2 May 2023

King Charles' coronation: What you need to know

6:25 am on 2 May 2023
Britain's King Charles III smiles as he leaves after attending the Easter Mattins Service at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on April 9, 2023. (Photo by Yui Mok / POOL / AFP)

King Charles III. Photo: Yui Mok / Pool / AFP

After eight months as King following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III's coronation is to take place.

But what does the coronation weekend entail, who will be there and how is New Zealand marking the occasion?

RNZ has all you need to know about the King's coronation.

When is it and what will happen on the day?

King Charles III's coronation will take place this weekend, on 6 May at Westminster Abbey.

It will begin at 11am, UK time and he will be the 40th monarch crowned in the Abbey.

According to the Royal Family, the coronation is a "solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry".

The formal ceremony will include the Recognition, the Anointing, the Coronation Oath, and the Homage.

Following that, a procession will take place before royals stand and wave to the public on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

As the palace released information about the day, it became apparent that the scale of the event would not be as large as what was seen with Queen Elizabeth in 1953, reflecting the modern age and considering the current cost of living crisis.

As the BBC has reported, King Charles and his wife Camilla will leave Buckingham Palace and be taken to Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II rides with Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in Diamond Jubilee State Coach as she leaves Buckingham Palace in London on October 14, 2019 heading to the Houses of Parliament for the State Opening of Parliament. - The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of informing parliament about the government's agenda for the coming year in a Queen's Speech. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP)

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach. Photo: AFP / Isavel Infantes

This coach was built to commemorate Queen Elizabeth's 60th year on the throne and was used for the first time back in 2014.

At the conclusion of the coronation, the couple will take part in the Coronation Procession, riding in the Gold State Coach. It is 260 years old and has been used at every coronation since William IV's in 1831, BBC reported.

The procession will see the King travel along Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square.

Upon arrival back at Buckingham Palace, the King and Queen Consort, along with members of the Royal Family, will appear on the balcony to close off the day's events.

Who will be attending?

People walk beneath flags of the Union and Commonwealth on The Mall, looking towards Buckingham Palace, in central London, on April 28, 2023 ahead of the coronation ceremony of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realm nations, on May 6, 2023. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

Preparation for the coronation is in full swing. Photo: AFP / Daniel Leal

According to the BBC, invitations for the formal ceremony have been sent to about 2000 people.

As expected, many members of the Royal Family will be in attendance.

After speculation of whether he would or would not be invited, it has been confirmed Prince Harry will attend his father's coronation. However, his wife Meghan Markle will not attend. The coronation is planned to take place on their son, Prince Archie's, 4th birthday.

Political figures and leaders from around the world will be among the attendees. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and French President Emmanuel Macron will be there.

US President Joe Biden will not, but his wife Jill Biden will attend in his place. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will also be in attendance.

The BBC has also reported 850 community members have been invited in recognition of their charity work.

What is happening the day after the coronation?

Lionel Richie drew a record crowd on Sunday at Glastonbury.

Lionel Richie is one of the confirmed performers for the coronation concert. Photo: AFP

The Coronation Concert, celebrating the King's crowning, will take place a day later on 7 May at Windsor Castle.

Performances can be expected from Andrea Borcelli, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Take That.

Singer-songwriter Freya Ridings, Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, and classical-soul composer Alexis Ffrench are also part of the line-up.

Recent additions to the line-up include Paloma Faith, Olly Murs, Steve Winwood, Nicole Scherzinger and Lang Lang, the BBC reported.

A 'coronation choir', made up from singers in community choirs and other singers across the UK, will perform alongside a 'virtual choir' made up on singers from across the Commonwealth.

A laser and drone lightshow will take place following the concert.

According to Rolling Stone, a number of performers such as Sir Elton John, Robbie Williams, Harry Styles and Adele were asked to perform but all declined.

As well as the concert, the Coronation Big Lunch will take place on 7 May.

According to the Royal Family, neighbours and communities across the UK are asked to share food and celebrate together in a "nationwide act of celebration and friendship".

"From a cup of tea with a neighbour to a street party, a Coronation Big Lunch brings the celebrations to your neighbourhood and is a great way to get to know your community a little better."

Will there be a public holiday?

Royal souvenirs are seen for sale on a street in central London on April 29, 2023 ahead of the coronation ceremony of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realm nations, on May 6, 2023. (Photo by Susannah Ireland / AFP)

Royal souvenirs are seen for sale on a street in central London on 29 April 29 ahead of the coronation. Photo: AFP

Monday, 8 May will be a public holiday in the UK.

Members of the public are asked to take part in 'The Big Help Out' and volunteer their time for a community organisation.

"In tribute to His Majesty The King's public service, The Big Help Out will encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas," the Royal Family said.

"The aim of The Big Help Out is to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation Weekend."

How much will this all cost?

A red London bus passes beneath Union flags on Regent Street, in central London, on April 30, 2023 ahead of the coronation ceremony of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realm nations, on May 6, 2023. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

Photo: AFP / Justin Tallis

The estimated cost of the coronation is $100 million pounds - or NZD$203m, ABC is reporting.

The price tag, paid for by the taxpayer, was hard to swallow for Britons who were struggling to put food on the table.

Who from New Zealand is going?

Dame Cindy Kiro

Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro is among the New Zealanders heading to London for the coronation. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

A select number of people have been invited to the King's coronation from New Zealand.

This includes Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, National Party leader Christopher Luxon, and head of the Kīngitanga movement, Kīngi Tūheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII, and his wife Makau Ariki Atawhai.

Dame Naida Glavish and High Commissioner to the UK Phil Goff, and his wife, were also invited.

Also from New Zealand, former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw will attend as the Order of New Zealand representative, and Willie Apiata, former corporal in the New Zealand Special Air Service, will attend as the Victoria Cross for New Zealand representative.

Abdul Aziz, the man who had just an Eftpos machine to defend himself against the Christchurch terror attacker, is now the New Zealand Cross recipient and will attend in that capacity.

Dylan Thomas in Wellington

Dylan Thomas. Photo: supplied

Kiwi Dylan Thomas, 19, who is currently living in the UK, will take part in the coronation as a bell-ringer.

The former Kapiti College student is well known in ringer circles and previously gained the title of 'global young ringer of the year'.

How will New Zealand mark the occasion?

There will be six coins, minted in silver and gold, to commemorate King Charles III's coronation.

There will be six coins released, minted in silver and gold, to commemorate King Charles III's coronation. Photo: Supplied / NZ Post

A number of events will take place in New Zealand to mark the King's coronation, according to the office of the governor-general.

Over the coronation weekend, local councils are to plant native trees as part of He Rā Rākau Tītapu - King Charles III Coronation Plantings.

A national event for the public will be held at the Auckland Domain on 7 May at 1pm. There will be performances, free ice cream and sapling (tree) giveaways.

The office of the governor-general said buildings and landmarks across the country will be lit up in purple lights over the weekend.

In Auckland, this includes the harbour bridge, Sky Tower, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Eden Park and Aotea Centre.

The harbour bridge is one of many landmarks that will be lit up for the coronation. Photo:

In Wellington, this includes parliament, Michael Fowler Centre and Wellington East Girls College.

Dunedin, Hawera and Gore will also have building lit up in purple to celebrate.

The New Zealand Defence Force will fire gun salutes from Auckland's Devonport and Point Jerningham in Wellington at midday on 7 May.

NZ Post has announced it had created commemorative coins for the occasion.

Released on 3 May, the series of six coins are minted in silver and gold, and one is a 11 millimetre gold coin weighting half a gram.

The coins were designed by Wellington's Stephen Fuller and personally approved by the King.

NZ Post stamps and collectables head Antony Harris said King Charles III would be the first king of New Zealand to appear on the country's decimal currency.

"It is fitting that the first appearance of His Majesty's effigy will be on coins commemorating the coronation."

NZ Post will also issue stamps to commemorate the coronation, including a sheet featuring images from the coronation ceremony.

For more events across the country, head here.

How can I watch from home in New Zealand?

RNZ Concert will broadcast the Pre-Coronation Celebratory Concert Live from Westminster Abbey from 7:50 PM and RNZ National will broadcast the coronation ceremony live from 9:50pm, while RNZ will also live blog the event as it happens.

TVNZ will have a full line-up of royal viewing in the lead-up to the coronation, and beyond.

It will begin on 5 May with The Repair Shop: King Charles Special on TV1 at 7:30pm. My King Charles III will follow at 8:30pm before King Charles III: A New Era at 9:40pm.

On 6 May, royal viewing will span most of the day starting at 10am on TV1. 1 News Presents: Their Majesties' Coronation will start at 7pm and the BBC's coverage will also be aired.

The coronation concert will air on TV1 at 8pm on 8 May.

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