It’s been nearly 70 years since the last UK coronation, when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2nd June 1953. Since then, a lot has changed, especially King Charles III’s approach to his coronation on 6th May 2023.
Let’s take a look at some of the key differences between these two historical events.
The ceremony and celebrations
The late Queen’s coronation was a grandiose affair involving a 4 hour long ceremony at Westminster Abbey, attended by 8,250 guests. The ceremony was followed by a 5 mile journey around London in the Golden State Carriage. The ceremony is thought to have cost around £1.57 million.
Compared to the uplifting celebrations in 1953, the King’s coronation has been billed as a ‘solemn religious’ event out of respect for his late mother’s passing. It’s expected to be a reflection of the monarch’s modern role in society, whilst still being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.
The ceremony itself will be just 60 minutes long and His Majesty is expected to take a significantly shorter procession in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach. The guestlist has been drastically reduced to just 2,000 guests.
In keeping with tradition, King Charles will be crowned with St Edward’s Crown during the coronation ceremony. The St Edward’s crown can be seen on the reverse design of the UK Coronation £5 coin.
Interestingly, the King is also depicted wearing a crown for the first time ever on the collector versions of the UK Coronation coin range.
In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II – then just 26 years old – wore a white silk dress designed by Norman Hartnell. The dress was embroidered with floral emblems, each representing countries of the Commonwealth at the time.
Additionally, she wore an accompanying crimson velvet 6.5 metre Robe of Estate, which was ornately decorated with gold lace.
The King will introduce a more relaxed dress code, reflecting a more modern Britain. He may even choose to wear his military uniform.
The same traditional coronation regalia will be used during the ceremony. Some of these items can be seen within the design of the UK Coronation £5 design, such as the St Edward’s Crown and the sovereign’s sceptre with dove and and cross.
70 years on…
The 1953 coronation was the first to be televised, and for many it would have been the first big event they’d watched on television. His Majesty’s coronation will be widely televised and there is sure to be extensive coverage of the ceremony across the internet and social media.
A special emoji has even been created to mark the event. A cartoon depiction of the St Edward’s Crown with a purple velvet cap will appear automatically on social media platforms when someone uses a hashtag relevant to the coronation.
Tag us and use these hashtags in your coronation posts to see the crown emoji in action!
#Coronation, #CoronationConcert, #CoronationWeekend and #CoronationBigLunch
Change Checker’s Coronation Activity Pack!
We’re kicking off our Coronation weekend celebrations with some free-to-download activity sheets.
From Coronation bingo, which you can play on the big day, to some colouring sheets for the downtime in between events – we’ve got your party plans covered!
Download your kit below: