Showtime! UK readies pomp for King Charles III’s coronation
May 3, 2023 -LONDON (AP) — The crown has been resized. The troops are prepared for the biggest military procession in 70 years. The Gold State Coach is ready to roll.
Now it’s time for the show.
King Charles III will be crowned Saturday at Westminster Abbey in an event full of all the pageantry Britain can muster.
Enrobed clergymen will hand over the medieval symbols of power — the rod, the scepter and the orb. Brass bands and soldiers in bearskin hats will troop through the streets. And the new king and queen will presumably end the day on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to wave to the cheering crowds.
But don’t be too dazzled. There’s purpose behind the pomp: to buttress the crown’s foundations and show that the people of the United Kingdom still support their monarch.
Royal historian Robert Lacey compares the event to a U.S. presidential election and an inauguration rolled into one — a celebration as well as a test of how the public sees the new sovereign.
“The king obviously is not subject to the vote and so these big public rituals are the closest royal people get to that sort of test,” said Lacey, author of “Battle of Brothers: William & Harry — the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult.” “Its basic purpose is to attract the loyalty and interest of British people to demonstrate that crowd outside Buckingham Palace waving at the balcony.”