed personal words to the newly crowned king from the stage: "We are so proud of you, Pa," he said towards the covered Royal Box, where Charles and Camilla with many other royals - including Prince Andrew - and watched the concert. Again and again heads and camera lenses turned obliquely upwards to the seats of the royal family.
In Windsor there was no trace of opponents of the monarchy, as seen the day before in central London: those who were there probably had nothing against the monarchy - or even tended to like it, as crowns, flags and T-shirts revealed. Half of the approximately 20,000 concert tickets were raffled among interested people from the British population - people who have done something special were also invited.
However, the big names of current British pop stayed away from Windsor: Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Adele and Harry Styles are said to have declined invitations. "If Harry Styles had come, I would have gone crazy," said a young woman with a red, white and blue headdress on the way back.
Kermit the Frog as presenter
Instead, the BBC - official organizer of the concert - offered several optical and humorous highlights: Illuminated drones painted flowers and animals in the night sky as a tribute to Charles' love of nature. The sandstone-colored Windsor Castle shone sometimes in gold, sometimes covered in flowers, then in the colors of the Union Jack. Kermit the Frog was allowed to annoy the presenter from time to time, ultimately even making it into his coveted Royal Box, where he was seen alongside Prince Edward.
"Coronations are an announcement of our hopes for the future," William quoted his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II as saying at the concert. The core of the British Royals may hope for further stability of the monarchy - at least on this evening their future seemed certain for the time being.
However, the "Big Help Out" day, which was scheduled for Monday - for most Britons an extra bank holiday to mark the coronation - could be less glorious. The people are called upon to get involved and do something good for the community in the additional free time. According to the Guardian, interest was initially limited. According to official figures, voluntary work in British society has been declining for years. It remains to be seen whether the new king can do anything about it.