King Charless coronation will only be one hour long & have a looser dress code

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral and all of the mourning-period events were very symbolic and beautiful. It’s one of the few things the British monarchy does well: fussy pomp. Did everything go off without a hitch? Of course not. Mistakes were made, mostly by the new king and his staff. It was an extraordinarily bad look that in the 48 hours following QEII’s death, the biggest story about Charles banning his son’s wife from Balmoral. The focus on the “Montecito royals” genuinely overshadowed the pomp, which is why Charles could not avoid having Harry and Meghan included in everything. I imagine it will be the same for Charles’s coronation, which is reportedly set for early June next year. The Mail on Sunday has all of the fussy plans so far, none of which include the Sussexes. Which is fine – we don’t know if they’re invited, nor do we know if they want to go. But it absolutely feels like a huge, gaping hole in Charles’s careful plans if they aren’t making contingencies on top of contingencies to deal with the Sussex issue. Anyway, here are some highlights from the MoS:

A breezy one-hour coronation: King Charles’s cut-down Coronation is set to last little more than an hour, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. The service at Westminster Abbey next year will have fewer arcane rituals and be significantly shorter than the 1953 ceremony when Queen Elizabeth was crowned. King Charles is understood to want his Coronation to set the tone for a streamlined and modern monarchy, while retaining some of the pomp and majesty that stunned the world during the Queen’s lying-in-state and funeral ceremonies.

The blueprint known as Operation Golden Orb: The Coronation ceremony is set to be dramatically cut in length from more than three hours to just over an hour; The guest list for the ceremony is likely to be slashed from 8,000 to 2,000, with hundreds of nobles and parliamentarians missing out; Discussions have been held about a more relaxed dress code, with peers possibly allowed to wear lounge suits instead of ceremonial robes; Ancient and time-consuming rituals – including presenting the monarch with gold ingots – will be axed to save time; Prince William is likely to play an important role in helping to plan the ceremony.

Who will miss out? Among those set to miss out will be MPs and peers who are likely to be told that they cannot be guaranteed a place. It will be more religiously and culturally diverse. While the 1953 Coronation required the Queen to make various outfit changes, a source said: ‘King Charles is unlikely to do the same and the language will be adapted so as to be understandable to a more modern audience.’

What will stay: Some key rituals will be retained, including the anointing of the monarch, who will swear to be the ‘defender of the faith’, not ‘defender of faith’ as previously speculated. The 1762 Gold State Coach, which was refurbished at great expense for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, will also once again be part of the Coronation procession.

No Ingots: The traditional presentation of gold to the monarch is also likely to disappear. In 1952, it was reported that ‘an ingot or wedge of gold of a pound weight’ was presented to the monarch by the Lord Great Chamberlain before being placed upon the altar. A source said: ‘In an age where people are feeling the pinch, this is not going to happen.’

Will royal women wear tiaras? Diplomats and other male guests invited to the 1953 Coronation were instructed that ‘knee breeches’ were in order, while women were advised to wear headgear, preferably tiaras. The dress code next year will be less prescriptive. Discussions had taken place on relaxing the requirement for peers to wear so-called coronation robes. A cloak of crimson velvet, the rank of the peer is indicated by rows of ermine – a stoat’s white winter fur and black tail end – on the cape. Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Mather, who started the plan for King Charles’s Coronation – which has since been updated – told The Mail on Sunday: ‘No Coronation robes. Give them to a museum where they belong. It’s not going to be a tweed jacket and pair of jeans – but morning suit or lounge suit.’

William’s role: Seventy years ago, Prince Philip was instrumental in chairing the Privy Council Coronation Committee that oversaw many of the ceremonial arrangements for the big day. A great moderniser, he agreed that the service should be televised. This time, as heir to the throne, Prince William is expected to play an important role on the committee.

[From The Daily Mail]

LOL, I hope King Charles doesn’t actually expect William to do anything on the Privy Council. William refuses to read briefing papers or learn languages or make one iota of effort. All of the other people will organize the coronation and then William will swoop in and take credit for everything. As for the rest of this… it’s typical of Charles to try to dial down the one thing people expect: pomp, glamour, the connection to British history. I get that some/all of the coronation rituals will be a bad look for a modern audience. But the jig is up, right? If you’re going to do a coronation, do a coronation. Dust off all the gold carriages and make women wear tiaras and drape everyone in ermine. Charles is going to do some cheap Brexit coronation. Oh well!

Photos courtesy of Instar, Avalon Red.

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