On Saturday, May 6, 2023, history will be made. Though his newly appointed position has been secured for months now, Charles Phillip Arthur George will be crowned the figurehead of the United Kingdom and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. And with this prestigious coronation ceremony, he will also receive the official title of King Charles III. This royal appointment will also confirm his wife Camilla Bowles title as Queen Camilla.
For most who follow the Royal Family, the only monarch to reign in our lifetime was Queen Elizabeth II. Her Late Majesty’s legacy will, of course, always be with us. But as the world prepares for another momentous occasion, we thought it would be interesting to go back in time and take a brief look at the man we’ve known only as Prince Charles and his place in the history of the House of Windsor.
A Short Biography
Charles was born on November 14, 1948, to Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, and had three younger siblings: Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. As a boy, he attended Cheam and Gordonstoun Schools, where his father received his childhood education. He eventually was enrolled at Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia and spent his university years at Trinity College in Cambridge, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree while studying archeology, anthropology and history.
Like his mother’s incredible accomplishment of being the longest-reigning monarch in British history, Prince Charles holds the record for being the longest-serving heir apparent. He has been recognized over the years for his involvement with many charitable causes and environmental issues and is a loyal patron of more than 400 organizations, including WWF UK, The Royal Shakespeare Company and The British Red Cross.
Here are a few key dates from his history, leading up to the coronation ceremony in May.
1958 – Charles is created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, appointed by his mother.
1970 – Charles graduates from Trinity College in Cambridge.
1981 – Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral. It was considered by many to be the “wedding of the century”.
1982 – Charles and Diana have their first child: Prince William.
1984 – Charles and Diana have their second child: Prince Harry.
1996 – Charles and Diana divorce after being separated for nearly 4 years.
1997 – Diana dies in a car crash in Paris, France.
2005 – Charles marries his long-time companion Camilla Parker Bowles, who is appointed Duchess of Cornwall.
A Few Fun Facts about King Charles III’s Coronation Ceremony
1. Where? The ceremony will be held at Westminster Abbey, the place where the crowning of every monarch since 1066 has occurred. The first of these was William the Conqueror.
2. When? After the traditional procession of the Royals from Buckingham Palace, the actual ceremony will begin promptly at 11:00 AM BST (British Summer Time).
3. Who? The service at Westminster Abbey will be presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
4. What Will Charles Wear? This information has not been officially announced yet. Traditionally, male monarchs have worn a crimson velvet robe (called the supertunica) and gold cloak (called the colobium sindonis). But some have speculated that Charles could don his military uniform for the coronation, rather than something traditionally elaborate, to be sensitive to the economic climate.
5. What Should I Expect? While there could be a few adjustments to the ceremony for Charles’ coronation, these are a few longstanding traditions:
The Oath – King Charles will accept all the responsibilities of his appointed position.
The Anointing – King Charles will receive holy oil on his hands, chest and head from the Archbishop, administered with a gold spoon and an eagle-shaped silver-gilt ampulla.
The Crowning – King Charles will be crowned with the St. Edward’s Crown during the actual ceremony. However, afterwards he will wear the Imperial State Crown, sparkling with more than 2,800 diamonds and other precious gems. The Bradford Exchange is excited to offer a miniature replica of this royal artifact available now.
The Homage – King Charles will move to the throne chair and be recognized by senior officials of the United Kingdom.
The Blessing – a consecrating prayer is said to bless the festivities and the appointment.
The Investiture (presentation of the regalia) – King Charles will receive a selection of items to signify his authority and responsibility. These items include:
The Jewelled Sword of Offering – symbolizing his authority as head of state.
The Orb – symbolizing his role as a defender of the faith.
The Scepters – representing his temporal and spiritual power.
The Sovereign’s Ring – representing the bond with his people. The Bradford Exchange offers a recreation of this royal ring as well.
The Spurs – symbolizing his chivalry and willingness to serve. The Armills – symbolizing sincerity and wisdom.
So, there certainly is a lot that goes into a coronation, don’t you think? We hope today’s blog was not only fun and informative but also that it made you excited about May 6. We certainly are excited over here at The Bradford Exchange. And you can see that when you shop our selection of royal tributes. We invite you to take a peek to get you further in the mood for the coronation of King Charles III.The Coronation of King Charles III - May 6, 2023 by The Bradford Exchange