King Charles III coronation ceremony: What will happen stage by stage, and what date is it?

King Charles III's coronation will take place nearly 70 years after the late Queen's own ceremony. Credit: PA

Queen Elizabeth II's death last month paved the way for her eldest son, King Charles III, to replace her as sovereign reigning over the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.

But the King has yet to be officially crowned, in what is one of the monarchy's oldest and deeply religious ceremonies.

When the King's crowning does take place next year on Saturday, 6 May in Westminster Abbey, the Crown Jewels’ coronation regalia will play a starring role.

There are six basic phases to the coronation: The recognition, the oath, the anointing, the investiture which includes the crowning, the enthronement and the homage.

But what exactly can you expect to happen at the King's coronation?


The rite of recognition dates back to ancient procedures of the Witan - the supreme council of England in Anglo-Saxon times.

During this stage the sovereign stands in the theatre - the central space in Westminster Abbey - and turns to show himself “unto the people” at each of the four directions - east, south, west and north.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will proclaim King Charles the “undoubted King” and ask the congregation and choir to show their homage and service by crying out “God Save King Charles”, with the order of service urging them to do so with “willingness and joy”.

Coronation Oath

Over the centuries, the form and wording of the oath has varied somewhat. The King will promise to reign according to law, exercise justice with mercy and maintain the Church of England.

King Charles, with the Sword of State carried before him, will go to the altar and declare: “The things which I have here before promised, I will perform, and keep. So help me God.” He will also kiss the Bible and sign the Oath.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will proclaim King Charles the 'undoubted King' during the recognition. Credit: PA

The Anointing

After the oath, the sovereign is then “anointed, blessed and consecrated” by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The anointing with holy oil is the central act of the religious ceremony.

King Charles will remove his crimson robe and sit in King Edward’s chair - which was made in 1300 and has been used by every monarch since 1626 - under a canopy of silk or cloth of gold held by four Knights of the Garter.

The archbishop will use the golden eagle-shaped ampulla - which pours the oil from its beak - and the 12th century silver-gilt anointing spoon, which is the most ancient treasure of the Crown Jewels, to anoint the King in the form of a cross.

Traditionally the choir sings the anthem 'Zadok The Priest' as the anointing is carried out.

Meanwhile, the Stone of Destiny is expected to be under the chair - the ancient, sacred symbol of Scotland’s monarchy.

It was once captured by King Edward I of England, and now only leaves Edinburgh Castle for coronations.

Investiture including the Crowning

After being sanctified, the sovereign puts on a sleeveless white garment - the Colobium Sindonis - and then a robe of cloth of gold - the Supertunica.

The King is presented with a jewelled sword and the golden spurs - the symbol of chivalry - and the armills - golden bracelets of sincerity and wisdom.

He will put on the Robe Royal of gold cloth and will be presented with the orb, the coronation ring on the fourth finger of his right hand, the sceptre and the rod.

Then, King Charles, sitting in King Edward’s Chair, will be crowned by the Archbishop with St Edward’s Crown, and at the same time the congregation will cry: “God Save the King”.


After a blessing, the King will go to his throne and be “lifted up into it by the archbishops and bishops, and other peers of the kingdom”.


The archbishop, the royal blood princes - likely to include the Prince of Wales - and senior peers will pay homage to the monarch, placing their hands between the King’s and swearing allegiance, touching the crown and kissing the King’s right hand.

The House of Commons does not pay homage.

Once the homage has concluded Camilla, Queen Consort, will also be crowned in a similar but simpler ceremony.