LONDOM: Charles III was on Saturday crowned monarch of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth nations after a lifetime as heir apparent to his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Camilla, his wife, was crowned immediately after. Cries of “God Save the King” rang out from the 2,300-member congregation, which included foreign royalty and political leaders. Trumpet fanfares sounded along with gun salutes across Britain and beyond.
Shortly afterwards, his wife Camilla was crowned Queen. After the crown was placed on Charles’ head, cries of “God Save the King” were heard inside and outside Westminster Abbey. Gun salutes were made across the UK, the abbey bells rang for two minutes, and corks were popped on the Mall in London where thousands had gathered. After the ceremony, the crowds who lined the procession route watched the newly-crowned couple make their way to Buckingham Palace in the Gold State Coach. And on the Mall in front of the palace, the public peered from under their umbrellas to see the family’s balcony appearance.But the BBC understands Prince Harry – who was at the ceremony in Westminster Abbey – was not invited to join his family on the balcony.
The Duke of Sussex arrived at the abbey alongside his cousins.He was sitting two rows back from his brother, Prince William – the first time they had been seen together since Harry’s memoir, Spare, was released. It is thought Prince Harry is already on his way back to Heathrow Airport, as his son Archie is celebrating his fourth birthday in the US. Plans for a military flypast as the family appeared on the balcony were scaled back due to the “unsuitable weather conditions”, the Ministry of Defence confirmed. The ceremony itself was watched on TV around the world, as well as some 2,300 people who were invited to the abbey.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla greeted rain-drenched crowds with smiles and waves, alongside other British royals from the balcony of Buckingham Palace shortly after their coronations. While many of the intricate rituals and ceremony to recognise Charles as his people’s “undoubted king” remained, the king sought to bring other aspects of the coronation service up to date.
Women bishops participated for the first time, as did leaders of Britain’s non-Christian faiths while its Celtic languages — Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic — featured prominently. A gospel choir sang for the first time at a coronation while a Greek choir intoned a psalm in tribute to Charles’s late father, Prince Philip, who was born on the island of Corfu. As king, Charles is supreme governor of the Church of England and has described himself as a “committed Anglican Christian”. But he heads a more religiously and ethnically diverse country than the one his mother inherited in the shadow of World War II.
As such, he sought to make the congregation more reflective of British society, inviting ordinary members of the public to sit alongside heads of state and global royalty. In another change, the coronation themes mirrored his lifelong interest in biodiversity and sustainability. Ceremonial vestments from previous coronations were reused, and the anointing oil used was vegan. Rishi Sunak — Britain’s first prime minister of colour, who gave a reading from the Bible at the service — has described the coronation as “a proud expression of our history, culture and traditions”.
Earlier, the police arrested dozens of protesters of the anti-monarchy group Republic as they prepared to protest along the route of a procession for the coronation.
London: Princes Harry and Andrew attended the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday but were relegated to the third row of the royal family seating, with no formal role in proceedings. Charles’s younger son Harry and his American wife Meghan quit royal duties in 2020 and have since unleashed a string of barbed attacks on the monarchy. Andrew, the king’s eldest brother, has been frozen out over his past association with the disgraced late US financier Jeffrey Epstein and a related sexual abuse allegation which was settled out of court.
Driven in a state car from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in London, part of the crowd in a grandstand in front of the palace booed as Andrew went past. Harry, 38, the Duke of Sussex, and 63-year-old Andrew, the Duke of York, arrived at the abbey with other members of the royal family. It is the first time Harry has joined his family since subjecting them to a torrent of stinging criticism in his recent memoir “Spare” and in a series of television interviews. Meghan has remained in California with the couple’s young children, thereby avoiding potentially awkward interactions with her in-laws.
Former British Army captain Harry, who served in Afghanistan, was wearing a morning suit with his medals, while Andrew — who flew Royal Navy helicopters in the 1982 Falklands War — wore his robes as a knight of the garter. Harry was seen chatting with Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, husband of his cousin Princess Beatrice, Andrew’s elder daughter. He also had a quick word with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, after entering the Great West Door. Welby married Harry and Meghan at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Both Harry and Andrew were seen smiling as they walked through the abbey to their seats. They were both placed on the third row — out of keeping with their place in the line of succession to the throne.
Harry is fifth in line to the throne, following his brother Prince William, and William’s three children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Wales. Andrew is eighth in line, coming after Harry and his children — Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet of Sussex. Andrew sat at the end of the row next to Beatrice, while Harry sat next to Jack Brooksbank, the husband of Andrew’s younger daughter Princess Eugenie. Saturday marks Archie’s fourth birthday, so Harry might make a swift exit back to his home in California. Andrew’s links with Epstein — boyfriend of the prince’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell — came back to haunt him.
A US woman, Virginia Giuffre, said she was pressured to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 after being delivered by Epstein, who was convicted in 2008 of procuring a child for prostitution. Andrew denied the allegations in a November 2019 BBC interview that nonetheless went down badly. Within days, he stepped back from his patronages and in May 2020 he permanently resigned from all public roles. The case was settled out of court in February 2022, with Giuffre accepting a donation to her charity and no admission of liability from Andrew.Andrew took part in events surrounding Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral but, beyond mourning his mother, Charles has shown no sign of allowing him a return to public life.
It is King Charles III’s big day today, but the children of Prince William and Kate Middleton managed to steal the show on Saturday at the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Prince Louis, who recently turned 5, arrived with his parents and his elder sister, Princess Charlotte, as they made their way to King Charles and Queen Camilla’s Coronation ceremony. Prince George, 9, on the other hand, was given the special task of being one of his grandfather’s Pages of Honour, having held onto his red robe as the monarch walked into the church.
During the event, Prince Louis sat between his mother, Kate Middleton, and his sister. One image showed the little one yawning during the ceremony, and pointing out something he apparently found interesting to his sister. Prince George was not seated with his family during the ceremony, as he snagged the role as one of Charles’ four Pages of Honour.
Meanwhile, coming back to the ceremony, around 2,300 guests, including foreign leaders and global royalty, are attending the event, which is the religious confirmation of Charles’s accession following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last September. The coronation is the first since 1953 and the first of a king since 1937. It is only the second to be televised and the first in colour and streamed online.
During the ceremony, Rishi Sunak read from the biblical book of Colossians at the coronation in keeping with the tradition of British Prime Ministers giving readings at state occasions. As one of the newer elements, the 74-year-old monarch also prayed aloud using words specially written for the occasion that reflect the”duty and privilege of the Sovereign to serve all communities”.
( Bureau Report with Media Inputs).