King Charles III is crowned with St Edward’s Crown by The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Reverend Justin Welby during his coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, London on Saturday May 6, 2023. Jonathan Brady/Pool via REUTERS
King Charles III has officially been crowned King of the United Kingdom during a Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London, England this morning.
William Mitchell watched the ceremony and files this report.
It was a ceremony of pomp and pageantry…the likes of which have not been seen since June 2, 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned.
Charles ascended to the throne last September when his mother died.
Tens of thousands of on-lookers and well-wishers have been gathering along the route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster for several days.
Many braved the elements, as rain swept England’s capital in the days leading to the ceremony.
There was some controversy as several anti-monarch protestors were arrested by police before the start of the ceremony. There is also criticism among sections of the English public who believe the costs of the ceremony could have been better spent elsewhere amid a cost-of-living crisis.
But on Saturday morning, the masses gathered witnessed Charles and his wife Camila travel to the abbey in a splendid coach drown by six horses.
Leaders and celebrities from around the world were in attendance to witness history.
Among them were Canada’s prime minster, Justin Trudeau, France’s president Emmanuel Macron, First Lady of the United States Jill Biden, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak and Jamaica’s governor general Sir Patrick Allen and his wife Lady Allen.
Several members of the Royal Family were in attendance to witness the historic moment.
The ceremony was steeped in tradition. Charles took several oaths, while there were several readings from including scriptures from the Bible.
Charles was also anointed by a priest. Each tradition going back hundreds of years.
The ceremony last two hours. But shortly after 6 on the morning of Saturday May 6, Charles followed in his mother’s footsteps when her received the St Edward’s crown.
Charles is now officially King of the United Kingdom.
About 15 minutes later, Camilla was officially crowned Queen consort.
Now that Charles is officially King, he’ll face a similar problem to his mother. Seventy years ago Queen Elizabeth faced the challenge of keeping the Commonwealth together as a wave of independence spread.
Charles is facing a wave of republicanism, especially in the Caribbean.
Belize is the latest country to signal it may break from the Commonwealth. Belize’s prime minister, John Briceño, slammed the United Kingdom on Thursday for their refusal to apologise for their role in the slave trade.
Mr Briceño says the refusal could prompt Belize to abandon the Commonwealth.
Jamaica’s prime minister, Andrew Holness, indicated to Prince William during a visit to Jamaica last year that the country is prepared to move on from the British monarch.
A committee has since been set up to guide Jamaica to becoming a republic.
Barbados officially left the Commonwealth in November 2021, becoming the latest country to do so.