CHarles MountbattenWindsor has been waiting more than 70 year to finally do the job he was born for. With the passing of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Thursday, the former Prince of Wales has automatically become Britain’s next sovereign. The process for his coronation and the period of national mourning that will follow it has just begun.
Britain has officially entered a period of national mourning, which will last until the date of the Queen’s state funeral in around 10 days’ time. In the interim period, several ceremonial events will be underway, including the formal accession ceremony for King Charles III at St. James’s Palace on Saturday, where he will formally be proclaimed the new monarch. While the U.K. Parliament and the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have now been adjourned officially, the House of Commons will be open on Friday and Saturday for lawmakers to honor the Queen. The flags will still be flown at half mast. Official guidance from the British government was issued Friday. It stated that major events are not required to be cancelled or delayed during mourning, although many have done so.
Continue reading: Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s Steadfast Monarch, Dies
Charles will assume his duties as monarch on Friday, with an address to nation at 6:05 p.m. local. However, Charles’ symbolic accession, or coronation to the throne will need to wait. It is partially a logistical matter. Although much of what happens after the monarch’s passing has been meticulously planned, King Charles III’s coronation will require even more detailed planning.
The event, which is set to be televised as Queen Elizabeth II’s was, involves more than a thousand years of tradition and is expected to be attended by world leaders and representatives of the Commonwealth. But the event is also expected to be shorter and less expensive than that of Queen Elizabeth II’s in 1953, according to The Telegraph, a decision that may reflect the Royal Family’s desire to reflect a more modern, slimmed-down monarchy. An even smaller coronation might be more fitting given Britain’s ongoing cost-of living crisis. This has led to the British government launching a massive economic intervention in winter to lower energy prices. (Unlike royal marriages, coronation costs are paid by the British government.
While the coronation is a highly symbolic event with plenty of pomp and pageantry, it is also considered a “solemn religious ceremony,” according to the Royal Family. This event will be performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury who serves as the Church of England’s spiritual leader.
But it’s also a matter of sensitivity: With the nation still grieving Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, it could be seen as inappropriate to hold the coronation too soon after her death. For her coronation, the Queen had to wait 16 months from her accession. Although no date has yet been set for King Charles’ III coronation, it does have an official code name: Operation Golden Orb.
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