It was the UK’s first coronation in 70 years – a reason even Hugh Jackman, Tom Cruise and Pierce Brosnan had to celebrate.
A star-studded lineup for King Charles III’s coronation concert took to a huge stage in the grounds of Windsor Castle, the historic building providing a glittering backdrop for a crowd of 20,000 on Sunday night.
The polished gardens – neat from the frost’s ‘7 o’clock weeding’, joked Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville, who served as host for the event – were a sea of red, white and royal blue as fans across the country gathered to toast the King and Queen.
In and between appearances by Katy Perry, Nicole Scherzinger and Lionel Richie (the latter manages to coax the King out of his seat for some bobbing The whole night) were video messages of congratulations and “Did you know?” facts about charles from hollywood royalty.
“Pilot-to-pilot, Your Majesty, you can always be my wingman,” Cruise said, filmed doing what he does best: fliers on and in the cockpit of a jet fighter pilot in a sequence that was perfectly Maverick-esque.
And Cruise wasn’t the only action star to appear at the historic event. Ex-Bond Brosnan appeared, albeit virtually, to talk about Charles’ history as a fully trained Royal Air Force pilot. Jackman also waved hello. “Your Majesty, a little birdie told me you’re quite the thespian,” he said after Dame Joan Collins told the audience about the king’s acting chops.
A host of well-known names took the stage to add to the already impressive concert bill: Nigerian singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage and Olly Murs sang after a crowd-pleasing Muppet moment when Miss Piggy Lord Grantham couldn’t seem to separate from the host for her, and insisted on staying close by.
Sex education star and incoming Doctor who Time Lord Ncuti Gatwa played excerpts Romeo & Juliet alongside Call the midwife‘s Mei Mac, and hundreds of voices from across the Commonwealth sang as part of a chorus to the King, who watched from the Royal Box with Queen Camilla, The Princess of Wales, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
The young royals watched as their father paid emotional tribute to Charles’ work.
“Don’t worry. Unlike Lionel, I don’t stay all night,” William began. “As my grandmother said when she was crowned, coronations are a statement of our hopes for the future. And I know she’s up there , lovingly keeps an eye on us, and she would be a very proud mother.
“Dad, we are all so proud of you,” he added.
World-renowned opera singer Andrea Bocelli teamed up with Welsh opera star Sir Bryn Terfel before Paloma Faith joined in on the fun. Stella McCartney made a brief statement in memory of King Charles III for his conservation efforts and decades of environmental campaigning. “He is an advocate of hope and action,” said the designer.
The concert was rounded off with a rendition of Perry’s hits “Roar” and “Firework”, who himself looked everything like the gilded display of a coronation in gleaming gold. Veteran British boy band Take That closed the show and thanked the King and Queen, who waved their Union Jack flags from the royal box in response.