With less than a month to go until the coronation of King Charles, Buckingham Palace has released new details about the historic event. The updates include information about the carriages to be used and the priceless crown jewels chosen for the day, among other things.
However, one decision made by King Charles and Queen Camilla has caused some concern. The couple has chosen to travel in a shorter procession route than the late Queen, breaking with tradition by only using the elaborate 260-year-old Gold State Coach one way – on their return.
For the 1.3 mile outward journey, the couple will travel in the more modern and comfortable Diamond Jubilee State Coach, which has shock absorbers, heating, and air conditioning. They will be escorted by The Sovereign's Escort of the Household Cavalry, traveling down The Mall via Admiralty Arch, along the south side of Trafalgar Square, along Whitehall and Parliament Street, around the east and south sides of Parliament Square to Broad Sanctuary to arrive at the Abbey ahead of the 11 am ceremony.
The late Queen famously rode both ways in the Gold State Coach for her 1953 coronation, but described the bumpy experience in the carriage, which is suspended on leather straps, as “horrible”. Her return procession was five miles, taking her down Piccadilly, along Oxford Street and Regent Street and Haymarket, and featured 16,000 participants, designed to allow her to be seen by as many people as possible.
In contrast, the newly-crowned King Charles and Queen Camilla will travel just 1.3 miles back in the Gold State Coach after the ceremony, reversing their outward journey as they wave to the crowds, with the King wearing the Imperial State Crown.
The decision to travel a shorter route has raised concerns amongst royal fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the couple on the day. With thousands expected to travel to the capital to witness history being made, vantage points will be in high demand, and many are worried they will not have the chance to see the King and Queen.
The procession back will feature a cast of hundreds of members of the Armed Forces from the UK, Commonwealth, and the British Overseas Territories, as well as the Sovereign's Bodyguard and Royal Watermen. The historic gilded carriage, which will be drawn by eight Windsor greys, is so heavy that it will have to travel at walking pace, making the procession longer than the royals' outward journey.
The priceless array of coronation regalia from the Crown Jewels to be used during the religious service in the Abbey has also been confirmed. The regalia will include the Sovereign's Orb, the Golden Spurs, Armills, two maces, five symbolic swords, the Sovereign's Ring, the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross, and the Sovereign's Sceptre with Dove.
As the coronation of King Charles draws closer, anticipation among royal fans continues to mount. While the decision to travel a shorter procession route has raised concerns, it is sure to be a historic day for all involved, with the use of the priceless crown jewels and other regalia adding to the grandeur of the occasion.