About 2,300 people are expected to attend the coronation ceremony of King Charles III in London, and the guest list abounds with presidents, kings and dignitaries. But the list of absent or uninvited is also interesting.
Charles III is crowned king on Saturday in a solemn Christian ritual dating back a thousand years of history and tradition but adapted to reflect the image of Britain in the twenty-first century.
King Edward’s Crown, the sacred symbol of the throne’s power made of pure gold and used once during the reign, will be placed on Charles’ head at 11:00 GMT to the sound of cries of “God save the King”.
Trumpets will sound across London’s Westminster Abbey and ceremonial cannons will be fired from land and sea to mark the first coronation of a British monarch since 1953, and only the fifth since 1838.
Church bells will ring across the country, before enthusiastic infantry and cavalry parade 7,000 soldiers through the streets of the capital.
King Charles and his wife, Camilla, who will be crowned queen, will return to Buckingham Palace in the gilded carriage that is rarely used, in front of large crowds, before watching an aerial show from the palace balcony.
The coronation ceremony is the second of its kind to be broadcasted on television and the first in color and on the Internet streaming service. It is a religious confirmation of Charles’ accession to the throne.
And Charles, 74, has been the British monarch since the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September 2022, seven decades after he assumed the throne.
About 2,300 people are expected to attend King Charles III’s coronation, far fewer than the more than 8,000 guests who packed Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.
The following are the most prominent personalities expected to be present or absent:
- Prince Harry, the youngest son of the king, who withdrew from royal life and directed a barrage of criticism of his family.
Prince Harry is expected to attend the coronation ceremony itself and not the other events scheduled for that day.
- Among the world leaders: Australian Prime Minister Antwi Albanese, Chinese Vice President Han Jing, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hepkins, Northern Ireland First Minister Michelle O’Neill Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murti, along with members of the government and about 80 members of both houses of Parliament. It is noteworthy that Sunak received some of the invitees at the government headquarters in Downing Street who arrived in London on the eve of the coronation ceremony.
- Hundreds of community heroes such as student Max Woozie, who slept in a tent in his garden for three years to collect donations for charity.
- Among the kings and princes of the world, King Felipe VI of Spain and Queen Letizia, Crown Prince of Denmark Frederick and Princess Mary, Crown Prince of Japan Fumihito and Princess Kiko, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene, King Abdul II of Jordan and Queen Rania, and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, Māori King Tuihitia, King Maha Vigillalongkorn of Thailand and Queen Sutida.
- American pop star Lionel Richie, the first global ambassador for Prince Charles’ Charitable Trust.
- Camila’s children are cookbook author Tom Parker Bowles and art expert Laura Lopez, and their father, Camilla’s ex-husband Andrew Parker Bowles.
absent or uninvited
- US President Joe Biden will be represented by his wife, First Lady Jill Biden.
- Prince Harry’s wife Meghan will stay in California with their children Lilibet and Archie.
- Most members of the British aristocracy include the Earl of Carnarvon, the godson of the late Queen Elizabeth and a close friend of the family, whose family owns the stately Highclere Palace, where the drama Downton Abbey was filmed.
- The elite of British society usually expected to be invited to the ceremony. But the matter is different this time, given Charles’ desire that the list of invitees be according to “merit, not aristocracy.”
- Sarah Ferguson, ex-wife of the King’s brother Prince Andrew, who still lives with him at Windsor Castle.
- Lady Pamela Mountbatten, 94, his son Louis Mountbatten, mentor to Charles, and one of two surviving bridesmaids who witnessed the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II in 1947.