Shouts of “God Save the King!” were heard, trumpets blared and gun salutes rang out after the Archbishop of Canterbury placed the crown on Charles’s head at Westminster Abbey. The coronation comes almost eight months after Charles ascended the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Sept. 8.
Charles, 74, and his wife, Queen Camilla, 75, then returned to Buckingham Palace in a sumptuous procession cheered on by crowds lining the roads despite the heavy rain. Soon after, the couple and other members of the family, including Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, and their three children appeared on the palace’s balcony and greeted a flag-waving crowd below them.
Not everyone is a fan of King Charles and the royals, however, and at least 25 anti-monarchy activists and other protesters were arrested earlier on Saturday. For many, the royal opulence is a bad-taste juxtaposition with what’s really going on in modern Britain: Economic hardship for millions.
What to know about the king’s coronation
- Charles was crowned at noon as gun salutes sounded across the United Kingdom.
- Prince Harry arrived at his father’s coronation while his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, remained in California. Neither Harry nor Charles’s disgraced younger brother, Prince Andrew, appeared on the balcony after the ceremony.
- This was the largest military ceremonial operation in 70 years, with more than 6,000 members of the U.K.’s Armed Forces taking part
All the key moments from King Charles III’s coronation
Jill Biden: Charles’ coronation was ‘just amazing to see
First Lady Jill Biden, who represented the United States at Saturday’s coronation of Britain’s King Charles III, said there was “such beauty in the pageantry of the ceremony” and it was “just amazing to see.”
“You can’t imagine that moment where you actually see the crown being placed on the head of the king and then on the head of the queen,” she said during a telephone interview with The Associated Press after the ceremony in London. “It’s really surreal to see and experience that moment.”
Charles’ wife, Camilla, also was crowned queen during Britain’s first coronation in 70 years. His mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died last September after a seven-decade reign.
An American president has never attended a British coronation and President Joe Biden asked the first lady to represent the U.S. in his place. The White House said Jill Biden’s appearance marked the first time that a U.S. first lady was present for a British coronation.