Carlos III was crowned this Saturday as King of the United Kingdom in a solemn ceremony held at Westminster Abbey, in the heart of the British capital.
Although the king wanted a more modern and simple ceremony than his mother’s, in a context of serious crisis due to the soaring cost of living, it developed according to a pompous ritual practically unchanged for a thousand years, unique among European monarchies.
Three crowns set with diamonds and precious stones, various ancient garments embroidered with gold that the king will wear at different stages of the ceremony, three scepters and a pair of gold spurs were revealed.
These were the highlights.
Carlos and Camila left for Westminster Abbey
King Charles III and Queen Camilla left Buckingham Palace in London for Westminster Abbey.
Around 10:20 local time (09:20 GMT), the “Diamond Jubilee” carriage, in which the kings were traveling, advanced along The Mall avenue, which joins the palace and Trafalgar Square, towards the government area, where thousands of people congregated on both sides of the boulevard.
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The start of the coronation ceremony
The ceremony began at 11:00 local time (09:00 GMT) at Westminster Abbey, in the presence of the royal family and thousands of guests, including the kings of Spain, Felipe VI and Letizia.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was in charge of presiding over this coronation, the first since June 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II was also crowned in this Anglican temple.
Dressed in an ermine cloak, King Charles III entered the abbey followed by several children, including his grandson, Prince George, second in the line of succession to the British crown, who served as a page along with Camila’s grandchildren. Camila, who entered before the king, was dressed in white.
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Behind the King, the Princes of Wales, William and Catherine, entered, both dressed in ceremonial dress.
Prince Harry, the king’s youngest son, attended his father’s coronation, but without the company of his wife, Meghan, or their two children, Archie and Lilibet.
The epistle read by Rishi Sunak
During part of the ceremony, the British prime minister, the conservative Rishi Sunak, read a fragment of the Epistle to the Colossians. As head of the British government, Sunak, a Hindu religion, participated in the religious service.
“We do not stop praying for you, asking that you be filled with the knowledge of His Will, in all its wisdom and spiritual intelligence, so that you walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in everything,” Sunak read during the ceremony.
“This is the word of the Lord,” was how the 42-year-old prime minister concluded his reading.
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Carlos III, anointed with consecrated oil
At a key moment King Charles was anointed with consecrated oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of the Anglican Church, the most solemn religious rite of the coronation liturgy, which required the monarch to be temporarily concealed from the public.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the Dean of Westminster and the Archbishop of York, anointed Charles III’s hands, chest, and forehead with oil.
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The 74-year-old sovereign was veiled by a panel of embroidered fabric with angel motifs and a tree with 56 leaves representing each of the Commonwealth countries, blessed in the Royal Chapel of St James’s Palace a week ago .
During the anointing, the choir sang the piece “Zadok the Priest”, composed by Georg Friedrich Handel for the coronation of George II in 1727.
Reflecting the King’s passion for sustainability, the 2.6 by 2.2 meter screen he hid from him was made from the wood of an oak tree planted by the Duke of Northumberland in 1765 on the Windsor estate. was blown down by the wind.
Carlos III receives the crown
Later, Carlos was crowned. At the most important moment of this protocol act, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, placed on the head of Carlos III the sumptuous crown of San Eduardo, from the 17th century.
Sitting on St Edward’s Oak Chair, considered the oldest piece of furniture in the UK and placed on a medieval mosaic floor, Carlos III was crowned after receiving the different royal insignia, which symbolize the responsibilities as the British head of state Until the day of her death.
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The king was given the sovereign’s orb, symbolizing the world; the scepter with a cross, which represents the Christian world; and the scepter of the dove, symbol of the spiritual role of the monarch. Dressed in a golden cloak, the Primate of the Church of England presented the King with the white glove of power.
Finally, Welby placed the crown of Saint Edward, made of gold and decorated with rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnets and topazes, the only time in his life that the monarch will wear it.
Camila receives the crown
Once the king was crowned, Camila was also crowned Queen of the United Kingdom.
Queen Camilla was first anointed with oil on her head by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of the Anglican Church, who later imposed the crown of Queen Mary on her head.
A smiling Camila also received from the Bishop Emeritus of London and the Bishop of Dover the Scepter of the Queen Consort and the Rod with Dove of the Queen Consort.
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The kings begin their procession to Buckingham
Then, Carlos and Camila left Westminster Abbey after having been crowned and began the procession to Buckingham Palace. aboard the sumptuous Golden State Carriage.
Accompanied by 4,000 soldiers in regalia, the king and queen greeted the crowds stationed on the two-kilometre route to their official residence in London.
The procession was divided into eight groups, which included members of the Armed Forces of various Commonwealth countries, as well as the various divisions of the British Army.
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The iconic salute on the balcony
Once in the palace Carlos III came out to greet the crowd from the balcony of Buckingham Palace together with Queen Camila and their families, but without his youngest son Enrique, separated from the official functions of royalty.
Nor did Prince Andrew, brother of Carlos III, appear on the balcony, who was also separated from the royal family for his sexual scandals related to businessman Jeffrey Epstein.
Over the heads of those present flew over planes and helicopters of the British Armed Forces, although the air show was cut short due to bad weather conditions.
The tradition of waving from the balcony dates back to 1851, when the legendary Queen Victoria appeared there amid celebrations for the opening of the World’s Fair that year.
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Since then, that greeting has served to mark special occasions in the history of the British monarchy, such as the birthdays of the sovereign’s mother, Elizabeth II, royal weddings, the queen’s jubilees or historical commemoration events.
The acts will continue this Sunday with a great concert in which Katy Perry, among others, will participate. In addition, there will be a great lunch to honor the new British king.
*With AFP and EFE
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