King Charles III was anointed and crowned May 6 in Britain’s biggest ceremonial event for seven decades, a display of pomp and pageantry that sought to marry 1,000 years of history with a monarchy fit for a new era.
In front of a congregation including about 100 world leaders and a television audience of millions, the Archbishop of Canterbury slowly placed the 360-year-old St. Edward’s Crown on Charles’s head as he sat upon a 14th-century throne in Westminster Abbey. Charles’s second wife, Camilla, was crowned queen.
Large crowds cheered as Charles and Camilla rode in the Gold State Carriage from the abbey to Buckingham Palace, accompanied by a procession of 4,000 troops and military bands playing jaunty tunes. From the palace balcony, the king and queen waved to a sea of people who cheered and shouted, “God save the king!”
While rooted in history, the ceremony – televised for only the second time – was also an attempt to present a forward-looking institution and to reflect a more diverse country with all its religions.
Charles, 74, automatically succeeded his mother as king on her death last September. The coronation is regarded as a means to publicly legitimize the new sovereign.
Celebrations continued with street parties and a music concert at Windsor Castle on May 7. (Reuters, AP)