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King Charles' coronation: From his crown to his own anthem, here's all the details you need to know

Get up to speed with the ancient tradition set to captivate the world at the royal spectacle.

For most of us, King Charles III's coronation will be the first time we've witnessed such an event. Typically, there are six parts to the ancient tradition: the recognition, the oath, the anointing, the investiture or crowning, the enthronement and finally, the homage.

Here's everything you need to know about the three-day event - from the solid gold coronation crown to the secret code names - which will see King Charles become the 40th British Monarch.

Prince George's special role

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Prince George will play a leading part in the Coronation service of his grandfather King Charles.

Throughout the service, both the King and Queen will be attended to by four Pages of Honour.

new photograph of Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort
Buckingham Palace has released a new photograph of Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort ahead of the coronation. Source: royal.uk

Prince George of Wales, who is second in line to the throne and the eldest son of Prince William and Kate Middleton, will serve as a Page to King Charles and form part of the procession through the Nave of Westminster Abbey.

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"The King's Pages of Honour will be His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, Master Nicholas Barclay and Master Ralph Tollemache," the palace confirmed in a statement.

Camilla, Queen Consort will also be attended to by four Pages including her three grandsons and her great-nephew.

The Invitation

Buckingham Palace has released the official invitation to the coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, which will be "delivered in due course" to the 2000-strong guest list that will make up the congregation at Westminster Abbey on May 6.

Coronation Invitation
The official Coronation Invitation for King Charles III and Queen Camilla has been released. Source: Royal.UK

Designed by heraldic artist and manuscript illuminator, Andrew Jamieson, the invitation is full of cryptic details surrounding the symbolic event. In the centre is a motif of the Green Man, a symbol of spring and rebirth, chosen to acknowledge the new reign.

Illustrations of several British flowers appear in groups of three, a nod to King Charles becoming the third monarch of his name.

Kissing of the hand

During past coronation services, the bloodline Royal Dukes were given the task of paying homage to the monarch. While it's still unknown if Prince Harry will attend, it's understood that Prince William, who will officially be crowned the Prince of Wales, will be the only one to do this.

He will place his hands between King Charles' hands and swear allegiance by then touching the crown and kissing the King’s right hand.

Prince William and Prince Harry
It's unknown whether Prince Harry will attend the coronation, however it's understood he will not have an active role to play. Photo: Getty

The 700-year-old chair

Charles will sit in a historic wooden coronation chair made for King Edward I which once contained the famous Stone of Scone. The chair, known as Edward’s Chair, is over 700 years old and one of the oldest pieces of furniture in the world.

The Queen holding her symbols of office in Edward's Chair
Queen Elizabeth II holds her symbols of office after the crowning ceremony while sitting in the Coronation chair in 1953. Photo: Central Press/Getty Images

While the 900-year-old ceremony has pretty much been done the same way for the past 39 monarchs, King Charles seems to be changing things up a bit. He’s requested the event reflect the ethnic diversity of modern Britain and represent different religions and community groups. While he’ll still pledge to be a "Defender of the Faith", extra words will be added to the Coronation Oath to say he serves all faiths.

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"The Coronation is a solemn religious service, together with an occasion for celebration and pageantry,” a statement from Buckingham palace said. "The ceremony has retained a similar structure for over a thousand years, and this year’s Coronation is expected to include the same core elements while recognising the spirit of our times.”

Special detail televised for the first time

The most sacred part of the service is the anointing of the sovereign. The Archbishop of Canterbury, who will lead the service, will pour holy oil on King Charles III's hands, breast and head using the Coronation Spoon - one of the oldest pieces in the Royal collection, dating back to 1349.

Coronation Spoon

Traditionally this part of the service is kept out of public view, but it is understood the palace has made a specially designed canopy with a see-through top, allowing the world to witness the sacred moment for the first time ever.

The Coronation anthem

The King has commissioned legendary composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber to write his Coronation Anthem - a piece of music written primarily for the occasion. The new piece of music which Webber says will "reflect the joyful occasion" is one of 12 new pieces of music selected by King Charles for the occasion.

He’ll wear two crowns

Throughout the ceremony, Charles will wear two crowns including the iconic St Edward's Crown which is used at the crowning moment at the coronation.

The two Crowns King Charles will wear at his coronation
King Charles Will wear two crowns at the ceremony. Photo: Royal Collection Trust

Made for Charles II in 1661, the solid gold crown has over 444 gemstones, including rubies, garnets and sapphires. He’ll leave the ceremony wearing The Imperial State Crown which boasts 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls and four rubies.

What is Operation Golden Orb?

After the Queen's death in September 2022, Charles instantly became king. But plans for his coronation were already well underway. King Charles III will be the oldest monarch to ascend the British throne at age 73 and the details of his Coronation needed to be kept secure leading up to the event.

Enter codename Operation Golden Orb. The secret name was used to disclose details of the coronation and plans for the three-day event to a select few.

BERLIN, GERMANY - MARCH 29: Camilla, Queen Consort attends a State Banquet at Schloss Bellevue, hosted by the President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender on March 29, 2023 in Berlin, Germany. The King and The Queen Consort's first state visit to Germany will take place in Berlin, Brandenburg and Hamburg from Wednesday 29th March to Friday 31st March 2023. The King and Queen Consort's state visit to France, which was scheduled March 26th - 29th, has been postponed amid mass strikes and protests. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage,)
Reports suggest palace aides are already preparing to officially call Camilla Queen. Source: Getty

Will Camilla be referred to as Queen?

Buckingham Palace has confirmed they have dropped "Consort" from Camilla's title, and she will be known as Queen Camilla, despite the fact the late Queen Elizabeth II said it was her "sincere wish" that Camilla only be known as Queen Consort.

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