Religious ceremony, neighborhood parties and the possible presence of Harry and Meghan… A month before the coronation of King Charles III, who will officially succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Saturday, May 6, at Westminster Abbey, preparations are being improved. Last item found: invitation card. This Wednesday, Buckingham Palace revealed its appearance on social media.
Featuring spring flowers, birds, insects, coats of arms and national emblems, the invitation, designed by illustrator Andrew Jamieson, showcases the king’s taste for the countryside and the environment with the use of a “green man” folk figure made from ivy. , hawthorn and oak leaves. According to Buckingham, it is a symbol of spring and rebirth, celebrating a new reign.
From “Queen Consort” to “Queen Camilla”
The richly illustrated invitation, sent out to some 2,000 guests, comes from King Charles III and Queen Camilla. A royal source suggested that at the beginning of the new reign it made sense to use “Queen Consort” as a way to distinguish her from the late Queen Elizabeth. Thus, the coronation is “an opportune moment” for Camilla to officially become “Queen Camilla”.
The late Queen gave Camilla her public endorsement, saying that she should be called Queen Consort, at a time when there were still speculations that she would be known as Princess Consort.
The upcoming coronation is also an opportunity for Buckingham to unveil a new official photo of the royal couple, taken last month in the Palace’s Blue Drawing Room. The cabinet did not give details of the framed photo contract, but said details would be “announced in due course.”
Anti-monarchy campaigners criticized the £8m budget for new staff, saying it was a waste of public money during the financial crisis.
While his mother, Elizabeth II, strictly observed tradition and performed a ceremony that lasted over three hours in front of more than 8,000 guests, Charles chose to make the coronation an illustration of his desire for a more austere and modern monarchy. Thus, “only” 2000 guests are invited, and the ceremony should last about an hour.
Also crowned on May 6, Camilla noted the importance of including her family from her first marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles. Two of his children, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopez are present. The roles of “pages of honor” accompanying the king and queen in the nave of the abbey were given to the grandchildren announced to attend the ceremony. An initiative perceived as a desire to show a modern image of a blended family.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Church of England, will conduct a strictly codified ceremony during which Charles will take the oath. The royal couple will receive anointing with oil, holy chrism, consecrated and made in Jerusalem, then the king will receive royal attributes, in particular the scepter and the crown of St. Edward. In terms of music, new compositions will be added to traditional pieces, including one specially created by Andrew Lloyd Webber, creator of legendary musicals such as Cats or Evita. The royal family will join Buckingham Palace in procession and then wave to the crowd from the balcony.
The final list of guests is not yet known.
As the coronation approaches, the final list is not yet known. If Prince William and Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales are obviously in attendance, we don’t yet know if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex will accept the invitation. There are talks between the palace and the couple about their role or concern for their safety, according to British media reports, but a spokesperson for the California-based couple said this week there was no update on their involvement.
But we already know that the Abbey will welcome political leaders, monarchs and civil society representatives who represent the diversity of the United Kingdom. Some crowned heads have already confirmed their presence, such as Prince Albert of Monaco or Prince Fumihito and his wife Kiko from the Japanese imperial family. If several European leaders are expected, US President Joe Biden “informed” Charles III during a telephone conversation that his interests would be represented by his wife, Jill, the White House said Tuesday. “The President also expressed a desire to meet with the King of Great Britain at a later date,” the statement said.
The king made his first state visit last week, receiving a warm welcome in Germany. From now on, the emphasis is on preparations for the coronation.