King Charles III's coronation service. (74) and Queen Camilla (75) with more than 2,300 guests went absolutely according to plan. The solemn ceremony in London's Westminster Abbey began on Saturday at 11 a.m. local time (12 p.m. CET). The queen walked before the visibly moved king into the church, which was laid out with a golden yellow and blue carpet. Charles' grandson and future heir to the throne, Prince George (9), carried his train along with three other page honours. Camilla was also escorted to her seat by four page honours. The eight boys carried out their task with seriousness and dignity.
George's parents, the heir to the throne William (40) and Kate (41), also had a truly majestic appearance in royal blue, along with Princess Charlotte (8) in snow white and little Prince Louis (5) in black. Kate and Charlotte wore a sparkling Jess Collett x Alexander McQueen headpiece with three-dimensional leaf embroidery made of silver bullion, crystals and silver thread. The four sat in the front row. William's brother, Prince Harry (38), who emigrated to the United States, also sat in the third row with the family. He walked alone to his place.
At the beginning of the coronation ceremony, Justin Welby (67), Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the Church of England, took the oath from King Charles. After songs, prayers and a reading by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (42), Welby said: "We come together today to crown a king, a serving king [...]" This was reminiscent of the Queen's promise, which also placed the serving element at the center of her reign.
Then came the most solemn and religious moment of the ceremony, the anointing with holy oil. This intimate and personal procedure took place behind the specially designed screen with a tree and angels above. The traditional coronation hymn "Zadok the Priest" by the German-British composer Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759) was also intoned.
The newly anointed king took his place on the coronation chair in a long, shimmering gold coat, the "Supertunica", which is more than 100 years old. He was then endowed with royal insignia. Wrapped in the floor-length so-called "Imperial Mantle" from 1821, he accepted the orb and the coronation ring.
Following this, Charles was presented with the two scepters, holding one with a coronation gauntlet. "One is for royal power, which is to be exercised with care and that is why the monarch also carries it with a glove. The other is the scepter of mercy, which he carries without a glove to symbolize direct contact," explained Julia Melchior spot on news in advance of this.
Then the climax: "God save the King", it resounded through Westmister Abbey shortly after 1 p.m. and the archbishop put the heavy Edward's crown on the very serious-looking and somewhat pale king. The homage followed.
Then a touching moment: Prince William, the Prince of Wales, knelt down in front of his father, pledged his loyalty to him and kissed him on the cheek. At that moment, a hint of a smile crossed Charles' otherwise almost frozen face. "God save the king" resounded again through the venerable building in which William and Kate had already married in 2011.
Now it was Queen Camilla's turn. After receiving the crown, she first corrected her bangs and then beamed from ear to ear when the scepter was presented to her. As she walked towards the king to take his seat next to him on her throne, she gave her heartbroken husband a warm smile - a real little mood lifter.
Both struggled a little with their crowns as they walked to the chapel to place the two heavy symbols of dominion there. A little later they returned to the "Cosmati Pavement", the mosaic floor of the church reserved for coronations. The royal couple then went back to the chapel. King Charles returned with the second crown, the slightly lighter and more comfortable Imperial State Crown.
After the national anthem, Charles and Camilla walked slowly out of the church. With each step, a little more weight seemed to lift off the king's shoulders. Stepping out of the church shortly after 2 p.m., he too was finally able to smile with relief.
After the coronation, the royal procession took the carriage back to Buckingham Palace, where the royal family will appear on the balcony. Whether the plane parade will take place is decided by the weather gods...