London — Saturday’s coronation of King Charles III was a momentous day crammed with activities, some planned and some unplanned.
The associated press examines some of the most memorable events.
On Saturday, Charles was veiled from view throughout the most dramatic part of the liturgy at Westminster Abbey in London.
The Dean of Westminster poured holy oil from the Ampulla, a gold eagle-shaped flask, onto the Coronation Spoon behind a three-sided screen, and the Archbishop of Canterbury anointed Charles on his head, breast, and hands, according to the Church of England ritual.
The earliest object used in coronations is a silver-gilt spoon from the 12th century. The Westminster Abbey Choir has sung the anthemic “Zadok the Priest” by George Frideric Handel in the background, composed for King George II’s coronation in 1727 and has been performed at every British coronation since.
When Charles III reappeared, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby placed St. Edward’s Crown on his head. It was the only occasion Charles would ever wear St. Edward’s Crown, which is designated for the coronation of a new monarch; the crown was built in 1661 for Charles’ ill-fated namesake, Charles II.
After crowning Charles, Welby said, “God Save the King.” Those present repeated the words.
Camilla was crowned soon after. She was anointed with holy oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury, as was her husband, in full view of the audience, before Queen Mary’s Crown was put on her head.
A musical gathering
In keeping with tradition, music underpinned the entire festivity. Each stage featured a big choral work, an ethereal motet, an elaborate organ composition, or an evocative melody performed by some of the world’s most renowned singers and musicians.
King Charles and Queen Camilla entered the abbey to the powerful coronation anthem “I was glad,” written by Hubert Parry for King Edward VII’s coronation in 1902 and sung at all coronations since then.
But the ancient was mixed with the modern; Charles had commissioned Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose music is more familiar to West End audiences than Westminster Abbey congregations, to write a Coronation Anthem, “Make a Joyful Noise,” which was performed after Camilla was crowned.
And this was the first time a gospel choir performed at a coronation; clad in regal white, the Ascension Choir sang ‘Alleluia’ right before the Archbishop’s address.
The lady in blue
Thousands had crammed into Westminster Abbey.
A woman in blue commanding attention in a teal cape and cap with gold embellishments handled a significant article of the coronation regalia – the Sword of Offering or the Jewelled Sword, before and after the investiture, when it was utilized. But who exactly is she?
Penny Mordaunt has been a Conservative MP in the United Kingdom since 2010.
She was present at the ceremony because, in addition to being the current Leader of the House of Commons, she is also the Lord President of the Privy Council, a body comprised of senior politicians who serve as the monarch’s formal advisers.
The president of the council participates in several royal festivities, serving as a symbolic link between the King or Queen and the country’s elected authorities. Mordaunt spoke at King Charles’ Proclamation two days following the Queen’s death.
Queen Camilla’s attire
Queen Camilla looked majestic in ivory, silver, and gold. But who was she dressed as?
Unsurprisingly, she has a long-standing friendship with British designer Bruce Oldfield.
Her coronation gown was simple, fitted, and made of Peau de Soie, a silk fabric with a low-luster finish. It was more akin to a coat dress with an embroidered underskirt than a typical gown.
When she arrived at Westminster Abbey before the service, she wore the crimson velvet and ermine Robe of State, which was originally produced for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.
Elliot Zed, a British designer, created the shoes that peeked out from beneath her garment.
The prince(s) who vanished
Never one to disappoint at royal gatherings, Prince Louis, the Prince and Princess of Wales’s youngest child, grabbed the limelight once again during the coronation ceremony.
Keen observers may have observed the 5-year-old yawning while sitting between his mother, Princess Anne, and sister Princess Charlotte, but then leaving the service.
The young king was expected to leave early, but happily, for admirers, he returned before the service ended.
For those who don’t recall, Louis became famous during the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee festivities in June, when he was photographed throwing a tantrum and covering his ears while screaming during the flypast.
Before Saturday, there was much curiosity over whether Prince Harry would attend his father’s coronation.
The Duke of Sussex sat in the third row at the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Saturday.
Harry appeared in a morning suit with his service medals, accompanied by his uncles, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew, and two cousins, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie.
Prince Harry did not attend with his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who reportedly stayed in the United States with their children to celebrate Archie’s fourth birthday.
The coronation was the prince’s first public meeting with members of his family since the publication of his memoir, “Spare.”
After it was over, he was spotted interacting with his cousins while it rained and smiled before getting into a car himself.
On Saturday afternoon, Philip did not emerge with other members of the royal family to welcome the public from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, a centerpiece of royal activities.
The associated press has learned that Prince Harry was not invited to attend the balcony moment with the family, which included a scaled-down flypast by the Royal Air Force. Additionally absent was Prince Andrew.
A balcony flyby
The weather did not cooperate with King Charles, and while the throng appeared unaffected by the rain, it did change plans for the usual Royal Air Force flypast.
The demonstration was solely of helicopters and the brightly colored Red Arrows, rather than the usual Typhoons, Spitfires, Hurricanes, and Lancaster bombers.
Instead, the new King and Queen made two appearances on the balcony, providing an encore after presumably waving goodbye to fans.
That brought an end to an eventful day that had drawn tens of thousands to London’s streets.