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The King’s Coronation Explained

It’s been 70 years since the UK last witnessed a royal coronation. For many of us, the upcoming ceremony and celebrations will be one of the major historical events of our lifetime. Activities are planned across the Commonwealth for 6-8th May, but the most desirable place to experience the occasion will certainly be London. Major crowds are expected, so planning ahead will be key to making the most of this unique opportunity. Here’s everything you need to know about the coronation, including what it is, key dates, what to see, and where to stay on the big day.

The History

A coronation is a ceremony where a new monarch is crowned, but where does it come from and why do we still have them?

It’s first and foremost a religious ceremony which has been carried out for over a thousand years—a sacred moment for the monarch to take an oath. Secondly, it’s an opportunity for the monarch to formally address their promises to the people they will be serving. Lastly, it’s a designated time for public celebration and affirmation after taking space to respect and mourn the loss of the previous monarch.

The ceremony is conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and has taken place at Westminster Abbey in London for the last 900 years. King Charles III will be the 40th monarch to be crowned there and the 62nd to serve over the last 1,200 years.

The Ceremony

The King and The Queen Consort will both be crowned during the ceremony, which takes place on 6th May 2023. The plans start with The King’s Procession, where Their Majesties will travel from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to the Horseguards Parade, down Whitehall to Parliament Square, and finishing at Westminster Abbey.

During the ceremony, the Archbishop will anoint, bless, and consecrate The King, who then receives the orb, sceptres, and St Edwards Crown. This will be broadcast live on television worldwide, so you’ll have the chance to watch it from anywhere.

The Coronation Procession back to the Palace follows the service and will be much larger. From here, The King and Queen Consort will make an appearance on the Palace balcony alongside members of the Royal Family. This will be a special time to join in on the fun, and Park Plaza Victoria London is ideally located for those looking to attend in person.

Credits: Okan Tabak

The Concert

On 7th May, a celebratory Coronation Concert will be held at Windsor Castle with accompanying light shows taking place at iconic locations across the UK. The line-up includes a world-class orchestra and globally recognised entertainers (singers, dancers, and actors) performing music and spoken word. Though the ticket ballot is already closed, the show will be broadcast live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds—so you can watch it from any Park Plaza hotel room.

The Big Lunches and Street Parties

For the entire duration of the celebrations (6th-8th May), communities have been invited to get together with neighbors and friends for a Coronation Big Lunch (6-8 May). You can learn more about these here. There are also public street parties taking place across London, the UK, and internationally. Check out the live event map for a full list of what’s on and where to go.

Credits: John Cameron

The Bank Holiday

In honour of the coronation, the Prime Minister has declared 8th May a special bank holiday. You’re encouraged to use the time off to support The Big Help Out initiative—a day for community service and volunteering. A full list of opportunities will be available here from 20th March.

Get the Royal Treatment at Park Plaza

With so much on during coronation week, it’s important to choose a hotel that’s close enough to the action but gives you the space to relax and recharge with everything you need in one place. Park Plaza’s central locations, premium selection of bars and restaurants, and upscale amenities make it the perfect choice. Be a part of history with your own #parkplazamoments.

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