King Charles' coronation procession only a quarter as long as the Queen's, with fears some royal fans could miss out

9 April 2023, 23:18 | Updated: 10 April 2023, 10:32

Unlike the late Queen Elizabeth, King Charles will go to and from Westminster Abbey via the same route.
Unlike the late Queen Elizabeth, King Charles will go to and from Westminster Abbey via the same route. Picture: Getty / Alamy

By Chris Samuel

King Charles' coronation route is only just over a mile long, much shorter than the length of the Queen's procession, meaning some royal well-wishers could miss their chance to see the monarch on the historic day.

The King's procession will run for 1.3 miles - which will be completed in reverse on return from Westminster Abbey - will be roughly a quarter of the trip his mother took - around 1.6 miles to the Abbey, and approximately 5 miles on her return route.

And with reports that the royals have decided against a ticketing or ballot system, people are likely to camp out along the route in advance of the procession, in the hope of seeing Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort.

But the relatively short route means many may not catch a glimpse of the pair.

On the morning of May 6, the royal couple will travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee state coach.

The King’s Procession, which will be accompanied by The Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry, will leave the palace through the Centre Gate, before moving down the Mall, passing through passing through Admiralty Arch and south of King Charles I Island, down Whitehall and along Parliament Street.

It will then make its way around the east and south sides of Parliament Square to Broad Sanctuary to arrive at the Sanctuary of Westminster Abbey, for the start of the coronation service at 11am.

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It will be followed by the Coronation procession, which will include members of various armed services, processing along the same route in reverse.

On their return to the Palace, Charles and Camilla will be given a royal salute from the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Armed Forces, followed by three cheers from assembled military personnel.

The royal couple will be conveyed from the Palace to the Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee state coach - first used by the late Queen Elizabeth at the state opening of Parliament in 2014.

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach on display at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace, London
The Diamond Jubilee State Coach on display at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace, London. Picture: Alamy

In a break with tradition, the royals will switch coaches after the service and will only be taken back in the 260-year Gold State Coach, which the late Queen used for her coronation in 1953, describing the bumpy ride she had in it as "horrible".

Sally Goodsir, curator of decorative arts at the Royal Collection Trust, said: “The Gold State Coach will be the centrepiece of the much larger procession from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace on coronation day.

“It weighs four tonnes and because of that it can only be used at walking pace which really adds to the majesty and stateliness of this great royal procession.”

The Gold State Coach
The Gold State Coach. Picture: Alamy

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said."The carriages chosen reflect the smaller procession to the Abbey and the larger procession back to Buckingham Palace.

"They were the personal choice of Their Majesties."

Invitations to the event confirmed that Queen Consort Camilla (left) will be referred to as Queen Camilla after Charles is formally crowned.
Invitations to the event confirmed that Queen Consort Camilla (left) will be referred to as Queen Camilla after Charles is formally crowned. Picture: Getty

The coronation regalia from among the Crown Jewels that that will be used for the service has also been confirmed.

King Charles and Queen Camilla will travel to and from Westminster Abbey in two different coaches
King Charles and Queen Camilla will travel to and from Westminster Abbey in two different coaches. Picture: Alamy

This will include the Sovereign's Orb, the Golden Spurs, two maces, five swords, bracelets known as Armills, the Sovereign's Ring, Sovereign's Sceptre with Dove, and the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross.

As expected, Camilla will be crowned with with Queen Mary's Crown, and hold the Queen Consort's Rod with Dove.

Queen Camilla will wear Queen Mary's Crown during the coronation
Queen Camilla will wear Queen Mary's Crown during the coronation. Picture: PA

Invitations to the event confirmed that Camilla will be known as Queen Camilla after the coronation, with the consort part of her title, which was used to differentiate her from Queen Elizabeth II, being dropped.

An emoji has also been created to mark the event, based on St Edward's Crown, which will appear on Twitter whenever any of the following hashtags are used:

#Coronation

#CoronationConcert

#CoronationWeekend

#CoronationBigLunch

#TheBigHelpOut

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