The Coronation of a British monarch is a grand event steeped in tradition and history. With the recent Coronation of King Charles III on 6 May 2023, it’s the perfect time to explore the key rituals and ceremonies that take place during this momentous occasion. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of a British Coronation and discover the significance of each ceremony.

Procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey

Coronation day begins with a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, a majestic display of pageantry and splendor. The new monarch, accompanied by the royal retinue, travels through the streets of London to be greeted by well-wishers.

The King’s or Queen’s Procession

Upon arriving at Westminster Abbey, the monarch and royal retinue undergo the second procession of Coronation Day where they pass by notable figures in British and international governance, pop culture, and so on. This includes heads of state, representatives of the Houses of Commons and Lords, archbishops, bishops, and other notable guests.

The Coronation Ceremony

The highlight of the Coronation is, of course, the Coronation Ceremony itself. This solemn and symbolic event can be further broken down into several parts such as the Recognition and Oath, Anointing, Investiture and Homage.

During the Recognition and Oath, the monarch is formally presented as such to the congregation by the Archbishop of Canterbury. They will then take the Coronation Oath, before sitting in the Coronation Chair.

Once the monarch is seated, the Anointing begins. This is one of the most sacred moments in a British Coronation. The monarch is anointed with holy oil on their head, chest, and hands using the Coronation Spoon, symbolising the divine consecration of their reign. This ancient ritual harks back to biblical traditions, mirroring the anointing of kings in the Old Testament. It also symbolises the monarch’s position as the Head of the Church of England, a position that’s been entertwined with the modern British monarchy since the Tudor era.

Once the Anointing is complete, the monarch undergoes the Investiture, where they are draped in special robes and regalia. The regalia used during the Coronation holds deep historical and religious significance, representing the sovereign’s authority and divine right to rule. These include gold jewellery, the Sword of Offering, and the Sovereign’s Orb. Finally, the monarch is crowned with St. Edward’s Crown – an iconic symbol of the British monarchy for its rich purple velvet. Some of these robes and regalia can be seen in this H.M. Queen Elizabeth in Coronation Robes figurine, depicting Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (Mother of Queen Elizabeth II, and grandmother of King Charles III) in the outfit worn during her own Coronation in 1937.

After these ceremonies are complete, senior officials pay homage to the newly crowned monarch and the process is repeated for the monarch’s consort as well.

Procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace

Coronation Day proceedings are brought to a close with a final procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. Upon reaching the Palace the monarch is presented to the crowd, accompanied by other members of the royal family. This year in 2023, a flypast from the Royal Air Force was also carried out.

Connect with History at the MINT Museum of Toys

Coronations have taken place in Great Britain and the United Kingdom for over 1,000 years but the exact process detailed above has only roughly been in place since 1902 with the Coronation of King Edward VII. Visitors to our museum who are interested to see what past Coronations looked like can behold a collection of valuable vintage toys depicting key aspects of the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. From a ‘Coronation of Her Majesty Singapore Programme’ booklet to the figurine featured above, these toys provide a tangible link to such a historic event, allowing visitors to experience a piece of the past in front of their very eyes.

If you’re hoping to host a once-in-a-lifetime event that channels the excitement of a Coronation, look no further than the private event venue rentals here at the MINT Museum of Toys. From party venues to wedding event spaces, our cheap and affordable premises will make your occasion truly memorable without needing to break your budget. We also offer pop up exhibition display spaces in Singapore through our UNBOX programme. This gives collectors and creators to share their interests with our audience, showcasing any toy, collectible, or memorabilia they’re passionate about. Get in touch with our team for more information today.

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