3 crowns, 2 carriages and a shorter route

LONDON (AP) — King Charles III. Plans to take a shorter and smoother ride to Westminster Abbey for his coronation, cutting his mother’s processional route in 1953 as he aims for a more modest event that will include some modern touches, Buckingham Palace said Sunday.

The low ceremony May 6th will still be steeped in ancient traditions and adorned with royal insignia of the Crown Jewels, but will also feature its own bespoke emoji, reflecting the first British coronation of the social media era. Queen Elizabeth II was the first coronation to be televised 70 years ago.

In a break with tradition, Charles and Camilla, the Queen’s consort, will roll out of Buckingham Palace in the horse-drawn, gold-plated, black Diamond Jubilee State Coach built for Elizabeth’s 60th anniversary. It has heating, air conditioning, power windows and a suspension system that makes for a more comfortable ride than his mother’s accommodations for her enthronement.

The 1.3 mile (2 km) route is slightly shorter than that which Elizabeth took to the Royal Church. The procession will pass through Admiralty Arch; past Trafalgar Square and a statue of Charles I, the monarch beheaded in 1649; and through the Houses of Parliament before arriving for the 11am service.

While Charles wants to show that the monarchy is still relevant in modern, multicultural Britain, he has announced plans to streamline the institution. The coronation is intended to reflect this with a shorter, less extravagant ceremony than the three-hour service that Elizabeth II installed.

Nonetheless, many of the priceless coronation regalia used for centuries will be part of Charles and Camilla’s coronation, including five symbolic swords, two scepters and the sovereign’s sapphire ring with a ruby ​​cross set in diamonds.

Camilla, who will wear Queen Mary’s Crown, will hold a controversial ivory sceptre. In Britain, the trade in products made from elephant ivory is almost completely banned, and Prince William, heir to the throne, has campaigned against the illegal trade in animal parts.

During the solemn ceremony, which will be conducted by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles will be crowned the king with St. Edward’s Crown, the centerpiece of the crown jewels that are viewed by millions of people each year at the Tower of London.

The crown, which is the inspiration for the coronation emoji, features a 2.2 kilogram solid gold frame set with rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnets, topazes and tourmalines, and has a purple velvet cap and ermine strap . It was worn by Elizabeth during her coronation and readjusted for her son.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Charles changes into the lighter Imperial State Crown for the procession back to the Palace.

Unlike the 8km route Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip traveled around London in 1953, Charles and Camilla will return the same way, but in a 260-year-old carriage that has been used at every coronation since William IV in the year 1831 was used.

The Gold State Coach, which weighs 8,800 pounds (4,000 kilograms) and is pulled by eight horses, is known for its notoriously bumpy ride.

Elizabeth described it as “terrible”, Queen Victoria complained of its “disturbing oscillation” and William IV – known as the Sailor King – said it was like “being on board a ship rolling in rough seas”.

“If you follow her, you can hear her creaking, so it sounds like an old galleon is going along,” said Martin Oates, who helped with the restoration and brakes behind. “It’s not really a washing machine, but where other vehicles just drive from back to front, it’s moving from side to side.”

The gilded carriage is so heavy that it can only move at a walking pace. That should give people along the route more time to see the newly crowned king and queen.

Military troops on parade salute the King and Queen in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, followed by three cheers from service members.


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