King Charles makes major changes to upcoming coronation

King Charles will not wear the traditional costume on Coronation Day.

The 74-year-old monarch – who acceded to the throne upon the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth last September – is set to receive his coronation ceremony on May 6 but has reportedly opted to wear a military uniform because the traditional breeches are “too dated.”

A source said: “Senior aides think breeches look too dated. Though some of the more long-winded elements of the Coronation will be moved aside or modernised, the King was happy to wear the breeches and stockings. But in discussion with senior aides they are saying he should not wear them, so will arrive in a military uniform instead.”

The insider went on to explain that King’s decision to ditch the costume – which is thought to date further back than the 1936 reign of his great-great- grandfather King Edward VII – is about “stripping away the stuffiness” in an attempt to “modernise” the concept of the ceremony, which has not been seen in Britain since Queen Elizabeth was coronated in 1953, but insisted that the day itself will be a “spectacle.”

“It is largely to do with modernising the Coronation and stripping away the stuffiness. They think having a 74-year-old King arriving in stockings and breeches in 2023 looks too dated. They are probably right. There is a myth taking hold that it’s going to be smaller. It will be slightly different, but in terms of scale and spectacle it will knock your socks off!”

Less than half of public thinks Prince Harry should get invitation to King’s coronation.

Inside the plan for King Charles coronation with fears scaled-back guest list could spark diplomatic tensions

Parliament told to expect no more than 3,000 guests leaving many dignitaries ‘disappointed’

Commons authorities have been told there will be fewer than half the number of guests attending King Charles III’s coronation later this year compared with Queen Elizabeth II’s in 1953, leaving many people “disappointed”.

Senior parliamentary sources have said they were told to expect about 3,000 dignitaries would be invited to what will be one of the biggest events of the year – a fraction of the 8,000 guests who came to the Queen’s coronation more than 70 years ago.

It presents the Government with a major diplomatic headache as it is forced to decide who will not be invited to one of the most sought-after gatherings in recent times.

It emerged last year that the King wanted to have a pared-back coronation, and in a statement, Buckingham Palace said the event would reflect the “spirit of our times”, while maintaining “longstanding traditions and pageantry”.

But senior Commons sources have confirmed that the Palace has instructed them to expect guest numbers to be no more than 3,000 and perhaps as low as 2,000.

“We are still waiting for details of a plan, but we have been told to expect attendance numbers of around 3,000 so nothing like the 8,000 last time, when they had to put up scaffolding and all sorts to accommodate the numbers,” the source said.

“It will mean far fewer people, so they will have to think about who does and does not get an invite.

“There will be a lot of disappointed people,” the source added.

Among those expected to be invited to the event on 6 May will be major foreign leaders, such as US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, new Italian PM Giorgia Meloni and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Prince Albert of Monaco became the first foreign royal to confirm he and his wife Princess Charlene would be attending the coronation earlier this week.

But Charles is said to have rejected the idea of a “cut-price” coronation as he is eager to showcase “UK plc” on the global stage.

The event is being seen by many as an opportunity to restore the UK’s international reputation, which took a significant knock in the immediate aftermath of the Queen’s funeral last autumn.

Having received worldwide praise for the pitch and tone of the funeral, the country then saw its global image severely dented when Liz Truss’s economic plans sent the markets into a tailspin that resulted in her being ousted after only six weeks.

Rishi Sunak has described the event as a “unique moment for the country”, and while both the Prime Minister and the King are aware that the coronation will come against a backdrop of a cost of living crisis, they are eager to use the moment to put the country back in the spotlight.

But one area where the King is willing to scale back is on the number of attendees, leaving organisers with difficult decisions as to who will make the cut on the invitation list.

Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in June 1953 saw Westminster Abbey fill to four times the size of its official capacity.

The King will be crowned alongside the Queen Consort, and will be anointed with holy oil, receive the orb, coronation ring and sceptre, and be crowned with St Edward’s Crown.

The plans for a less outdated ceremony are in keeping with the King’s aims to be a more modern monarch, and comes as he set out proposals for profits from a £1bn-a-year Crown Estate wind farm deal to be used for the “wider public good” rather than as a funding boost for the monarchy.

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.

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