The coronation of King Charles III will take place on Saturday, May 6 2023 – but a variety of events to mark the historic occasion will take place across the bank holiday weekend.

This year, it will be the first coronation of a sovereign to take place in the United Kingdom since Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Here is what we know so far about the plans, code-named Operation Golden Orb.

What is a coronation?

A coronation is the formal investiture of a monarch and their regal powers. It is a grand event in which the monarch is presented with royal ceremonial objects, such as the Crown Jewels.

It is where the crown is physically placed on the sovereign’s head, in front of thousands of important guests, reports the Royal Collection Trust.

It validates the monarch's role as the head of the Church of England and commemorates the transfer of their title and powers.

Is there going to be a bank holiday for the coronation?

Monday, May 8 will be an extra bank holiday across the UK and a variety of events will take place across the weekend for people to celebrate the historic occasion.

Pubs, clubs and bars across England and Wales will be able to stay open for an extra two hours on Friday and Saturday of the coronation weekend.

On Sunday, May 7, a special coronation concert will be broadcast live from Windsor Castle by the BBC.

Communities are invited to share food and fun together, which will take place across the country on the same date as part of the ‘Coronation Big Lunch'.

On Monday, May 8, members of the public will be invited to take part in ‘the Big Help Out’, which will encourage people to try volunteering to support their local areas.

Events are expected to be publicised under the official coronation logo, which has been created by former Apple designer Jony Ive.

It features a rose, a thistle, a daffodil and a shamrock - emblems from nations across the United Kingdom.

What will happen at the coronation?

The coronation of King Charles and the Queen Consort, Camilla will take place at Westminster Abbey. The service will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The service will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry, Buckingham Palace has said.

The King and the Queen Consort will arrive at Westminster Abbey in procession from Buckingham Palace, known as ‘the King’s Procession’.

There are several stages to the service, according to the BBC:

  • The recognition: While standing beside the 700-year-old Coronation Chair, the monarch is presented to those gathered in the Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The congregation shouts "God Save the King!" and trumpets sound
  • The oath: The sovereign swears to uphold the law and the Church of England
  • The anointing: The King's ceremonial robe is removed and he sits in the Coronation Chair. A gold cloth is held over the chair to conceal the King from view. The Archbishop of Canterbury anoints the King's hands, breast and head with holy oil made according to a secret recipe, but known to contain ambergris, orange flowers, roses, jasmine and cinnamon. The oil created for Charles will not contain any ingredients derived from animals
  • The investiture: The sovereign is presented with items including the Royal Orb, representing religious and moral authority; the Sceptre, representing power; and the Sovereign's Sceptre, a rod of gold topped with a white enamelled dove, a symbol of justice and mercy. Finally, the Archbishop places St Edward's Crown on the King's head
  • The enthronement and homage: The King leaves the Coronation Chair and moves to the throne. Peers kneel before the monarch to pay homage

The Queen Consort will then be anointed in the same way and crowned.

After the service, they will return to Buckingham Palace in a larger ceremonial procession, known as ‘the Coronation Procession’. The King and Queen consort will be joined in this procession by other members of the Royal Family.

To conclude the day’s ceremonial events, the King and the Queen Consort will be accompanied by members of the Royal Family and will appear on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

Bournemouth Echo: The coronation will be a big event for the Queen Consort tooThe coronation will be a big event for the Queen Consort too (Image: PA)

What music will be played at the coronation service?

King Charles has personally commissioned new music and chosen the musical programme for the service.

Twelve newly commissioned pieces of music will be performed, showcasing musical talent from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth – this will include music from the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

One of the liturgical sections of the ceremony will be performed in Welsh, in recognition of the King’s long-standing and deeply held relationship and affiliation with Wales.

Greek Orthodox music will also feature in the service performed by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble - a request by the King as a tribute to his late father, Prince Philip.

The service will be sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey, the Choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal a gospel choir and others.

Who will be going to the coronation?

The coronation is a state occasion, which means the government controls the guest list, reports the BBC.

As well as the Royal Family, those attending will include the prime minister, representatives from the Houses of Parliament, heads of state, and other royals from around the world.

Westminster Abbey’s normal capacity is around 2,200 and it seems likely this will be the maximum number on this occasion.

There has been speculation about whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will attend - a statement from Prince Harry and Meghan said the couple has been contacted about the coronation but did not confirm whether they intend to attend.

How can I watch the coronation in the UK?

The coronation will be broadcasted on television to millions around the world.

The BBC are providing a one-off dispensation for venues and community settings that do not usually require a TV Licence to broadcast the weekend's ceremonies. 

However, any events that are hosted and charge for food, drink and entry are not entitled to the dispensation. 

Which crowns will be worn during the coronation ceremony?

The BBC has reported that the King will be crowned with the solid gold, 17th Century, St Edward's Crown – only used for a coronation.

The monarch will put on the Imperial State Crown towards the end of the coronation ceremony and he will also wear it when he appears on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen Consort will be crowned with Queen Mary's Crown, which has been taken out of the Tower of London to be resized ahead of the ceremony.

It is thought to be the first time in recent history that an existing crown will be 'recycled' for a coronation.

How much is the coronation going to cost?

As a state occasion, the coronation will be paid for by the UK government.

While it is likely to come under pressure to show sensitivity during the current cost-of-living crisis, the government is expected to use the ceremony as an important diplomatic opportunity to present the UK to the world, the BBC report.