On Saturday, Charles III was crowned King of Britain in Westminster Abbey in the largest official ceremony the country has seen in 70 years, and in a ceremony characterized by pomp and luxury dating back a thousand years.
In his first remarks at the ceremony, Charles said, “I have not come to be served, but to be served.”
The 74-year-old monarch was anointed with holy oil to symbolize the sacred nature of his rule and given an imperial mantle, while the Archbishop of Canterbury placed the ancient crown of St Edward on his head.
Inside the church, which was decorated with flowers and flags, sat politicians and representatives of the Commonwealth of Nations, along with workers in charities and celebrities, The mentioned actresses in the group are Emma Thompson, Maggie Smith, and Judi Dench, as well as the American singer Katy Perry.
Among the ceremonies in the church was the performance of Handel’s “The Honest Priest,” as has been the custom at every coronation ceremony since 1727.
But there were new elements, such as a cantata by Andrew Lloyd Webber, famous for West End and Broadway performances, as well as a gospel choir.
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For his part, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “No other country can offer such a dazzling show… processions, celebrations and festivals in the streets.”
He continued, “It is an expression of pride in our history, culture, and traditions… living evidence of the modern character of our country, and rituals that we cherish that generate a new era from its womb.”
After the ceremony ended, Charles and his wife, the newly crowned Queen Camilla, returned to Buckingham Palace in the golden carriage used by the late Queen, Elizabeth, in her coronation procession.
“It was great”
Despite the rainy weather, tens of thousands of people thronged central London to catch a glimpse of the King and Queen’s motorcade, which traveled from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey on the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, accompanied by four regiments of the Household Cavalry, according to the New York Times .
Tens of thousands of people gathered to watch the event despite the light rain, as hundreds of soldiers in scarlet uniforms and tall black hats lined the Mall Road, the wide avenue leading to Buckingham Palace.