King Charles III and his wife, Camilla, are scheduled to be crowned as the new King and Queen Consort of the United Kingdom (UK) and other Commonwealth realms, today, at Westminster Abbey in England.
Following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022, Charles ascended the throne ahead of the coronation ceremony which symbolises the formal transfer of power to the new monarch.
The significant tradition in British history, the first in 70 years, will mark the beginning of a new era as the King and Queen Consort take on the responsibility as rulers and figureheads of the monarchy for years to come.
Just like the Queen’s funeral put the UK under global focus for hours, the ceremony is expected to do same with attendance by members of the royal family About 2,000 guests from around the world, making it just a quarter of the size of Elizabeth II’s coronation, according to Forbes.
Amongst the distinguished invitee are Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and his wife, Lady Julia, who were yesterday welcomed at Buckingham Palace today by King Charles III.
The Asantehene and his wife, resplendent in Kente Cloth were invited by the Royal family following a longstanding relationship between the Ashanti Kingdom and the British Monarchy.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II met the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2000; and Charles in Glasgow, where they both received honorary degrees.
The King also met the Asantehene in November 2018 when the Asantehene and Lady Julia welcomed Charles and Camilla to Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, Ghana during which they witnessed the Akwasidae, a cultural festival that celebrates the Ashanti Kingdom.
King Charles and the Asantehene were pictured together and appeared to be enjoying each other’s company ahead of the King’s official reception for overseas guests the day before the ceremony.
The coronation is performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. During the ceremony, the monarch being sworn in is presented to attendees at Westminster Abbey, who say in unison: “God Save the King (or Queen).” The monarch swears an oath to uphold both the law and the Church of England, and the Archbishop anoints the monarch with holy oil.
According to Forbes,today’s ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. British Standard Time.
King Charles and Camilla will first travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in the six-horse-drawn Diamond Jubilee State Coach, a carriage first used in 2014, and return to Buckingham Palace in the eight-horse-drawn Gold State Coach, used for every coronation since King William IV in 1831.
The crowning will be carried out using the St. Edward’s Crown, a 360-year-old artifact that weighs nearly five pounds and stands a foot tall; made of 22-carat gold and features 444 precious and semiprecious stones, including rubies, sapphires.
The use of this historic crown will add to the significance and grandeur of the occasion, symbolising the transfer of power and the beginning of a new era of the British monarchy under King Charles III.
Camilla will be crowned with Queen Mary’s crown which has a gold-lined silver frame, 2,200 diamonds and will feature Elizabeth II’s Cullinan III, IV and V diamonds.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR