LONDON—The Coronation of the King has taken place at Westminster Abbey. Prior to the ceremony, the King swore the Coronation Oath and prayed at the High Altar. Over 2,000 guests attended the event, including around 100 heads of state—including Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif—as well as kings and queens from across the globe, celebrities, and family and friends of the King and Queen Consort. The ceremony began at around 11am BST with thousands of well-wishers clapping and cheering along The Mall as the royal couple left Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.
The King was dressed in a deep scarlet robe previously worn by his grandfather, King George VI. The procession, led by 5,000 military personnel, took around 30 minutes to arrive at Westminster Abbey. Invited guests included David and Victoria Beckham, French President Emmanuel Macron, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Other notable guests included actress Dame Emma Thompson, musicians Lionel Richie and Nick Cave, British actor Stephen Fry, musical impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber, and US First Lady Jill Biden. US president Joe Biden did not make an appearance himself.
The ceremony took place after thousands of members of the public descended on the capital, arriving at Waterloo Station as early as 5am. Among the members of the public was a man who identified himself as a relative of the King, who had secured an invite to the ceremony. Military personnel led the procession accompanying the King and Queen Consort to Westminster Abbey and would also lead the one when they depart.
During the coronation ceremony, the St Edward’s Crown, which dates back to 1661, was placed on the monarch’s head, and cries of “God Save The King” rang out around the abbey. The King’s wife became Queen Camilla. The crowned couple then rode in the four-tonne Gold State Coach back to Buckingham Palace in a mile-long procession featuring 4,000 ceremonial troops. The event was the military’s largest ceremonial operation since Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, with 9,000 servicemen and women deployed.
A massive security and policing operation, dubbed Golden Orb, was underway with 11,500 police officers on duty alongside more than 9,000 military personnel taking part in the ceremony. Meanwhile, preparations were in full swing at Buckingham Palace where staff had adorned its famous balcony with red and gold draping ahead of the Royal Family’s appearance later. The King, Queen and other royals were expected to make an appearance on the famous balcony after returning from the service, but it remained unclear which members had made the cut.