Charles III.: The coronation: German guests and a moment without TV

It's almost here - the almost sacred moment for the UK.

Charles III.: The coronation: German guests and a moment without TV

It's almost here - the almost sacred moment for the UK. On May 6th, King Charles III. and his wife Camilla were crowned at Westminster Abbey in London. The preparations are largely complete. Who is taking part, what is actually happening - and what do the British think of all this?

royal couple

At 74, Charles is the oldest British monarch in history to be crowned. "The fact that the coronation comes just eight months after he took office is partly a result of his age," said Joe Little, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine.

When Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953 at the age of 27, Charles - then four years young - was the first heir to the throne to attend his mother's coronation. His mother Elizabeth, then called Lilibet, attended her father's coronation when she was eleven. Charles' wife Camilla is also crowned. Previously known as the Queen Consort, the 75-year-old will only be referred to as Queen from this moment on.


According to the palace, more than 2,200 people from 203 countries took part in the ceremony, including around 100 heads of state and representatives of other royal houses. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will represent Germany.

Royal relatives have announced themselves from Baden-Württemberg. The royal house is related to the House of Baden through Theodora, a sister of Charles' father Prince Philip. There are also family ties to the House of Hohenlohe-Langenburg: Charles is the great-uncle of Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. US President Joe Biden is represented by First Lady Jill Biden - however, no US head of state has ever attended a coronation.


The security costs for "Operation Golden Orb" - the code name for the coronation - are said to be around 150 million pounds (170 million euros). That covers the use of thousands of police officers and bodyguards for the high-ranking guests.

It cannot be ruled out that the authorities will make adjustments after an incident on Tuesday. A man allegedly threw shotgun shells over the Buckingham Palace fence. According to police, he had a knife. A suspicious bag he was carrying was blown up as a precaution. No one was injured and the man, who is said to be mentally ill according to the media, was quickly arrested.


Kings of England have been crowned in Westminster Abbey since William the Conqueror in 1066. The church is the central location for all major royal events - the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II took place here in September. The Abbey has been closed for preparations for a good week.

But that is much shorter than when Charles' mother was crowned in 1953. At that time, additional grandstands had to be built, with 8,000 guests, significantly more people took part than this time. The church was closed for a total of six months.


At 12.00 (CEST) the royal couple enters Westminster Abbey and the service begins. The coronation (1 p.m.) is considered the highlight. But the most important moment - and the only one not captured by the television cameras - is the anointing. The Archbishop of Canterbury touches the king's hands, chest and head with holy oil - a sign that the monarch has been chosen by God. Meanwhile, an artfully crafted shield shields the men from view.

Britain is the only monarchy in Europe to maintain this ceremony. Shortly thereafter, the archbishop places the Edwardian crown on the king. The only legally required part of the ceremony is the oath: the King swearing to govern the citizens of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth "according to their laws and customs".


Charles commissioned twelve new works for the coronation. These include the anthem "Make A Joyful Noise" by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber ("Cats"). Members of several choirs and orchestras play together in Westminster Abbey. A recording of the entire ceremony is scheduled to be released the same day and will be available in physical form on CD and vinyl from May 15th.


The couple is driven to church in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach. Then it's back - also in 33 minutes - in the Golden State Coach, which is only used for coronations. Military personnel from all branches of service and from Commonwealth countries march in the procession.

Charles' sister Princess Anne rides behind the royal couple, as reported by the newspaper "Mirror". The king paid tribute to the 72-year-old for her "loyalty and unwavering fulfillment of duty". Onlookers have been camping along the route for days to secure good seats.


Finally, Charles and Camilla show themselves to the people with the hard core of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. A Royal Air Force aerobatic squadron flies over the city palace. Only "working royals" are allowed to participate at the moment, i.e. the members who attend official appointments on behalf of the crown. These include heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Princess Kate, as well as the king's youngest brother, Prince Edward, and his wife Duchess Sophie.

Charles' younger son Prince Harry will be absent. The 38-year-old has resigned from his royal duties, but above all the relationship with his father and brother William is considered to be broken. The reason is serious allegations from Harry and his wife Duchess Meghan, who remains in the USA with the children Prince Archie (on his 4th birthday) and Princess Lilibet.

That's not all

On Sunday (May 7), people across the country are to gather at street festivals and tea parties for the "Coronation Big Lunch". In the evening there is a concert at Windsor Castle, the huge stage with its catwalks in all directions is modeled on the British flag.

Then on Monday (May 8) the population will be encouraged to get to know volunteer work in their communities under the motto "The Big Help Out". You don't have to skip school or work to do this: people in the UK get an extra holiday once.

Little enthusiasm

The anticipation is much smaller than you think. According to a poll by polling firm Yougov, more than half (59 percent) of people in the UK have little or no interest in the event. I

In another survey, almost two-thirds (62 percent) were in favor of maintaining the monarchy, but ten years ago it was just under three-quarters. Above all, people are dissatisfied that the coronation is paid for with tax money: a good half (51 percent) reject that.