King Charles III coronation: Charles III Is Crowned King


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Nov 10, 2023

King Charles III coronation: Charles III Is Crowned King

Charles, Britain’s first new monarch in 70 years, was crowned at Westminster

Charles, Britain's first new monarch in 70 years, was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London during an ancient ceremony that incorporated some modern touches. "I come not to be served, but to serve," he said.

Mark Landler

LONDON — Britain's Charles III was crowned king on Saturday, during an eighth-century ritual in a 21st-century metropolis with a handful of concessions to the modern age but the unabashed pageantry of a fairy tale, unseen since the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, his mother, in 1953.

"I come not to be served, but to serve," Charles said in his first remarks of the ceremony, setting the theme for the intimate yet grand proceedings. The king, 74, was anointed with holy oil, symbolizing the sacred nature of his rule. He was vested with an imperial mantle, and the archbishop of Canterbury placed the ancient crown of St. Edward onto his head.

Tens of thousands of people crowded into central London, despite rain, for a glimpse of the king and queen, who traveled from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, escorted by four divisions of the Household Mounted Cavalry regiment.

A smattering of anti-monarchy protests also marked the day. London's Metropolitan Police said they arrested 52 people on Saturday, most for offenses that appeared connected to the coronation of Charles III, including affray, public order offenses, breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. Protesters and rights groups denounced the arrests.

Here is what to know about the coronation events:

Even in a country accustomed to royal spectacle, the procession after the coronation on Saturday beggared description: 19 military bands and 4,000 troops, stretching a mile from the palace gates. The king and his family appeared on the balcony as aircraft — fighter jets and helicopters — roared overhead in a display that is, by custom, the grand finale of a royal celebration.

During the service, Charles swore to uphold the Church of England, although the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, encouraged the king to "foster an environment in which people of all faiths and beliefs can live freely." It was one of several modifications to the liturgy, as the church and Buckingham Palace sought to adapt a 1,000-year-old service to today's pluralistic world.

The approximately 2,300 people attending the ceremony included new faces, old lineages, world leaders, pop music icons and others — a coterie that spoke to Charles's efforts to embrace a modern, multicultural Britain, but also to the monarchy's dynastic identity.

After years of family tensions, Prince Harry attended his father's coronation alone. Harry's wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, stayed at home in California with the couple's children, Prince Archie, who turns 4 on Saturday, and 1-year-old Princess Lilibet.

The New York Times invites readers to share their thoughts and observations on the coronation events. Submit your comments and read others’ here.

The New York Times

Pageantry was on full display on Saturday in London as King Charles III and his queen, Camilla, were crowned.

The coronation procession through London and the ceremony at Westminster Abbey are the centerpiece of a three-day holiday weekend in Britain. Here's a selection of the best photographs from the events.

Stephen Castle

England has crowned several female monarchs in recent centuries. But until this coronation, a woman had never carried the 17th-century Sword of State into Westminster Abbey as part of the procession.

Throughout parts of the two-hour-long service, Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Privy Council, bore the eight-pound sword, measuring four feet, and held it aloft.

Though King Charles III's coronation was based around many ancient rituals, there were a few 21st-century aspects, and Saturday's ceremony included some new and important roles for women.

Most prominent perhaps was Ms. Mordaunt, who ran unsuccessfully to be prime minister last year. She emerged as what the British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, described as "the quiet star of the Coronation ceremony — one that nobody saw coming."

A former naval reservist, Ms. Mordaunt even impressed some in the opposition Labour Party in her handling of the sword, which is a symbol of regal authority.

"Got to say it, @PennyMordaunt looks damn fine! The sword bearer steals the show," wrote Emily Thornberry, the shadow attorney general, in a post on Twitter.

Carrying the sword may not have been as easy as she made it look. Ms. Mordaunt told Times Radio that, in preparation for her ceremonial task, she had been doing push-ups (known as press-ups in Britain).

There were several other firsts for women.

Senior ordained women also made history by playing roles in the ceremony for the first time. They included the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Guli Francis-Dehqani, and the Bishop of Dover, the Rt. Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin. The ordination of women to the priesthood in the Church of England began in 1994, and the introduction of female bishops came in 2014.

Eileen Hogan was commissioned to paint the coronation service itself from within Westminster Abbey, making her the first woman appointed in that role. Ms. Hogan, who is emeritus professor at the University of the Arts London and a trustee of the Royal Drawing School, is expected to produce a series of 10 small paintings, some of which may later be worked up into larger ones.

"I want to capture how in 2023 the ceremony reflects social and political meanings concerning the monarchy, faiths, the state, and the congregation, all contained in the architecture of Westminster Abbey, itself embodying centuries of change," Ms. Hogan said.

And Princess Anne, the king's sister, who is formally known as the Princess Royal, reinforced her growing popularity based on a reputation for being the hardest-working royal and undertaking the most public engagements.

She took a prominent role and was riding horseback in the military procession from the coronation to Buckingham Palace.

At times some of the horses broke their stride, apparently upset by the noise from the cheering crowd. But Anne, an equestrian competitor in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, appeared to have hers well under control.

Derrick Bryson Taylor

Some people around London did not have the chance to watch much of the coronation, but it is certainly a hot topic. In the Camden Town area of the city, Tom McCall, 24, said the monarchy didn't really affect his life.

Derrick Bryson Taylor

"It's hard to think any which way about them," he said. "I don't really hate them. I don't really like them particularly much. I’m kind of on the fence with them."

Sarah Lyall

Back in 1981, when then-Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in a fairy-tale ceremony filled with pomp and excitement, the future seemed clear: One day Britain would be ruled not just by King Charles, but by Queen Diana, whose youth, style and common touch would bring a new lightness and modernity to this most ancient of institutions.

The marriage, of course, dissolved after a prolonged period of unhappiness, infidelity and public airing of grievances on both sides. The couple divorced in 1996; Diana died, shockingly, in a car accident in Paris just a year later.

And now here is Queen Camilla, where Diana would once have been. Unlike Diana, she is un-showy, undemonstrative, deeply loyal to Charles, and willing to sublimate herself to the greater undertaking here — the preservation of the monarchy.

It's worth noting that Diana, toward the end of her life, said that she doubted that she would ever become queen, but preferred to be "Queen of Hearts."

Richard Kay, columnist for The Daily Mail and a confidant of Diana, said she occasionally discussed her mixed feelings with him.

"On the few occasions Diana did talk about being Queen, it was either accompanied by gales of laughter at such a preposterous idea or a wistfulness at the prospect of what might have been: not least wearing what she called ‘all those Cinderella dresses,’" he wrote recently.

"I asked her once if she dreamt about being crowned," he wrote.

"‘No,’ she told me, ‘but I have had nightmares about it.’ These bad dreams had a recurring image: it was the pivotal moment in the Coronation and the crown was being lowered onto her head. Instead of remaining there, it would slip down her face and come to a halt over her neck, before slowly tightening around her throat and choking her.’"

Saskia Solomon

Religious groups made an appearance at Hyde Park in London to hand out fake £1 million "Bank of Eternity" notes bearing the king's image, while independent evangelists held up placards."We wanted to remind people of the king's faith," said Fayez Islam, a delivery driver who also does ministry work. "This is a big event, and we wanted to spread the word."

Isabella Kwai

CARDIFF, Wales — The coronation of King Charles III, broadcast live at Cardiff Castle, was met by one small crowd with applause and the waving of the British Union Jack flag. But for another crowd, it was met with the waving of the Welsh flag instead, and angry chants disavowing Charles as monarch.

Both groups had turned up on this damp Saturday to show their feelings about the monarchy, a display of the national divisions in Britain on the enduring institution, which fall along generational and political lines. Wales, which was conquered by England in the 13th century and has battled to preserve a language and cultural identity distinct from Britain, has an especially complicated relationship with the monarchy.

The monarchy is less popular in Wales than in England, according to a poll conducted in April, and Welsh republicans continue to view the royal family as a symbol of the nation's history of oppression. But more Welsh people still support a monarchy than not, according to the poll, with 43 percent of those surveyed believing that the monarchy is good for Britain, compared to 24 percent against.

Paul Batters, 39, grew up as the son of a Welsh mother who disliked the monarchy and an English father who supported the institution. But Mr. Batters said that he was a fan of the royal family and looked forward to pledging his allegiance to Britain's new king.

"I don't see myself as Welsh or English, but British," he said, adding that, as a nature lover, he admired King Charles III's stance on protecting the environment, and that he believed the king's actions would speak for themselves. "I feel very patriotic," he said.

Bestowed the title of Prince of Wales by Queen Elizabeth II in 1969, the new monarch is no stranger to Welsh divisions. Welsh nationalists protested his investiture, but over the decades, he has spoken of his affection for Wales, become a patron of local arts groups and delivered speeches in the Welsh language.

Saturday's ceremony at Westminster Abbey featured a "Kyrie" sung in Welsh, marking the first time that language was featured at a coronation. It was sung by the choir and Bryn Terfel, one of the most prominent opera singers ever to come out of Wales.

In Cardiff, the Welsh capital, other supporters of the monarchy, many with connections to Britain's armed forces, pointed to the monarchy's place in British history and said it could be a unifier.

"To me, they give more than they take," said Mary Carroll, 53, who embraced the day's spirit with blue eyeliner and an inflatable crown. Despite a grim weather forecast, Ms. Carroll said, it was important for her to show up to be a part of the festivities.

But for some, the coronation of one of the wealthiest men in Britain while inflation is battering one of its most deprived areas was a grotesque display of inequality.

"It's only an accident of birth that he is born king, and I’m born a commoner — when we should all be commoners," said Anthony Evans, 74, an artist who protested Charles's investiture in 1969. "The obscene wealth these people have creates an imbalance in society. It's not right."

"It's almost spitting in our faces," said Shaun David, 30, who was holding a banner supporting Welsh independence. He added that the idea that Welsh people would support such an expensive event at a time when so many were experiencing financial struggles was absurd. "It's so thoroughly undemocratic."

Many campaigners said there was a growing awareness of Welsh history and language after a sense of being marginalized by the rest of the union, particularly among a younger generation.

"The monarchy is just one more symbol of our alienation and this old rule of power and privilege over us," said Adam Johannes, an organizer of the anti-monarchy gathering, adding that many Welsh people viewed Britain as a dysfunctional system. "People want to get off the sinking ship."

Megan Specia

Not everyone in Britain has been excited about the coronation. From staunch anti-monarchists to those who feel that the royal family is out of touch with modern Britain, people across the country and beyond have come up with creative ways to commemorate the occasion.

Protests and parties — including a "Big Gay Diana Party" — provided ways for people to acknowledge, or in many cases ignore, the centuries-old pomp and pageantry as King Charles III was crowned.

The activities planned over the weekend ranged from overtly political — such as the anti-monarchy demonstrations disrupted by arrests in central London — to street parties with an alternative spin.

The Newington Green Meeting House in north London, an old hotbeds of political radicalism, hosted an event welcoming republicans, monarchists and people who have no view on the subject.

"Raise a toast to the community, solidarity and radical spirit," the meeting house website reads.

In the English city of Sheffield, the Dog and Partridge pub, whose owners have objected to the cost of the coronation, is hosting an "anti-coronation safe space," with staff members collecting donations for a food bank and a national charity that supports homeless people.

"We have very strong feelings regarding the coronation," a post on the pub's social media accounts noted. "So, we’ve decided to have a get-together for all those that aren't interested in the whole palaver! There’ll be songs played, special drinks available, and no flag-waving!"

In Bristol, a city in the southwest of England, one independent cinema and community space called the Cube is hosting an anti-coronation street party and discussion titled "What Are We Celebrating?" Participants in the conversation about challenging the legacy of the British Empire and questioning the institution of the monarchy planned to call in by video from New Zealand and Australia, where King Charles III is head of state, to talk about the experience of Indigenous communities there.

And later in the evening, attendees were invited to dance the night away at the Bristol venue's "Big Gay Diana Party," described as "an event for the more outgoing critics of the monarchy" that promises to be an "evening of drag, film and dancing."

Rosa Eaton, one of the volunteers organizing the "Big Gay Diana Party" said that the community space "embodies" a "‘no gods no masters’ energy" so it seemed like a natural place for an event such as this. There will be pageantry and pomp and drag performances, she said.

"Diana is essentially the only royal who has been a real friend to queer people, shaking hands with an H.I.V. patient in the 1980s and that being publicized was a big deal," she said. "And there's obviously something about thumbing your nose at the king by celebrating his ex-wife."

Sarah Lyall

First she was the royal mistress, reviled by much of Britain for her role as spoiler in the doomed marriage of Charles and his first wife, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. ("There were three of us in this marriage," Diana declared in 1995, "so it was a bit crowded.")

Then she was a royal bride, finally married to Charles in a pared-down (at least as far as royal ceremonies go) wedding, in 2005. As a culmination of a decades-long relationship between two middle-aged people who genuinely loved each other despite many obstacles (such as other spouses), their marriage represented the triumph of experience over hope.

And now she is Queen Camilla, her previous title of Queen Consort having apparently been jettisoned nearly overnight. Today's coronation represents not just the moment that Charles has finally ascended to the role he has been waiting for his whole life, but also the final act in the long rehabilitation of the former Camilla Parker Bowles.

It was interesting to see her body language during the long coronation ceremony. While Charles seemed weighed down by responsibility (and, it must be said, by the heaviness of the crown and the robes and all the things he had to carry), Camilla seemed to get lighter, even buoyant as she herself was crowned, anointed (but in view of the public, not behind a screen like her husband) and given a ring.

She looked at ease and happy on her throne, happy to bask in her husband's reflected glory. As the two stood on a Buckingham Palace balcony during the traditional and highly symbolic greeting of the public after the coronation ceremony, Charles seemed to visibly relax, actually making small talk with his wife as the family gathered around him.

Alert viewers will have noticed that two ladies, both wearing long white gowns, were near Queen Camilla for most of the coronation ceremony, like bridesmaids at a wedding, and then again on the balcony, corralling several children into place. They were her sister, Annabel Elliot, and a longtime friend, Lady Landsdowne. In a nod to the "slimmed-down" nature of this coronation, they’re not called ladies-in-waiting, but ladies in attendance — another example of how this ceremony has been updated, but only sort of.

Derrick Bryson Taylor

Nicholas Sowemimo, 36, spent part of his Saturday afternoon at The Hawley Arms, a well-known pub in North London, but he did not watch the coronation. "I’m not particularly bothered," he said. "I’m not out here raging, angry about it, protesting. But I’m not the biggest fan."

Derrick Bryson Taylor

He said that Britain's royal family was an "archaic institution" in its current form, pointing to other royal families across Europe that are scaled down and less formal.

Emma Bubola and Megan Specia

London's Metropolitan Police said they arrested 52 people on Saturday, most for offenses that appeared connected to the coronation of Charles III, including public order offenses, breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. In the afternoon, the police said that all those arrested remained in custody.

In advance of the coronation, the police had said that there would be little tolerance for disruptive protests and that they welcomed new legislation that came into force this week giving them more power to crack down on protests that cause "serious disruption."

On Saturday, some protesters said that the arrests represented a breach of public freedoms.

"If that's not infringing on protest rights then I don't know what is," said one protester reached by phone, Imogen McBeath.


00:00:00.000 —> 00:00:01.830 Crowd: Not my king. 00:00:01.830 —> 00:00:03.570 Not my king. 00:00:03.570 —> 00:00:05.900 Not my king.

Some protesters, organized by Republic, the leading anti-monarchy group in Britain, had arrived early on Saturday in Trafalgar Square and on the Mall in London to publicly voice objections to the coronation, an event they saw as an invaluable opportunity to highlight what they see as the absurdity of having a royal family in modern Britain.

Republic said that among those arrested were its leader, Graham Smith, and other members of its core team. The group maintained that it had communicated with the police ahead of the protest and that the arrests came as a surprise.

Hundreds of yellow banners reading, "Not my king," were also seized at Trafalgar Square, Republic said.

At the square, Liorah Tchiprout, 30, who wore a T-shirt with an embroidered portrait of Charles labeled "first class parasite," said that the arrests could diminish the number of people having the courage to demonstrate, at a time when there was a lot to protest about.

"Our rights to protest are being eroded," she said. "That might scare people."

Elsewhere in Britain, fellow anti-monarchy protesters called the arrests in London heavy-handed. "We disagreed with that," said Emyr Gruffydd, who was at an anti-monarchy rally in Cardiff, Wales. "It's healthy in a democracy to be able to express yourself."

Yasmine Ahmed, the director of Human Rights Watch in Britain, condemned the arrests. "People are being arrested on the streets of London for peacefully protesting against the monarchy," she wrote on Twitter, adding, "These are scenes you’d expect to see in Russia not the UK. It's disgraceful not dazzling!"

Despite the arrests, demonstrators at Trafalgar Square walked toward Hyde Park, holding signs that read, "Monarchy is moronic," or "He is just some guy," or "What if it was Andy," in a reference to Charles’ disgraced brother, Prince Andrew.

They chanted "done with the monarchy" and "not my king," but also "spend on health and education not on Charlie's coronation." They showed their middle finger to the jets during the flyover.

Actor Romy Elliot, 23, held a sign that read, "France gets more tourists," a reference to a pro-monarchy argument that the British royal family helps Britain's finances by being a tourist attraction.

The existence of the monarchy "just sends a message that if you are born lucky you get to a position of power," she said. "It's a dangerous message."

Isabella Kwai contributed reporting from Wales.

Megan Specia

A total of 52 arrests were made in London today, according to the city's Metropolitan Police Service, which headed up the security operation in the capital, one of its largest ever. Those arrested were detained for "affray, public order offenses, breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. All of these people remain in custody," the police said in a statement. Affray is essentially creating the perception of a threat to another's safety.

Emiliano Rodríguez Mega

As King Charles III put on the centuries-old St. Edward's crown on Saturday, Jamaica, a Commonwealth member, continued to move ahead with plans to cut ties with the British monarchy — a decision scheduled for a referendum in 2024.

"Time has come. Jamaica in Jamaican hands," Marlene Malahoo Forte, Jamaica's minister for legal and constitutional affairs, said in an interview with Sky News this week. "Time to say goodbye."

She is part of a 15-member committee of officials and experts that is laying the groundwork to modify Jamaica's Constitution and remove the British monarch as the Caribbean island's head of state.

Jamaica was also represented in a letter to King Charles this week in which campaigners from 12 Commonwealth nations urged him to use his coronation to apologize for the "horrific impacts" of Britain's imperial past, including "racism, oppression, colonialism and slavery." The letter called for reparations and the return of all stolen cultural artifacts.

"The British have a great opportunity" to address colonial injustices, said Rosalea Hamilton, co-signer of the letter and founding director of the Institute of Law and Economics, a nonprofit in Kingston, the Jamaican capital. "Having led the world with this inhumanity for centuries, they can lead the world in repairing the damage."

Although its practical role in the island's affairs might be minute, the monarchy has left an uncomfortable legacy. All of the queen's, and now the king's, functions are performed by a governor general acting as their direct representative — assenting to all legislation and determining who becomes Prime Minister.

"Some people would tell you it's largely ceremonial, but I think that's the wrong way of thinking about it," said Tracy Robinson, a constitutional law professor at the University of the West Indies. "It reflects the old prerogative power of the crown."

On the British government's part, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has declined to apologize for the country's role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade or to engage in discussions about paying reparations. "Trying to unpick our history is not the right way forward," he told lawmakers in Britain's Parliament in April, "and it's not something that we will focus our energies on."

Still, the constitutional reform process is prompting more people in Jamaica to think even beyond ditching the British monarch.

"When we say we wish to get rid of the monarchy, that tells you only the starting point," Ms. Robinson said during a public panel this week. "It does not tell you the destination or where we’ll end up."

Among the questions that loom: If Charles III is out as Jamaica's head of state, what kind of political system would ensue?

"We’ve never quite asked and answered those questions before," said Ms. Hamilton, who co-chairs the Advocates Network, an organization that has urged a national discussion around transitioning to a republic. "Can we, for the first time in our history, really conceive of reshaping the society in the interests of the majority?"

Clear answers are elusive. So far, the government's committee — which has said that a draft bill will be presented to Parliament this month — has mostly met in private.

If the legislation is not drafted with significant public participation, said Maziki Thame, a researcher at the University of the West Indies, the decision-making could end up in the hands of a few. That would fall short of what many Jamaicans expect.

"Don't get me wrong — I think it's very important that you have our people in power," she said. "At the same time, I want it to have substance as representative of a democratic move."

Neelam Bohra, Eric Adelson and Margarita Birnbaum

Right at 4:30 a.m., Patrick Lynch strolled into Brit's Pub in Minneapolis along with a growing crowd. He was 10 minutes early, having stayed up all night watching Sky News livestreams of the preparations for King Charles III's Coronation.

"I haven't slept," Mr. Lynch, 40, said. "I didn't want to sleep through it."

Despite the early hour, pockets of Americans gathered at dozens of pubs, house parties and at least one parking lot across the country to watch a stream of the Coronation.

They dined on scones and Scotch eggs; wore gloves and the small headpieces called fascinators; and sipped tea or drinks like Buck's Fizz (essentially, a mimosa).

Many watchers were diehard Anglophiles. Some had ties to Britain. And some, like Jacob Flores, a Navy reservist who was the first among a dozen or so people who gathered before dawn at The Pub in Orlando, Fla., were simply drawn to it as a curiosity.

"My Revolutionary ancestors would be rolling around in their graves," Mr. Flores said, "but eh, why not?"

More U.S. events planned throughout the day, including garden parties and high teas where the broadcast would be replayed, sold out in cities like Washington, D.C. In some of the morning events, however, the turnouts did not seem as high as for gatherings surrounding the wedding of Harry and Meghan in 2018.

Still, to some who watched, viewing the spectacle was an emotional experience, particularly for those with British roots. At The Pub, Layfon Rosu, in a purple fascinator and a white dress with black polka dots, described it as "almost spiritual."

When Charles was crowned, at 7:02 a.m. Eastern time, Carol Melville, 49, who is from Scotland and was visiting Orlando, dabbed her eyes with a white napkin.

"I wasn't expecting that to happen," she said of her tears, adding, "It's a bit overwhelming."

Julie Burge Lindsey, 70, whose family had immigrated from England, watched the streaming broadcast in Montgomery, Ala., before attending a morning tea. She said Queen Elizabeth II's coronation took place when she was a baby, making this feel like a "once-in-a-lifetime event."

Paul Hackney, 75, who was born in Doncaster, England, also cited Elizabeth as part of the reason he watched. He was one of more than 50 people who gathered at 3:30 a.m. in a parking lot of the British Emporium grocery store in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, Texas.

In his pocket, Mr. Hackney, a retired truck mechanic who has lived in Texas for about 30 years, carried a New Testament that was given to him when he was a schoolboy on the occasion of her coronation in June 1953.

"She's always been my queen," he said, adding that she represented "the good in people."

More than half of Americans say they do not care about the Coronation "very much" or "at all," according to a recent study from YouGov, a London-based analytics and research group.

Conrad Melville, Ms. Melville's 10-year-old son, might agree with them. "I don't mind watching it," he said. "I don't really think anything of it."

The New York Times

King Charles III's coronation ceremony on Saturday was filled with ancient traditions and storied paraphernalia, complete with elaborate and mysterious names.

Here are just a few of the stars of the show:

The Stone of Destiny: Also known as the Stone of Scone, it may sound like a magical Harry Potter-esque object, but it is in fact the rock upon which Scottish kings were crowned until the 13th century when King Edward I of England stole it. In 1996, England gave it back to Scotland, which kindly lent it out for the coronation ceremony, where it was enclosed inside the 700-year-old Coronation Chair. According to The Guardian newspaper, Charles was the 27th monarch to sit on it.

The Regalia: We heard a lot about Regalia, which turns out to be a very specific category of object in the coronation ceremony. Regarded as the "heart of the Crown jewels" and usually kept in the Tower of London, the Regalia includes something called the "sovereign's orb," a hollow gold globe decorated with a huge cross; a couple of scepters; and several different crowns. The presentation of Regalia, including swords of state, temporal justice and mercy, were meant to signify the king's role as a defender of the weak, not a warrior. In a break with tradition, non-Christian faith leaders presented some of the less overtly religious items of Regalia to Charles as part of an effort to reflect the diversity of modern Britain.

The Supertunica: For King Charles and Queen Camilla, the coronation involved multiple changes of wardrobe, starting with robes of state. The king's robes, made of crimson velvet with gold lace, were worn by his grandfather George VI at his coronation in 1937. But for the crowning moment, the king wore the Supertunica, a long and glittering golden coat that his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, wore at her coronation in 1953. The coat is made of gold silk and reflects "the splendor of Christ," according to the royal family's website.

The Ampulla: The golden Ampulla and Coronation Spoon are "arguably the most important" items used in the coronation ceremony, because they are "required for the anointing, which is the most sacred part" of the service, according to Westminster Abbey. Shaped like an eagle, the Ampulla is a flask made for the coronation of King Charles II in 1661. It held the oil that was poured into the Coronation Spoon and used to anoint the new monarch.

Emma Bubola

On Saturday afternoon, eight anti-monarchy protesters were still in custody, according to Republic, the group that organized the protest. The arrests included the group's leader, Graham Smith, and other members of its core team. Republic has maintained that it communicated with the police ahead of time and that the arrests came as a surprise. "If that's not infringing on protest rights then I don't know what is," said Imogen McBeath, who was among the participants.

Michael M. Grynbaum

Where were the Waleses?

In the down-to-the-minute choreography of Saturday's coronation, William and Catherine, the Prince and Princess of Wales, had been expected to arrive outside Westminster Abbey at roughly 10:45 a.m. They would be among the last guests to enter the church before the stars of the show, King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Instead, Charles and Camilla pulled up to the abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach and then, rather awkwardly, did not alight. Instead, the royal couple stayed put for about five minutes, as cameras caught an aide conferring with a perplexed-looking Charles about the apparent delay.

Were William and Kate running late? Or was it that the king's coach had arrived early? None of the hundreds of journalists loitering by the broadcast booths outside Buckingham Palace seemed to know for sure. But for a while, it seemed the Waleses were AWOL.

"We frankly expected to see them before this moment," Savannah Guthrie of NBC told her "Today" show viewers, although William and Catherine were always scheduled to be among the latest arrivals. "So we will see how all this unfolds."

Eventually, a car zipped up and deposited William and Catherine and their children — George, Charlotte and Louis — at the abbey.

There was no immediate comment from the relevant parties, and so the reporters were left to speculate. Some TV commentators said they recognized in William and Catherine the harried faces of parents who had just been corralling a brood. Others raised the prospect of a traffic jam, although the surrounding streets had been cleared of cars.

Hours later, it remained unclear if the Waleses had technically been delayed at all. But it wouldn't be a royal occasion without some gossip.

Megan Specia

For the first time in the living memory of most of the people gathered in central London on Saturday, it was time to crown a monarch.

They came out before dawn to line a processional route that would be traversed two times during King Charles III's coronation day through the heart of the royal parks, stretching from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey and back.

For the third time in less than a year, royal spectacles have played out in that very space, along similar routes, with all of the pomp and pageantry the public expects: first with the excitement at Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June, then with an outpouring of grief for her funeral in September, and now for the crowning of her son.

Each time, the public has come out to watch, from passionate royal watchers to those just happy for a day out.

Early Saturday morning, Sarah Chappell, 23, and Zoë Boyce, 24, were having breakfast on a blanket in Green Park, along the procession route, as they waited for the festivities to begin.

"I am just intrigued," Ms. Boyce said, describing herself as "not a big fan" of King Charles. "I think you can appreciate it without supporting it."

"I think it's just a day in history, isn't it?" Ms. Chappell said, describing herself as an enthusiastic supporter of the royal family and the monarchy. She said she had come for the queen's funeral last year and wanted to be there again this weekend to soak up the crowd and the vibe.

But soaked is what many got while they waited for hours between the two processions along the royal route to and from Westminster Abbey as a steady drizzle fell for much of the morning.

Those who did manage to get one of the coveted seats on a purpose-built stand in front of Buckingham Palace were among the first to glimpse the king on his coronation day as he passed by in a golden carriage.

"God Save the King," Britain's national anthem, played, setting the stage before Charles and Queen Camilla made their way past, and those in the crowd in the stands chanted, "Hip, hip, hooray!" as the royal couple waved.

The stands were filled with thousands of public servants, including veterans and members of the National Health Service. Thousands more lined the Mall, which stretches out in front of the palace, hoping to view the festivities. But as the coronation unfolded a little over a mile away at the abbey, the rain and chill made for a subdued atmosphere as a radio broadcast of the ceremony echoed out over the crowd.

Nicola Ford, 37, a student nurse, and Mikey Walker, 31, who works for the ambulance service, traveled to London from Sussex on Saturday morning to be part of the occasion. Having arrived too late to enter the Mall, the friends went to Hyde Park for a chance to soak up the atmosphere.

"It's seeing everyone, watching it and hearing everyone cheer," Mr. Walker said. "It's the chance of a lifetime, isn't it?"

"The public are really supportive of Charles," Ms. Ford added. "He’ll be a very respected king."

That was not a universally shared sentiment on Saturday. Protesters in Trafalgar Square wearing yellow T-shirts and holding signs reading "Who voted for him?" chanted, "Not my king."

Some onlookers reacted angrily to the anti-monarchy protest. "Do they expect a republic to be better?" said Stephen Morse, 62, who came to London from Birmingham for the coronation. "Imagine having Boris Johnson as head of state."

The police said earlier that they would have little tolerance for disruption, and a handful of the protesters were arrested.

But for the crowds who came for a royal shindig, the day crescendoed into something they have come to know well — a wave from the members of the Royal House of Windsor from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

And although they may still be getting used to the family's new makeup, with a king at the helm for the first time in over seven decades, the public rushed up the Mall, filling the length and width of the avenue. As the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team known as the Red Arrows flew overhead, they cheered their newly anointed monarch and shouted out in unison, "God save the king."

Saskia Solomon and Emma Bubola contributed reporting.

Sam Manchester

Once again, Prince Louis stole the show on the balcony, giving the thousands in attendance a windshield wiper wave.

Sarah Lyall

They were once so close. And so it was striking, and a little sad, to see how far Charles's two sons — Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and Prince William, the Prince of Wales — have drifted apart in the past few years. William had an official role in Saturday's coronation, as the heir to the throne; Harry had none at all, except as a relative demoted to the third row of Westminster Abbey.

It's unclear whether the two acknowledged each other at all as William processed in, long after Harry took his seat.

Dressed in a morning suit with a slew of medals on his chest, Harry smiled gamely as he entered the abbey. He sat not with his immediate family, but between Jack Brooksbank, the husband of his cousin Eugenie, and Princess Alexandra, 86, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II who is reportedly 56th in line for the throne.

William wore full military regalia and at one point dropped to his knee and pledged allegiance to Charles, a moment that was both shockingly anachronistic and strangely touching. After reciting the oath, he kissed his father on the cheek, and Charles leaned forward and tenderly murmured something in response.

Harry's wife, Meghan, who has been — unfairly or not, depending on how you see these things — blamed for his rift with his father and brother, stayed back home in California with their two young children; William's three children were in the abbey with their parents.

Speculation about Harry's presence, or absence, dominated much of the tabloid gossip in the run-up to the coronation, and continued as the ceremony went on.

After the coronation, William, Catherine and their children got into an ornate carriage that transported them in a long and stately fashion to Buckingham Palace. There, they joined the newly crowned king and queen and other members of the family for the traditional wave-to-the-crowds moment on the palace balcony, heads raised to watch a military fly-past (truncated because of the rain).

Neither Harry nor his uncle Prince Andrew, who has been all but defenestrated from the family because of his ties to the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, was present on the balcony.

Nor was Harry seen interacting with William, at least not publicly. He reportedly headed to the airport to fly back to California right after the coronation, thus missing the scheduled post-coronation lunch and family portrait. (According to The Daily Telegraph, he was eager to return home in time to say good night to his son, Archie, whose fourth birthday is Saturday.)

"Sources on both sides indicate that the relationship between Prince Harry and Prince William, in particular, is at rock bottom, the paper reported. "The two brothers have not spoken for months."

Weiyi Cai

After the death of Queen Elizabeth II last year, her son Charles ascended to the throne, with Prince William next in line.

Vanessa Friedman

critic's notebook

Is there any pageant of state more chockablock with symbolism than a royal coronation? Almost every detail, from the crown itself to the "bracelets of sincerity and wisdom" presented to the new monarch, is redolent of meaning.

So it really shouldn't be a surprise that the clothes of the ceremony's stars, as well as many of the guests, were equally considered, down to the tiniest detail. Indeed, a scan through the looks on Saturday was, on one level, like a super fancy fashion Easter egg hunt.

It started with the coronation gown worn by Queen Camilla: a white silk dress by Bruce Oldfield, a British designer who has been a favorite dressmaker of not only the new queen, but was also often worn by Princess Diana (he made her silver lame dress for the 1985 premiere of the James Bond film "A View to a Kill") and thus a sort of diplomatic family bridge.

Camilla's coronation look was embroidered in silver and gold wildflowers — daisy chains, forget-me-nots and scarlet pimpernels — in reference to the affinity for the British countryside that she and Charles share. The dress also had roses, thistles, daffodils and shamrocks, meant to represent the four nations of the United Kingdom, on the cuffs of each sleeve.

As it happens, those flowers were likewise embroidered on the white crepe Alexander McQueen gown worn by Catherine, Princess of Wales, now the queen-in-waiting. Catherine also wore McQueen, which is designed by Sarah Burton, the rare woman at the head of a fashion house, for her wedding in 2011, and has worn the designer's work to many major public occasions since. Along with the dress (worn under her royal robes) she chose not to wear a fancy tiara, but rather a crystal-and-silver floral headpiece, and earrings that had belonged to Princess Diana.

(Royal jewelry tends to almost always come with a genealogy: Camilla's diamond necklace, which includes a 22.48-carat pendant, was made by Garrard in 1858 for Queen Victoria, and, along with matching earrings, is part of the "coronation suite." It was also worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation in 1953.)

Before the actual coronation, it was rumored that Catherine would break with tradition and wear a "floral crown," in a nod to the king's wish for a more modern, less ostentatious coronation. She did, although her version, by Jess Collett x Alexander McQueen, was probably not the Glastonbury Festival-like floral crown that most had imagined.

In any case, it matched the crystal-and-silver headband worn by Catherine's daughter, Princess Charlotte. Also matching: Princess Charlotte's white McQueen cape and dress and its silver trim. Catherine has long adopted a strategy of color-coordinating her family's outfits for their public appearances, in part to telegraph an implicit suggestion of unity in a clan that could use some of that messaging. (It also looks good, and she is a master of visual communication.) Think of it as Pantone politics.

And so it went.

Jill Biden, the American first lady, arrived in a sky blue suit with matching gloves and a bow in her hair (a sort of notional hat), all by Ralph Lauren, a designer who has built his own empire on Americana as well as a fantasy of olde England, and thus a choice that seemed particularly apropos (President Biden also wore a Ralph Lauren suit to his presidential swearing-in). Even more pointedly, Dr. Biden arrived with her granddaughter, Finnegan Biden, who was wearing a daffodil yellow caped Markarian dress, so that when the two women walked in together, they looked like … the Ukrainian flag!

That's an impressively tactical approach to first — and social media — impressions.

It also made sense, since the Bidens were seated next to Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine, who herself was wearing a simple light blue dress and coat. In any case, Finnegan Biden was not the only guest in yellow: Queen Rania of Jordan was also in the hue, wearing a look from British designer Tamara Ralph, as was Catherine's sister, Pippa Middleton.

Still, they were relatively subtle in their semiology, unlike Katy Perry, who was attending because she will be performing at the coronation concert on Sunday night. For her part, Ms. Perry chose to wear a lilac Vivienne Westwood skirt suit, matching elbow-length gloves, and a large lilac hat/flying saucer sprouting a "merry widow" veil — plus a three-strand pearl choker with a Westwood logo crown at its center.

Ms. Westwood, of course, famously had a somewhat, well, cheeky relationship with the monarchy (remember the notorious no-knickers twirl she did after receiving her OBE?), though by the time she died in December she had become her own sort of British treasure. In choosing to honor her memory and wear her brand, Ms. Perry was both supporting the local fashion industry, and the complicated national relationship with the royal family that King Charles has inherited. Hats off to that one.

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