How will the king’s coronation work?

king's coronation- date and imperial state crown

How will the King’s coronation work?

With the King’s coronation coming up fast on the 6th of May, it is important to educate children on what happens during a coronation. Due to the long reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II, it has been many years since a coronation has occurred. A lot of children don’t know the process, so it can be hard to teach them about it. So, how will the King’s coronation work? We have broken down what will happen to help you educate children.


The night before a coronation

On the night before the King’s coronation the Regalia is brought down from the Tower of London to the Abbey. It is kept overnight in the Jerusalem chamber and Yeoman Warders guard it until the morning. When the coronation day starts, the clergy of the Abbey process with the Regalia into the church. A lot of the Regalia sits upon the high alter; however, the Imperial State Crown is taken to St Edward’s Chapel and placed on an altar there.


Sovereign processes

In the first part of the coronation the Sovereign processes from the west end of the Abbey to the theatre. Throughout the procession the versus of Psalm 122 is traditionally sung. The Archbishop of Canterbury will then present the Sovereign to everyone.

The King will take an oath swearing to govern faithfully with justice and mercy and to maintain and worship the Church of England.


Communion service

The next stage is the communion service proceeds after the choir sings the ancient hymn that invokes the Holy Spirit. The King’s robe will be removed, and he will be seated in the Coronation chair. Some of the knights of the Garter conceal the chair from view as the archbishop anoints the King with holy oil. This is done on the hands, breast and head. As this occurs the choir will sing Zadok the Priest which has been used in every coronation since King Edgar’s.


Handed the Regalia and robes

After this, the King will be dressed in robes of gold cloth and will be handed the Regalia. Some of these items, like the Orb, are presented symbolically and then returned to the altar. The king will hold the sceptre in one hand and the rod with the dove in the other.

The last item to be handed over will be the St Edward’s Crown which the Dean of Westminster delivers. The archbishop will place the crown on King Charles III head, and trumpets sound to acclaim the Sovereign.


Moves to the throne

The most important part of the King’s coronation will be him leaving the coronation chair to move to the throne. This moment is incredibly special as when the King sits in the throne, it means that he takes possession of the kingdom. He will receive the homage of the people which is performed by the bishops.

More songs are sung during this and acclamations of the crowning. As there will be a King, there will be a Queen Consort. The Queen Consort will be anointed and crowned after King Charles III.


Receiving of the Holy Communion

Finally, the King will receive holy communion whilst Gloria in Excelsis will be sung. During this song, the archbishop gives the blessing to the new King. After this is done, King Charles III will leave for St Edward’s Chapel and put on the purple velvet robe. He will switch the St Edward’s Crown for the Imperial State Crown here too.

To finalise the ceremony, the king will carry the Sceptre and Orb and begin his procession through the Abbey to the Annexe.


Share this outline of the King’s coronation with children so they can start to understand the process. Break it down to them and show images of previous coronations to help them understand further. Reinforce this information by watching the coronation on the 6th of May and point out what is happening. This event will be a huge part of British history and due to this, it is a very special occasion to be a part of. Make sure that you involve children in this history and celebrate the coronation.

Look out for more exciting King’s coronation content over the next few weeks to engage pupils in celebrating the momentous occasion.

<a href="" target="_self">Amber Vaccianna</a>

Amber Vaccianna

Hope blog writer

11 April 2023

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