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Buckingham Palace Sets 3 Weekend Coronation Days for King Charles III


LONDON — King Charles III has signaled that he wants a streamlined coronation ceremony. But that doesn’t mean an economically struggling Britain won’t throw a lavish party when it’s crowned its first king in seven decades in May.

Late Saturday, Buckingham Palace announced details of a three-day merry-go-round that will rival Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Celebration last June. Among the highlights: a star-studded concert at Windsor Castle, a series of nationwide street parties and a national volunteer campaign, entitled “The Big Help Out”.

The sheer scale of the festivities seems surprising as the palace has previously indicated that Charles wanted a scaled-down ceremony, compared to his mother’s, due to the cost-of-living crisis taking its toll. to the country. But the British government now sees the coronation weekend as an opportunity to lift spirits after a harsh winter, according to people familiar with the plans, and that has encouraged the royal family to pull out of the stops.

The Palace is still expected to shorten the service, which will take place May 6 at Westminster Abbey and be run by Bishop Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury. It would reduce the guest list and remove some of the more ancient rites of a ceremony that went back nearly 1,000 years.

But the coronation allows the public, in the UK and around the world, to take part in royal festivities. Elizabeth’s coronation, in June 1953, was the first televised coronation, attracting more than 250 million global viewers.

Much of the backdrop of that scene – a monumental procession from the monastery to the palace, complete with a golden chariot, and an apparition of the king and family on the balcony – will remain. And with Britons getting a day off on Monday, May 8, in honor of the new king, the palace will host two more days of festivities.

“The King and Queen hope the coronation weekend will provide an opportunity to spend time and celebrate with friends, family and communities across the UK, kingdoms and Commonwealth,” the palace said. know in a statement released Saturday night.

The party kicks off on Sunday, May 7, when pop and rock stars will join the coronation choir at Windsor Castle in a televised concert. There’s no word yet on who will perform, but if the queen’s anniversary concert is any indication — it features Alicia Keys, Duran Duran, Rod Stewart and Brian May, artists Queen’s guitar — the lineup will be strong.

In keeping with what the palace says is Charles’ desire for a coronation that reflects the times, the choir will include people drawn from singing groups that include the deaf, refugees, and people with disabilities. LGBTQ. The concert will conclude with a nationwide light show, using lasers and drones — a technology used to great effect last spring with the queen and Her handbag hovered above Buckingham Palace.

The series of street parties, nicknamed the “Coronation Luncheon,” are also borrowed from the Platinum Celebrations, with the palace planning thousands of street gatherings. , gardens and parks across England. This will be a showcase for the queen, Camilla, who has patronized a charity that organizes public lunches for those who live alone.

That Monday, when many Britons will take advantage of the one-off holiday on May 8, the palace hopes that some will take up volunteer work. According to the palace, Charles, as Prince of Wales, has emphasized volunteering through his charities and considers it his main legacy after his coronation.

The palace has left open several key questions about the coronation, particularly whether the king’s youngest son, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, will be invited. Harry’s best-selling memoir, “Spare,” deepened the rift between him and his father and brother, Prince William – among other things, claiming that he and Meghan were abused by Charles and William .

The palace has staunchly refused to respond to the allegations and is not expected to address the issue of inviting Harry and Meghan for some time. May 6 will be the couple’s fourth birthday, son Archie, which could affect Meghan’s, if not his father’s, travel plans. In an interview with ITV to promote his book, Harry made no secret about making the trip from his home in Southern California.

“There’s a lot that could happen between now and then,” he said.

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