Coronation Day in the UK Date in the current year: May 6, 2024

Coronation Day in the UK In the United Kingdom, there are designated flag-flying days when the Union Flag must be flown on all government buildings, and local authorities and organizations are encouraged to follow suit. One of such days is Coronation Day, observed annually on May 6.

The incumbent King of the United Kingdom, Charles III, became the heir apparent upon his mother’s accession to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. During her reign, planning meetings for Charles’s future coronation, code-named “Operation Golden Orb”, were held at least once a year. It was expected that his coronation would be shorter, smaller, and less expensive than that of his mother.

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8, 2022, and Charles immediately became king. However, an appropriate period of mourning was to be observed before celebrating the new monarch, so his coronation did not take place until May 6, 2023. The event was arranged by a committee of privy counselors presided over by Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk; it was designed to represent the king’s vision of a modern and less pompous monarchy.

The main events held on the coronation day included a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, where the coronation service was set to take place; the service itself, structured around an Anglican service of Holy Communion; a procession from the abbey back to the palace; and an appearance from the royal couple and other members of the royal family on the balcony for the Royal Air Force flypast.

During the coronation service, Charles took an oath, was anointed with holy oil, and received the coronation regalia. After the service, he was enthroned and received oaths of allegiance from the people. Queen consort Camilla was anointed, crowned, and enthroned in a similar, but shorter and simpler ceremony.

The coronation was attended by approximately 2,200 guests from more than 200 countries; since it was a state occasion funded by the government, it was the British government that decided the guest list. Attendees included members of the royal family, representatives from various faith communities, prominent politicians from the UK and the Commonwealth countries, and foreign heads of state. In addition, the procession route was lined by tens of thousands of people from the United kingdom and abroad, and more than 20 million people in the UK watched the broadcast.

The next day, the Coronation Concert was held outside Windsor Castle. It was attended by 20,000 spectators and featured performances from a British Army orchestra, the Royal Ballet, the Royal College of Art, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the 300-voice Coronation Choir composed of amateur singers and community choirs, Andrea Bocelli, Katy Perry, Nicole Scherzinger, Take That, and other notable performers.

Following the coronation of Charles III and Camilla, its anniversary was designated as a flag-flying day. Coronation Day should not be confused with Accession Day, observed on September 8. Accession Day commemorates Charles’s accession to the throne upon his mother’s death, while Coronation Day is the anniversary of his coronation that took place almost nine months later.

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