England is a unique European country in that its royal family still holds much importance on the national stage. From their meeting with foreign ambassadors to even influencing climate policies, members of the Royal Family remain in the public eye. Indeed, first time guests of 5 star hotels in London’s West End may even be visiting the country to see the landmarks and attractions bolstered by the Windsor family. One such event that will draw international attention is the coronation of King Charles III on the 6th of May 2023.
Though Charles Windsor has been King of England since September 2022, there has been a delay in his formal coronation due to the amount of preparation that must go into the crowning of a new monarch. The spectacle will last an entire weekend, with street parties and official celebrations across the entire country. The coronation weekend even warrants a bank holiday, making it an ideal time to book your stay at hotels in Central London.
Whether you planned your visit to London around the coronation of King Charles III, or you just happen to be staying at hotels near Chiswell Street during the first weekend of May, there are plenty of ways you can join in the celebrations.
What To Expect From The Official Ceremony
Charles III is the 40th monarch to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, the traditional site for coronations since the 13th century. The coronation will be televised on the BBC across the morning of Saturday May 6th but alongside the official ceremony, a star studded Coronation Concert will take place at Windsor Castle on the evening of May 7th. So far, the lineup is set to include Lionel Richie and Take That’s Gary Barlow.
A procession of royal family members and the royal guard will take place on the morning of the coronation. The King and his “court” will march from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey via the traditional Mall parade route. At just under a mile long, this parade can be spectated by members of the public, with tens of thousands of attendees expected to line the streets. This event is not ticketed, so if you want to watch the parade in person, make sure to get up early enough to catch it! If you’d rather have a lie-in on Saturday 6th, the parade will be televised on the BBC.
Coronation Big Lunches
Charles Windsor, the new king of england is well known for his passion for environmental causes. It’s for this reason that in tandem with the coronation ceremony, the Eden Project has launched a nationwide initiative to help raise money through Coronation “Big Lunches”. The Eden Project is an educational charity based in Cornwall and is famous for its large biospheres, and will be raising money through donations for free Big Lunch party packages. These resources will help people organise street parties for the coronation ceremony, giving communities a space to celebrate the crowning of the new king.
The Big Lunch downloadable app will provide visitors with a map of official street lunches taking place across the city. Download the Nextdoor app to keep up with the many street parties taking place in London.
Other Events In London
Alongside the Coronation Big Lunches and official weekend events, there are a plethora of other ways that visitors can celebrate the coronation. London’s royal history is ingrained into its tourism sector, and there are museums, palaces and exhibitions all across the city dedicated to the preservation of England’s royal history.
Royal Tourist Attractions For The Coronation Weekend
If you can’t make the ceremony, there are many other ways to celebrate the coronation of KIng Charles III. Over the coronation weekend, London Guided Walks will be hosting 90 minute tours of London landmarks linked to past coronations. Not only that, these tours provide insight into the wider history of the royal family and are led by trained Westminster guides with a rich education in all things royal.
The Tower of London
A more macabre side of English royals, the Tower of London has survived bombings and invasions for almost a thousand years. Built in the late 11th century by William the Conqueror, the Tower of London was once a royal residence before becoming an armoury, royal mint, exotic animal menagerie and prison / execution site.
The Tower’s many exhibitions are open daily between 9 am and 5.30 pm, and ticket holders are eligible to join the hour-long tours of the grounds. These tours are run by authentic Yeoman Warders, a battalion of royal guards who protect the Tower of London. Visitors to the Tower of London will also get the chance to see former and current crown jewels in the Tower’s Jewel House, though you can expect some of them to be in use on the day of the coronation!
St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral was the site of the now King Charles and the late Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981. With a cathedral having stood here since the very foundation of London, St Paul’s Cathedral holds an especially sacred place in the heart of the city. If you decide to visit on coronation weekend, you’ll learn about the relationship between the Church of England and the royal family.
Enjoy An Traditional Afternoon Tea
Traditional afternoon tea has been an English tradition since the 1840s, and is available at the Montcalm Restaurant if you book in advance. Originating in the Victorian era, traditional afternoon tea was most likely invented by Anna Maria Russell, the Duchess of Bedford. In the afternoon, Russell would invite her friends for late afternoon refreshments, at a time when lunch was early and dinner was late. The trend gained traction across the royal court, and soon Queen Victoria herself was hosting her own afternoon teas.
But what is afternoon tea? It’s quite simple really, alongside an assortment of teas, diners enjoy snacks like finger sandwiches, scones and cakes, traditionally served on a tiered tray. Booking an afternoon tea for the royal weekend is a royally fitting activity for the coronation weekend.