King Charles Coronation 2023: London all dressed up to greet the first new monarch in 70 years

The first coronation of a new monarch after 69 years and 11 months has Britain buzzing with excitement, even though the anti-monarchy clamour has grown louder before today’s event.

King Charles III greets people on an impromptu walk on Friday afternoon, a day before his May 6 coronation. Well-wishers have gathered in large numbers outside Buckingham Palace to see the first new British monarch in almost 70 years. Photo courtesy: Instagram/coronation2023

The coronation of the late Elizabeth II as queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms took place on June 2, 1953, when she was 25. Her eldest son, Charles III, formerly Prince of Wales, became king at the age of 74 after her death on September 8, 2022. Though the world has been transformed over these seven decades, the British royals remain the most important among all the royal families in the world, even as figurehead monarchs, and their cultural value is still incomparable.

The coronation of King Charles III is not without controversies. There is the fallout from Britain’s colonial power days — after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, India demanded the return of the Kohinoor diamond, set in the crown of the late Queen Mother Elizabeth; and South Africa wanted the return of two diamonds, the Star of Africa aka Cullinan I, set in the royal sceptre, and the smaller Cullinan II, set in the Imperial State Crown, which King Charles III will wear during the coronation.

Also read: King Charles coronation: High drama over Kohinoor; anti-monarchists plan a rally

The Imperial State Crown, to be worn by King Charles III when he leaves Westminster Abbey after the coronation. Picture courtesy: Instagram/coronation2023

The UK group Republic has planned mass anti-monarchy protests in various parts of the country, the biggest one being at Trafalgar Square, London.

Nonetheless, the mood in London, where the coronation will be held at the Westminster Abbey, is greatly festive. These images show how the city is all dressed up for the coronation party.

For the first time, Charles III appears crowned on a British coin. Picture courtesy: Instagram/coronation2023
Thousands of armed forces personnel rehearsed at night for the coronation day. Picture courtesy: Instagram/coronation2023
The cute corgi was the favourite dog breed of the late Queen Elizabeth II. This happy pup is wearing a little crown, too. Picture courtesy: Instagram/coronation2023
Union Jack banners on Regent Street. Picture courtesy: Instagram/visitlondon
A coronation post box in London. There are a few more of these scattered across England and Scotland. Picture courtesy: Instagram/syedkamall
Coronation-themed afternoon tea at JW Marriott Grosvenor House London. Picture courtesy: Instagram/londontastecollective
British Airways is celebrating the coronation of King Charles III with some special royal-themed snacks and desserts on board. Picture courtesy: Instagram/british_airways

King Charles III coronation