Prince Charles, as we’ve long known him, immediately assumed the title of King upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. But the 73-year-old head of the British Monarchy has to go through a big, gold-coated ceremony that will let everyone know that he is now King Charles, just in case you were unaware.
The date has been chosen, the venue has been booked and we’re all eager to find out if we get a public holiday to, uh, celebrate the new King. Or just catch up on our laundry or whatever.
While you’d expect that the plans for the King’s Coronation have been in the works for years, and they have, there are still a few kinks to be worked out along the way. Kinks like who is actually going to play the big gig?
Unfortunately for Charlie, the Royal family aren’t the most popular people on the planet — although they are probably the most watched and picked over, if the recent drama about Prince Harry’s book is anything to go by. While we might be fascinated by them, they certainly aren’t cool.
As such, more than a few big-name musicians have awkwardly sidestepped the invitation to play the King’s hat-getting ceremony, leaving Charles Windsor in a bit of a pickle as the coronation draws nearer.
King Charles Coronation Concert
It was thought up as a showcase of the best of British musical talent but it’s turning into something of a ‘best of the rest’.
“The King has suggested a number of people he would like to perform and Adele and Ed were on that list,” the source, who is one of the organisers, is reported to have said.
“They are titans of the showbiz industry and are quintessentially British but also known across the globe. There is a team set up to get the talent signed up so they approached the two of them, but got replies saying that they were unavailable, which was a massive disappointment”.
Both acts have said that they are too busy to play on the date and, with Sheeran, that’s possibly true. He is scheduled to play a show in Texas the day before the Coronation, although the Daily Mail reports that he could make it if he flew by private jet, something he has done before.
Adele, on the other hand, has nothing publically scheduled for weeks before the gig, although that’s not to say she doesn’t have personal plans, which looks like some serious shade-throwing.
Robbie Williams was the next to RSVP in the negative to Buckingham Palace, also citing scheduling concerns. This one is pretty galling given Williams was apparently happy to play in human rights-abusing Qatar during the FIFA World Cup but not for King Charles. He also has a pretty huge gap in his schedule during the Coronation.
Then it was revealed that Elton John, who has literally not stopped playing gigs for the entire global population over the past three years, won’t be playing for The King either. Hopefully, Knighthoods are non-revocable.
“Elton John was top of Charles’ list but due to his European tour, which sees him performing in Germany the Friday before then again soon after the Windsor concert, he isn’t able to make the dash to the UK work,” this Royal source tells us.
Neither will man of the hour, Harry Styles, who has said that he can’t get the band together as they’ll be enjoying some “much-needed downtime” after his massive world tour.
Another rejection has come from the Spice Girls, who had been rumoured to be reuniting especially for the Coronation. Mel C, Mel B, Geri Horner, Emma Bunton, and Victoria Beckham have said that they don’t have the space in their schedules to fit in the necessary rehearsal time. Arguably, this one might actually work in Charles’ favour since he probably doesn’t want the public thinking of the glorious mid-90s and what he was getting up to the same year we were all jamming out to ‘Stop’.
Most recently, our very own Kylie Minogue has left the King on read after, apparently, “reading the room.” Although it was previously reported that Kylie and her sister Dani would both be appearing at the Coronation concert, that appears now to not be the case.
A ‘source’ told the Mail on Sunday that Minogue had been “approached by the team” and that there “has been some back and fourth.”
“However, she has very recently decided that she doesn’t think it is the right thing to do,” the source said.
“Kylie has been an honorary Brit for many, many years, and admires the Royal Family and everything that they do. But she is also a passionate Australian and has read the room in a country that could very soon become a republic”.
With just weeks to go before the Coronation, the sounds of desperate barrel-scraping are growing louder from Buckingham Palace.
Who Actually Will Be King Charles’ Coronation Performers?
Well, the lineup might not be quite as star-studded as first hoped, but there will be some halfway decent talent on the lineup.
With the King personally involved in the music selection, 12 specially commissioned pieces have been written for the occasion, including one by Andrew Lloyd-Webber of Cats fame. There is also expected to be a gospel choir and Greek Orthodox music to pay tribute to Charles’ dad, the late Prince Phillip.
You’ll of course get the typical classical showing, with songs from British composers like William Byrd, George Handel, and Edward Elgar being performed. But, on the more modern front, it’s slim pickings.
Take That — minus Robbie Williams — are expected to perform, as is US soul legend Lionel Richie. The Palace is also reportedly trying hard to lock in Olly Murs.
“Olly has such stage presence and a huge fanbase, he’d be a great addition,” the Royal source has reportedly said. Which, you know, might be true, but he’s no Elton or Harry.
So, while Charles will get his diamond-encrusted hat regardless, on the music front, the Coronation is probably not at risk of rivalling Glastonbury.
When is Charles’ Coronation?
King Charles III’s coronation will happen on Saturday, May 6, 2023, with the Coronation Concert taking place on May 7.
The main event will take place at Westminster Abbey, the hallowed church in the centre of London, where Royal coronations have all taken place since William the Conqueror in 1066. Charles will become the 40th monarch to be crowned there this year.
It’s a tradition that has basically remained unchanged for 1000 years but, according to Westminster Abbey, coronations technically don’t have to happen. Constitutionally, Britain always has a monarch, following the death of the previous one. It’s primarily a religious ceremony, with the monarch making promises to God and the people they will ‘serve’. It’s a way of letting the public recognise and celebrate the new leader.
The plan for Charles’ coronation has been given the code name ‘Operation Golden Orb’. All arrangements are made by the Earl Marshall and their Coronation Committee for the Crown. The Abbey has very little to do with the planning.
Why is The Coronation So Long After The Queen’s Death?
The Queen died on September 8, 2022. So Charles will be coronated eight months later. This is pretty typical for the death of the monarch-coronation gap.
The coronation is supposed to be a joyous, celebratory occasion, and it’s not considered respectful to be celebrating so soon after the death of the monarch who is, typically, a close family member after all.
The gap also gives the Coronation Committee time to plan the event and, you know, book the musicians to play.
Elizabeth was coronated in 1953, almost a year and a half after the death of her father, George VI in 1952, so large gaps are not unusual.
Will Camilla Just Be Known As The Queen?
Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, is currently known by the title ‘Queen Consort’ which she attained when Charles became King. It’s just the title given to someone who is married to a King of Royal ascendency. Basically, because she’s not in line for the throne, she gets this weird title that would make her a ‘Queen Dowager’ if Charles died. She can’t become ‘Queen Regent’, ie, the actual ruling Queen since she’s not in the line of succession.
The coronation of Charles is actually the coronation of both Camilla and Charles, with neither of their titles changing. After the coronation, King Charles will still be known as King Charles, and Queen Consort Camilla will still be known as Queen Consort Camilla.
This title is something that Queen Elizabeth was keen for Camilla to have, writing in a statement on her 70th year on the throne that it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla “be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service”.
However, sources at the Palace have said that, unofficially, Camilla is probably going to be known as ‘The Queen’ since the title of Queen Consort is “cumbersome” and ‘The Queen’ is a “simpler title.”
“There’s a view in the palace that Queen Consort is cumbersome, and it might be simpler for Camilla to be known just as the Queen when the time is right,” a ‘source’ is quoted as having told the Daily Mail.
Already, Camilla’s charity, The Reading Room, has updated its name from ‘The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room’ to ‘The Queen’s Reading Room’, which this source says is a sign of things to come.
In Royal statements and official events, however, she will still use and keep her official title of Queen Consort.
Is The Coronation a Public Holiday in Australia?
The coronation is taking place on a Saturday in the UK, which means that the actual crowning of the King won’t take place until the early hours of Sunday morning, Australian time.
Given that it’s already a weekend, we won’t have a day off to stream the festivities.
However, the Government has yet to make an official decision over whether or not to give us a public holiday in lieu on Monday, May 8. A spokesperson has told 9News that it hasn’t been ruled out, but that the Albanese government is still thinking about it.
The UK, it has been confirmed, will be getting an extra public holiday on the Monday after the coronation, but that’s no guarantee that we will.
NZ’s PM, Jacinda Ardern, has confirmed that she won’t be giving Kiwis the day off on that Monday, although they did get a day off to mourn the Queen after her passing in September.
Australia got a public holiday in 1953 for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth and Albo also gave us a day off to mourn the passing of the Queen as well. Here’s hoping he recognises our deepfelt and sincere wish to celebrate this historic event and our unrelated desire to watch TV all day.
If we don’t get one, the next Royal public holiday will be on June 12 for the King’s birthday for everyone except WA and QLD, who get a day off in September and October respectively. Who said the Royals don’t do anything for us?