The event commenced with a military band playing the national anthem as the King and Queen Consort departed from Buckingham Palace, sparking thunderous cheers from the crowds.
Inside the abbey, Charles was officially declared as the “undoubted King” in the initial phase of the ceremony. The congregation was then called upon to demonstrate their homage and service by exclaiming “God Save the King.” The Coronation, centered around the theme of service, commenced at 11:00 BST and was expected to last approximately two hours.
The theme of service resonated throughout the oaths and prayers uttered by King Charles and in the sermon delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. In his first prayer after arriving at the Abbey, the King humbly stated, “I come not to be served, but to serve.” The Archbishop opened his sermon by proclaiming, “We are here to crown a King, and we crown a King to serve.” He further emphasized that even the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, was anointed to serve and established the unchangeable law that with the privilege of power comes the duty to serve.
Amidst the music and solemn oaths, moments of complete silence punctuated the conclusion of each stage of the ancient ceremony. As King Charles arrived at the abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach on Saturday morning, he was seen smiling and waving to the onlookers.
Approximately 2,300 individuals were present inside the abbey for the service, with Prince Harry joining his cousins in attendance. The event also attracted celebrity guests such as actress Emma Thompson and singer Katy Perry.
Notable political figures including US First Lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, alongside First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, graced the abbey with their presence. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and leaders from Commonwealth countries were also among the attendees.
Following the conclusion of the ceremony, King Charles and Camilla would make their way back to Buckingham Palace. Prince Harry, who arrived from the United States, was spotted entering the abbey with his cousins Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.
This marked the first public appearance of Prince Harry alongside his brother, Prince William, since the release of his memoir, “Spare.”
On the procession route, umbrellas began to emerge as the rain fell.
One attendee, reflecting on her decision to attend the event, expressed, “I’ve known for years that I would want to attend this day, and the day that it was announced, I was driving to the office, and my husband just called me and said ‘May 6.'” She promptly secured a hotel reservation to ensure her attendance.
Another attendee, Karen Daly, shared, “We could have watched this at home, but the atmosphere here is fantastic, and everyone is genuinely happy. When the Queen passed away, we couldn’t make it due to work commitments, so we booked time off as soon as we learned about the coronation.”
Charles ascended to the throne of the United Kingdom and 14 other realms in September following the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, who reigned for 70 years. The coronation celebrations, the 40th of their kind at Westminster Abbey since 1066, underwent months of meticulous planning.
While the procession route attracted crowds equipped with umbrellas, the abbey remained closed to the public prior to the service.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, alongside the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, led the service. Speaking about the extensive rehearsals, Welby mentioned, “There have been wall-to-wall rehearsals this week, and indeed last week. None of us have done this for a very long time, so working out the choreography has been complex .