Charles’s coronation will celebrate diversity and reflect his desire to be ‘the people’s King’

The May coronation of King Charles III will champion refugees, diversity and volunteering but will likely not see Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle join the rest of the family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, it was revealed last night. 

The dazzling celebrations are said to reflect Charles’ desire to be the ‘people’s King’ and will also give representatives from the Commonwealth and NHS workers a chance to shine, before members of the public are encouraged to spend time volunteering on the nation’s extra Bank Holiday. 

The three-day extravaganza gives Brits an extra bank holiday and tens of thousands of people are expected to line the streets in central London to watch the ceremony. 

It comes as it was revealed by sources close to the monarchy last night that Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle are ‘unlikely’ to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony, should they attend the event.

King Charles, pictured during the Queen’s Platinum Party, is said to want a party that celebrates the nation’s diverse nature

Both King Charles and the Queen Consort will be crowned during the Westminster Abbey ceremony

Both King Charles and the Queen Consort will be crowned during the Westminster Abbey ceremony

Out with the old! King Charles to shun traditional royal garb 

King Charles III is set to break with tradition when he attends his coronation in May by opting for his military uniform instead of standard royal dress, it was claimed last night.

His Majesty, 74, will reportedly not wear silk stockings and breeches as they ‘look too dated’ and he wants the ceremony to reflect a ‘modern 21st century monarchy’.

Charles was said to be ‘happy’ to wear the same garments as his grandfather and great-grandfather, however senior aides said ‘he should not wear them’.

The monarch is allegedly expected to arrive in the uniform of the Admiral of the Fleet, which

he wore during the State Opening of Parliament last year.

He will also wear St Edward’s Crown, which was made in 1661 for the coronation of King Charles II.

It is made of solid gold and features more than 400 gemstones, including six sapphires, and 12 rubies. It weighs nearly 5lbs (2.23kg).

Charles was said to be 'happy' to wear the same garments as his grandfather (pictured) and great-grandfather, however senior aides said 'he should not wear them'

Charles was said to be ‘happy’ to wear the same garments as his grandfather (pictured) and great-grandfather, however senior aides said ‘he should not wear them’

The coronation is scheduled to take place on May 6, followed by a huge concert at Windsor Castle the day after which will focus on showcasing Charles’ vision for the Commonwealth. 

The coronation celebrations are set to be a world away from Queen Elizabeth II’s ceremony, with millions of people watching live all around the world.

The Government has already launched a consultation on extending pub opening hours throughout the coronation weekend.

That could mean pubs in England and Wales being allowed to stay open until 1am on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

A Palace source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The coronation will be rooted in tradition and pageantry with a solemn religious service as its core, while reflecting the modern, diverse Britain of today.

‘The highlights are intended to be as engaging as possible for the widest audience possible . . . With the illuminations spectacle as part of the programme, the hope is that it will help light up Britain after some tough years.’

The celebrations begin on May 6 with The King’s Procession, where the King and Queen Consort will travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in the Gold State Coach. 

The procession is likely to be one of the most pageant-like aspects of the weekend, with senior royals expected to take part, just as they did in September before the late Queen’s funeral.

It will begin from Buckingham Palace and head down the Mall before arriving at Westminster Abbey. 

As well as thousands upon thousands of cheering fans, the path will be lined by members of the armed forces including sailors, soldiers and airmen and women.

The Prince and Princess of Wales are expected to take part in the procession, possibly with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, along with their children Archie and Lilibet, may also feature. 

The Earl of Wessex and Princess Royal are expected to take part as Prince Charles’ siblings. It is thought Prince Andrew may also play a role – although it is unknown whether he will be able to wear military uniform, as he and Harry are no longer working royals. 

In a break with tradition, Queen Consort Camilla will be crowned alongside her husband by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Windsor Castle will feature a major concert to celebrate King Charles' coronation on May 6

Windsor Castle will feature a major concert to celebrate King Charles’ coronation on May 6

Just as in Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, King Charles III will take part in a lengthy procession after being crowned as King

Just as in Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, King Charles III will take part in a lengthy procession after being crowned as King

The Prince and Princess of Wales, along with their three children George, Charlotte and Archie, may play a leading role in the coronation procession

The Prince and Princess of Wales, along with their three children George, Charlotte and Archie, may play a leading role in the coronation procession

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are 'unlikely' to join the rest of the family on the Buckingham Palace balcony if they attend the coronation, sources have said

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are ‘unlikely’ to join the rest of the family on the Buckingham Palace balcony if they attend the coronation, sources have said

And instead of wearing the traditional breeches and stockings worn by his male ancestors, the King is expected to don military uniform in order to be seen as keeping up with the times. 

After the crowning, they will return to the Palace and appear on the balcony with other working members of the Royal Family.

The ceremony inside the Abbey is expected to last 90 minutes to two hours, significantly shorter than Queen Elizabeth II’s ceremony, which took three hours.

Around 2,000 guests are expected to attend the ceremony, which has been described as ‘solemn’. 

On May 7 a huge concert will take place at Windsor Palace, and The Big Lunch charity will encourage street parties and picnics around the country. 

Tens of thousands of Coronation Big Lunches and parties will be held in the UK and Commonwealth on Sunday and across the weekend. Big Lunches take place across the UK annually and last year they raised more than £22 million for local charities. 

British rock and pop icons will perform alongside a choir of refugees, NHS staff and LGBTQ+ singers in a strikingly diverse event at Windsor Castle the day after the coronation. 

A dazzling display will shine on iconic national landmarks in a ‘centrepiece’ moment of the concert on May 7. The ‘Lighting Up The Nation’ display will feature ‘projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations’ beamed on to buildings across the UK.

It emerged last night that the King’s desire for the coronation to be ‘inclusive’ will lead to the creation of The Coronation Choir, which will also perform during the concert. 

It is described as ‘a diverse group created from the nation’s keenest community choirs’ and will include refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups and deaf signing choirs. 

It will be joined digitally by a ‘virtual choir’ of singers from around the Commonwealth.

Thousands of tickets for the concert, which will be produced by BBC Studios and broadcast on BBC One, will be available via a public ballot as Buckingham Palace this weekend unveiled the first glimpse of plans for a coronation weekend that is set to grip the nation.

The audience will also include volunteers from the King and Queen Consort’s charity affiliations.

The show will feature a world-class orchestra playing interpretations of musical favourites fronted by “some of the world’s biggest entertainers, alongside performers from the world of dance”, the palace said.

A host of stars – including ‘some of the world’s biggest entertainers’ – will perform with an orchestra and the massed bands of the Household Division. Top Hollywood and theatre actors will also perform spoken-word recitals.

During the concert, iconic British landmarks will be lit up to mark the occasion. 

Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Imperial state Crown and carrying the Orb and sceptre after her coronation

Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Imperial state Crown and carrying the Orb and sceptre after her coronation

Her Late Majesty was pictured waving to the public from Buckingham Palace alongside the Duke of Edinburgh shortly after her coronation

Her Late Majesty was pictured waving to the public from Buckingham Palace alongside the Duke of Edinburgh shortly after her coronation

There are plans to light up buildings across the nation in patriotic colours to celebrate the event

There are plans to light up buildings across the nation in patriotic colours to celebrate the event

How will King Charles III’s coronation in 2023 differ from Queen Elizabeth II’s in 1953? 

It has been 70 years since the UK last saw a coronation – and the world has become almost unrecognisable in that time.

The Palace has been keen to stress consistency between the ceremonies, insisting there will be plenty of pomp and pageantry to match 1953.

But the King has been keen to modernise where appropriate, and remind the world he is a ‘king of the people’ who celebrates diversity.

So just what will be different this time around?

Just 2,000 people will be allowed inside Westminster Abbey, compared to 1953’s 8,000
The ceremony will remain formal but be cut from three hours long to as short as 90 minutes
King Charles is expected to wear military uniform rather than traditional breeches and stockings
The Queen Consort will be crowned at the Westminster Abbey ceremony alongside the King, unlike the Duke of Edinburgh in 1953
The celebrations will make use of modern technology to stream performances around the world
A huge concert starring pop legends to refugee choirs will be held the day after the ceremony 

The following day there will be the Big Help Out – a special bank holiday commissioned by the King in honour of the coronation, and celebrating volunteering groups. 

Created by Britain’s best loved charities and organised by The Together Coalition, it will highlight the positive impact volunteering has on communities across the nation.

Hundreds of activities are planned for the day by local community groups, organisations and charities including The Scouts, Royal Voluntary Service, National Trust and RNLI.

Another source revealed the coronation will be ‘majestic’ yet ‘inclusive’, the Telegraph reports. 

It was previously reported that the coronation would be a ‘slimmed-down’ occasion, compared to the pomp and pageantry of his mother’s ceremony in 1953 – but palace sources have since vehemently denied this.

After the official ceremony is over, the new King will appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony, the palace confirmed on Saturday. 

Sources told the Mail On Sunday last night that it is highly ‘unlikely’ Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would join working members of the royal family, with Prince Andrew also ruled out from making an appearance.

It is not yet confirmed whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will return to the UK to attend the ceremony, although there has been reports of planned ‘peace talks’ between Prince Harry, Prince William and the King ahead of the coronation. 

Harry and Meghan quit their roles three years ago when they left Britain to start a new life in California.

Earlier this month, Harry released a tell-all book revealing past and present grievances against his family. In a television interview to promote his memoirs, he refused to confirm whether he would attend the Coronation even if he was invited.

There is no indication from Buckingham Palace that Harry and Meghan would be barred from attending the event on May 6, which falls on the fourth birthday of their son Archie.

Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: ‘The Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort is a huge milestone in the history of the UK and Commonwealth. 

‘The weekend of events will bring people together to celebrate our Monarchy and the mixture of tradition and modernity, culture and community that makes our country great. 

‘Everyone is invited to join in, on any day, whether that is by hosting a special street party, watching the coronation ceremony or spectacular concert on TV, or stepping forward during The Big Help Out to help causes that matter to them.’

Royal historian Hugo Vickers said: ‘Windsor Castle has been a bit sad recently because the Queen was there so much from March 2020 . . . It has been a bit forlorn and it’s good to know that it’s going to be coming back into its own.’ 

Royal author Sally Bedell Smith added: ‘I think it is a perfect reflection of how [King Charles] wants to adapt the Coronation celebration to the 21st Century.’

Historian Lord Roberts of Belgravia said: ‘King Charles has always tried to blend the traditional with the modern.’

Prince Harry’s balcony ban: Duke of Sussex will not join King and Queen Consort at Buckingham Palace for historic coronation moment, sources claim, as his wife and Prince Andrew are also set to miss out

By Kate Mansey for The Mail On Sunday and Elizabeth Haigh for MailOnline

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of York are ‘unlikely’ to join the King and Queen Consort on the balcony during the Coronation, The Mail on Sunday understands.

Last night Buckingham Palace confirmed that the newly crowned King and Queen will appear at Buckingham Palace after the ceremony in May.

As with the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last year, the line-up of Royals alongside them will be restricted to working members of the family. That will exclude Prince Harry, Meghan and Prince Andrew, who no longer carry out official duties.

Prince Andrew stepped down from his official role after allegations of sexual abuse in November 2019. He has always denied the accusations.

Sources have said that Prince Harry will not be making a public appearance on the balcony if he and wife Meghan attend the coronation in May

Sources have said that Prince Harry will not be making a public appearance on the balcony if he and wife Meghan attend the coronation in May

The will join Prince Andrew as non-working royals in stepping back from the limelight

The will join Prince Andrew as non-working royals in stepping back from the limelight

Harry and Meghan quit their roles three years ago when they left Britain to start a new life in California.

Earlier this month, Harry released a tell-all book revealing past and present grievances against his family. In a television interview to promote his memoirs, he refused to confirm whether he would attend the Coronation even if he was invited.

There is no indication from Buckingham Palace that Harry and Meghan would be barred from attending the event on May 6, which falls on the fourth birthday of their son Archie.

Yet even if the couple do attend, a senior Royal insider said that it would be ‘unlikely’ that they would be included in major public appearances, including the balcony moment.

After the release of Prince Harry’s explosive memoir Spare, some royal experts said that it seemed impossible for the couple to be able to attend.

It followed claims from the Duke that his brother had once physically attacked him and pushed him into a dog bowl, and that he and his wife’s press team leaked negative stories to the UK media about them.

Buckingham Palace has not commented on the claims.

But contrary to initial analysis, there is now discussion of ‘peace talks’ between the brothers and their father prior to the coronation which, all going well, could pave the way to them attending the event itself.

Prince Harry has since demanded an apology from his family for the way they treated Meghan, after alleging in his memoir that they ‘stereotyped’ her due to her being an American actress. 

It comes after a furious row over whether the Duke of Sussex should have been part of the Buckingham Palace photographs during the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Until shortly before the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last year, it was unknown whether the Sussexes would step out onto the balcony or not. 

As with the late Queen's Platinum Jubilee last year, the line-up of Royals alongside the newly-coronated King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will be restricted to working members of the family

As with the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last year, the line-up of Royals alongside the newly-coronated King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will be restricted to working members of the family

Queen Elizabeth us pictured sharing a laugh with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the Buckingham Palace balcony in 2018

Queen Elizabeth us pictured sharing a laugh with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the Buckingham Palace balcony in 2018

It is unclear whether Prince Harry (centre) and Meghan Markle will be attending King Charles' coronation in May

It is unclear whether Prince Harry (centre) and Meghan Markle will be attending King Charles’ coronation in May

Harry and Meghan moved to the US three years ago around the start of the coronavirus pandemic

Harry and Meghan moved to the US three years ago around the start of the coronavirus pandemic

When the Queen did make her appearance surrounded by her family, this included Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, George, Charlotte and Louis.  

Smiling as she acknowledged the spectators, she looked down on The Mall where tens of thousands had waited in hope of seeing her. 

The Queen looked at ease on the balcony as the celebrations drew to a close, leaning on a walking stick, now a routine aid following her mobility issues, and acknowledging the crowds with a wave.

The Prince of Wales stood with the Queen along with the Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Despite not appearing on the balcony, Harry was pictured in royal photos from the occasion. 

After the national anthem was sung by a choir of celebrities including Sir David Jason, Harry Redknapp, Sir Cliff Richard, Sandie Shaw and Felicity Kendal, the Queen waved again at well-wishers and was joined by her great-grandchildren, with Louis waving with both hands.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were noticeably absent from many of the Jubilee proceedings in the first visit to the UK since they moved to the US. 

But they did introduce Lilibet to the Queen on her first birthday, which occurred while the couple were in the UK.

After it was announced that the pair would not be appearing on the balcony, friend and supporter Omid Scobie claimed they did not want to be involved.

It came after a sensational statement from the Queen stating the pair – along with Prince Andrew – would not be invited onto the balcony for Trooping the Colour, the spectacular start of her long weekend of commemorations.

Following that the Sussexes released a statement that they would still fly from California with their two children. 

Mr Scobie wrote: ‘As is often the case, the reality is much less severe when you hear that Prince Harry had already spoken with his grandmother about the possibility of not attending Trooping the Colour long before last week’s announcements.’

He said the pair were ‘very keen’ to be part of the Jubilee celebrations, but that ‘both sides’ thought it would be more appropriate not to have the Sussexes on the balcony.’  

Author: Wayne Evans