Well, King Charles’ Coronation Is The Same Day As Archie's Birthday
That’s quite the coincidence.
Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Sept. 8 set off a chain of events that culminated in her son, Charles III, ascending the throne from the moment of her death. Like his mother and many other British royals before him, Charles’ coronation ceremony will take place long after first assuming his role as monarch. In fact, it’s happening on a surprising date.
On Oct. 11, Buckingham Palace announced that Charles’ coronation will officially take place on May 6, 2023. The ceremony will occur at Westminster Abbey nearly 70 years after Queen Elizabeth’s coronation on Jun. 5, 1953.
Charles’ May 6 coronation coincides with an important date in his family: his grandson Archie’s fourth birthday. This will be the second time that one of Harry and Meghan’s children will share a birthday weekend with royal festivities. During the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June, Harry and Meghan celebrated their daughter Lilibet’s first birthday on the third day of the Jubilee. According to People, the family had a “casual, intimate backyard picnic.”
According to ET, Katie Nicholl, a royal expert and the author of The New Royals, said Camilla, the Queen Consort, “would be very pleased” to see Meghan and Harry at King Charles’ coronation.
“Camilla has done really everything she can to try and bring this family back together, and press the importance of trying to move on from this rift,” Nicholl told the publication, referring to Meghan and Harry’s ongoing fallout with members of Buckingham Palace.
Nicholl thinks King Charles’ coronation falling on the same day as Archie’s fourth birthday wasn’t deliberately planned. “Having the coronation on Archie's birthday is definitely not a snub,” Nicholl told ET. “Obviously, a huge amount of planning has to go into an important moment in history, such as a coronation, and the royal calendar is full of anniversaries and birthdays, so I think this is absolutely one of those occasions where it’s a coincidence and hopefully a happy coincidence.”
The ceremony, like royal weddings, is a religious event conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the principal leader of the Church of England. According to NBC News, the tradition of crowning kings and queens in the UK at Westminster Abbey dates back to William the Conquerer in 1066. Charles is the 41st monarch in the line and will be the oldest British monarch crowned. He will be 74 on the day of his coronation.
The New York Times reported that palace insiders are expecting Charles to make changes to his coronation, including shortening the ceremony’s length, reducing the guest list, and doing away with outdated rituals.
The palace indicated as much in a statement announcing the coronation date. “The coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry,” they said.
While Prince Phillip was never officially crowned King Consort, the palace’s statement also appears to indicate that Camilla will be crowned Queen Consort. As Queen Elizabeth II said in her Accession Day message in February, it was her “sincere wish” that Camilla is bestowed the title.
Charles’ coronation will also be unique as his children will not only be adults but possibly even participants in the ceremony. Charles was just four years old during his mother’s coronation, while Elizabeth was 11 years old during her father’s. According to The Washington Post, some royal watchers believe that Prince William, the next in line for the throne, will play a role in the celebration.
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