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As it happened: Charles and Camilla retire to Buckingham Palace after Charles' coronation

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, President Michael D Higgins, and Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O’Neill were among the guests from these isles to attend.

LAST UPDATE | May 6th 2023, 3:14 PM

KING CHARLES HAS been anointed and crowned at Westminster Abbey.

He and Camilla are now back at Buckingham Palace, where they received a royal salute from the military and viewed a flyover from the balcony of the palace.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, President Michael D Higgins, and Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O’Neill were among the guests in attendance. 

But with British taxpayers paying out a reported €113 million to stage the event, not everyone was in celebratory mood and there were reports of arrests for anti-monarchy protests. 

You can catch up on today’s events below.

Bye for now!

With that, we’ll bring our coronation coverage to a close.

Thanks for following today’s events with us at The Journal.

Premier League

The Premier League has requested that clubs play the national anthem before games today to mark the coronation.

Although not mandated to do so, clubs are said to have been strongly advised to comply with the request.

Manchester City versus Leeds United is today’s standout 3pm fixture.

This passed off without incident at City’s Ethiad Stadium, but it may be a somewhat different story at Anfield this evening for Liverpool’s game against Brentford.

In a statement, Liverpool Football Club confirmed that the national anthem will be played “in recognition of the Premier League’s request to mark the coronation”.

The club added: “It is, of course, a personal choice how those at Anfield on Saturday mark this occasion and we know some supporters have strong views on it.”

Katy Perry struggled to find her seat in Westminster Abbey for this morning’s coronation:

Apparently her most loyal fans are called “KatyCats”. 

Well, they can rest easy, because the popstar has confirmed she found her seat in the end:

The clean-up operation is already underway, with people in Hi-Vis jackets sweeping up.

The crowds are dispersing, though many are lingering. 

Queen Elizabeth reappeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace several times after her coronation in 1953 to greet the crowds below.

But she was a 27-year-old, whereas Charles is 74, so perhaps he will be happy to retire for the day.

Below is social media footage of a horse described as “spooked” by PA.

In the aftermath, a female police officer appeared to be given assistance from her colleagues, limping away from the area.

And that's about that

Charles waves goodbye to the crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the flyover.

But he then quickly re-appears with Camilla for an encore.

And that’s about that as far as public appearances go from Charles and Camilla for today. 

Inside Buckingham Palace is akin to a building site due to renovation work, but it has been spruced up a bit for today and offical photographs will now be taken inside.

The celebrations will continue tomorrow, with a when around 20,000 members of the public are expected to attend the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle.

It will see performances by Take That, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Paloma Faith, Olly Murs, veteran rock guitarist Steve Winwood, and Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls.

The show, hosted by Paddington and Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville, will see Hollywood star Tom Cruise, Dynasty actress Joan Collins, adventurer Bear Grylls and singer Tom Jones appear via video message.

Classical acts including Andrea Bocelli, Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel and Chinese pianist Lang Lang will also perform.

As part of the Coronation Concert, choreographed lasers, projections and drone displays will radiate over historic bridges and buildings.

The flyover is almost over, having been reduced from an original running time of over six minutes to two-and-a-half minutes due to bad weather. 

The number of aircraft has also been reduced. 

The Red Arrows are overhead, though it’s quite difficul to make them out on TV. 

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The royal family are now on the balcony of Buckingham Palace ahead of the scaled back flyover. 

Loud cheers erupted when they emerged, with the streets filled with people. 

Katy Perry appears to be slightly unsteady on her feet as she leaves Westminster Abbey following the coronation.

She, along with Lionel Richie, will headline a coronation concert tomorrow night.

Perry will also be afforded the opportunity to stay in Windsor Castle ahead of that concert. 


As we await the flyover, writer and actor Stephen Fry has said the coronation was “magnificent”.

Fry was among the more than 2,000 guests watching as Charles became the 40th reigning sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey.

Speaking after the event, he told PA News agency: “I thought the service was magnificent.

“It was very moving and the King looked vulnerable, which all monarchs do when they’re being crowned, they’re being encumbered with all these symbols and all this heavy cloak and this sceptre, the orb, the heavy crown, which means he can barely move.

“And in a strange way, I’m sure not deliberately originally, but it’s kind of symbolic of the encumbrances in life that you have if you’re a monarch, so it’s a very touching ceremony.

“He’s quite lonely somehow – as the Queen was if you watch the 1953 coronation – but I feel very lucky to have been there.”

Members of the public lining the procession route along Whitehall and around Trafalgar Square are now being allowed to queue up to make their way onto The Mall to see Charles and Camilla appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

Throngs of people are following behind a line of police officers towards the palace.

Some midly bad news for Charles.

The military flypast over Buckingham Palace to mark his coronation has been scaled down because of the weather and will now be formed of helicopters and the Red Arrows, the Ministry of Defence has said.

An MoD statement said: “Due to unsuitable weather conditions, the coronation flypast will now be formed of helicopters and the Royal Air Force aerobatic team The Red Arrows.

“The flypast will last for two minutes and 30 seconds.”

It was due to feature nearly 60 aircraft and last for six minutes, including iconic planes from the second world war including the Lancaster bomber, a Hurricane and a Spitfire.

There will be a bit of a rest now for Charles before a balcony moment when the couple will be joined by other members of the royal family to watch a flypast at around 2.15pm.

Slightly behing schedule, Charles and Camilla have arrived in the palace gardens to receive a royal salute from the military.

Another rendition of ‘God Save The King’ rings out. 

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Some images of the procession journeying back to Buckingham Palace.



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Not My King rally

Nick Wall, member of campaign group Republic and chairman of the Labour For Republic organisation, addressed crowds at a Not My King rally in Cardiff where he called the arrests of protesters in London “disgraceful”.

He said: “A number of our activist leaders have been arrested today and it’s actually an absolute disgrace.

“I felt compelled to say a few words because one of Republic’s co-ordinators, his name is Ben and he’s only 21 years of age, and he’s been arrested. It’s appalling.”

Speaking to PA news agency, Wall said: “If this happened in, let’s say, Hong Kong, we would have politicians from all parties in outrage.

“The right to protest is a long tradition. It is a privilege. It is a deeply held tradition in this country.

“And it is absolutely disgraceful that organisation like Republic that have worked for the police for over six months to arrange the protest details get treated like this.

“The Tory legislation on protest has been rammed through the Parliament just so it can be used to do to stifle any opposition.”

The Household procession has arrived at Buckingham Palace.

Charles and Camilla will receive a royal salute from the military in the palace gardens at 1.45pm.

This will be followed by a balcony moment when the couple will be joined by other members of the royal family to watch a flypast at around 2.15pm.

An overhead shot of Charles wearing the Imperial State Crown as he leaves Westminster Abbey in central London following his coronation ceremony. 

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Just after the Charle and Camilla’s carriage rounded the corner from Whitehall into The Mall one of the horses in the procession appeared to be spooked, rearing backwards into the barriers separating the public from the route.

A female police officer appeared to be given assistance from her colleagues, limping away from the area.

Charles and Camilla depart Westminster Abbey after the coronation ceremony and journey back to Buckingham Palace.

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Here at home, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, Senator Jerry Buttimer, offered their “warmest congratulations” to Charles on his coronation.

The Ceann Comhairle and Cathaoirleach said: “On behalf of the Houses of the Oireachtas, we congratulate King Charles and Queen Camilla on this auspicious day and wish them well in their endeavours for the British people.

“As the late Queen Elizabeth herself acknowledged during her landmark visit to Ireland in 2011, the history between these islands is long and complex, but at the same time the family, cultural and economic ties that bind the people of Ireland and the United Kingdom make us firm friends.

“Like his late parents, King Charles has worked over the decades to build and nurture peace and reconciliation between the communities in Northern Ireland, across this island and between Ireland and Britain.

“Throughout her long reign, his late mother was the embodiment of public service, dedicated to performing her duties for her people at home and committed to representing her nation abroad. We know King Charles will continue in that tradition to build his own relations and legacy as monarch.”

Charles and Camilla have departed Westminster Abbey via the West Gate door.

They passed the Chief Marshal, who ordered procession groups and street liners to come to attention.

The Chief Marshal also ordered for ceremonial signal flags to go up and ceremonial batons carried by the procession marshals to be raised as Charles and Camilla boarded the gold state coach.

The Gold State Coach to carry Charles and Camilla back to Buckingham Palace is outside Westminster Abbey.

As the rain poured down, military personnel gathered along a road from the church ahead of the coronation procession.

Charles and Camilla have also changed into their purple Robes of Estate, with Charles putting on the Imperial State Crown.

The journey back to Buckingham Palace is 1.3 miles.

The gold state coach is reported to be rather uncomfortable as a mode of transport.

Once in Buckingham Palace, Charles and Camilla will receive a royal salute from the military in the palace gardens at 1.45pm.

This will be followed by a balcony moment when the couple will be joined by other members of the royal family to watch a flypast at around 2.15pm.

Holy Communion

The gifts of bread and wine will be brought before the king for him to acknowledge, and from there the celebration of the Eucharist takes place much like a regular Anglican mass.

God Save the King, the national anthem, will be sung and the procession will exit the cathedral.

At the end of the procession, Charles will be greeted by leaders and representatives from different faith communities.

He will then proceed to the gold state coach with Camilla for their coronation procession back to Buckingham Palace.

Joe Biden isn’t there, but wife Dr Jill Biden is.

He’s passed on his congratulations from the White House though:

Coronation of the Queen

It’s now Camilla’s turn. 

In a break with tradition, she will be anointed in public rather than in private under a canopy.

The Archbishop will place Queen Mary’s crown on Camilla’s head.

The crown was made for Charles’s great-grandmother Queen Mary for George V’s coronation in 1911.

It will be the first time a consort’s crown has been reused for a coronation rather than a new one created.

Camilla will also be presented the rod and sceptre.

The enthroning of Camilla is the moment in which she and Charles “are united in their joint vocation before God”.

Kneeling before Charles just now, Prince William said: “I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God.”

The slightly altered homage has just been paid also. 

Here on these isles, a 21-gun salute has sounded at Hillsborough Castle in Co Down, the royal residence in Northern Ireland, to mark the coronation of the King.

The cannons began to fire at the moment Charles was crowned, by reservists from the 206 (Ulster) Battery, part of the 105th Regiment Royal Artillery.

Hundreds of guests are watching the service on a screen within the grounds of the castle.

Thousands of people across the North are following the ceremony from Westminster Abbey live on public screens including at Belfast City Hall, Ballymena, Larne, Carrickfergus, Bessbrook, Antrim, Jordanstown and Coleraine.

Enthronment and Homage

And now for the main set-piece. 

The enthroning is the setting of the King in his crown on the throne.

The ancient ritual descends from coronations of old when early kings were crowned upon a mound of earth and lifted high on to the shoulders of noblemen for all to see.

The Archbishop and Prince William will also swear allegiance to the king.

The Homage of the People proved to be controversial, and as a result has been watered down.

People were set to be invited to cry out and join in by swearing allegiance to the King.

However, they will now be invited to show support in “private reflection”. 

The items which are now being presented before Charles.


The Investiture and Crowning

Charles will now be presented with the coronation regalia.

In recognition of multi-faith Britain, peers from from non-Christian faith traditions have been chosen to take part for the first time.

The regalia represent virtues such as chivalry, royal power, sincerity and wisdom.

One object, the Jewelled Sword of Offering, will be carried by a woman for the first time, when Commons leader Penny Mordaunt presents it.

Charles will be presented with a glove to place on his right hand before he is presented with the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross and the Rod with Dove.

The Archbishop will then bring the Crown of St Edward down onto the king’s head and proclaim: “God save The King.”

The Abbey bells will ring for two minutes. A fanfare will be sounded followed by a gun salute.

Gun Salutes will also be fired at the Tower of London.

'We are the Champions!'

Sound a bit familiar?

The Champions League music played before big European nights is adapted from Zadok The Priest, which is being played now at the coronation. 

The Anointing

You will hear some Irish during this part, believe it or not. 

The anointing with holy oil is the central act of the religious ceremony and takes place in private.

Charles will remove his crimson Robe of State and sit in the Coronation Chair – made for King Edward I around 1300.

The Anointing screen – a new, 2.6m high three-sided screen featuring an embroidered tree celebrating the Commonwealth – will be arranged around the Coronation Chair.

The Archbishop of Canterbuty will anoint the Charles on his hands, breast and head.

The coronation spoon used to hold the oil is the oldest item in the ceremony, dating back to the 12th century.

Signing of the Oath

Charles has signed his coronation oath.

Thankfully for him, there will be no viral moments after this:

You may remember he had an issue with “this bloody thing” in Hillsborough Castle last September after the Queen’s death:

Some images here of Charles in Westminister Abbey for his coronation. 



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The Oath

We now move to the second of five parts, the oath. 

For the first time, there is a preface to the coronation oath in which the Archbishop says the Church of England “will seek to foster an environment where people of all faiths and beliefs may live freely”.

The Coronation Oath Act of 1688 requires the king to declare during his crowning ceremony that he will maintain the established Anglican Protestant Church, rule according to laws agreed in Parliament, and cause law, justice and mercy to be executed in his judgment.

After that, Charles will become the first monarch to pray aloud in front of a coronation congregation.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will also do a reading.

The Archbishop will then be presented with the Coronation Oil. Charles’s holy oil was made sacred in Jerusalem, and consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem.

The oil will be presented by Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Most Reverend Dr Hosam Naoum.

The Recognition

This is the first part of the coronation, “The Recognition”. 

Charles will stand in the theatre – the central space in Westminster Abbey – and turns to show himself to the people at each of the four directions – east, south, west and north.

A specially commissioned red, leather-bound Bible will be presented to Charles.

The music that could just be heard is based on Psalm 122.

It includes a Latin cry of long live Charles and long live Camilla. 

Camilla has now entered Westminister Abbey, followed by Charles, whose long robe is being held aloft by page boys. 

Apparently removing it could be difficult…

As we await the entry of Charles and Camilla, here is a statement from Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O’Neill, who is in attendance.

She says her presence is part of her “determination… to represent the whole community”.

Prince Harry is here, but Meghan remains at home in LA.

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Trumpets are now sounding out as Charles enters Westminster Abbey. 

Kate and William can also be seen being Charles.

Arrival at Westminster Abbery

The carriage has arrived at Westminster Abbey, as the coronation is set to get underway proper. 

The bells are ringing out as they pair get ready to enter the Abbey.

'Homage of the people'

In a late change, the controversial “Homage of the People” element of the service has been toned down.

Charles reportedly approved the change which came after a string of commentators criticised the new addition as divisive.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will now “invite” a show of support in a “private reflection” from the congregation, rather than a “call” to those in the Abbey and elsewhere to swear allegiance to the king. 

Prince Harry has arrived at Westminster Abbey, along with the Prince Andrew and Princess Anne.

Anne and Andrew and their children all entered together along with Harry at just before 10.40am.

In some royal watch, Harry was seen chatting with his cousins.

Some images of Charles and Camilla in the carriage as they make their way to Westminister Abbey. 

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'Hip, hip, hooray'

Standing crowds on either side of The Mall chanted “hip hip hooray” as the procession moved down the road lined with Union flags and other flags.

Prince Andrew recieved a more mixed reception when he was driven down The Mall around an hour earlier. 

An image of the carriage that Charles and Camilla are now journeying in to Westminister Abbey.

This picture was taken on its arrival to Buckingham Palace. 

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Charles and Camilla depart for Westminister Abbey

The carriage is properly called “Diamond Jubilee State Coach”.

This state coach is now headed for Westminster Abbey and the crowds who have been camping overnight will now get a sight of their king.

Some former British prime ministers now entering Westminister Abbey together, including former Labour leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, alongside David Cameron. 

Further behind is Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, and Rishi Sunak. 

All are greeted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. 

Charles and Camilla can now be seen in the roal carriage and they will soon depart for Westminister Abbey. 

The carriage will leave at 10.20 sharp.

Charles will be anointed with oil from the Holy Land during the corornation, as will Camilla. 

Our reporter Carl Kinsella is in London and took a wry look at those camping ahead of the coronation.

Spare a thought for him as he tries to deal with these long queues at the food trucks. 


A campaigner for anti-monarchy group Republic said they expect around 2,000 protestors today, all clad in yellow. 

Meanwhile, Sky News is showing images of Katy Perry. She’s fortunate enough to be able to stay in Windsor Castle tonight ahead of a coronation concert tomorrow. 

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'A dystopian nightmare'

Non-profit campaign group Human Rights Watch said the coronation arrests were “something you would expect to see in Moscow not London”.

Its UK director Yasmine Ahmed said in a statement: “The reports of people being arrested for peacefully protesting the coronation are incredibly alarming. This is something you would expect to see in Moscow not London.

“Peaceful protests allow individuals to hold those in power to account, something the UK government seems increasingly averse to.”

Meanwhile, protest group Just Stop Oil has said 13 demonstrators have been arrested on The Mall.

A spokeswoman for the campaign group said five demonstrators were also arrested at Downing Street.

She told the PA news agency the group’s plan was “only to display T-shirts and flags”, adding: “This is a dystopian nightmare.”

Joe Biden is not present, but no American President has attended a coronation of a British monarch.

However, First Lady of the United States, Dr Jill Biden has arrived with her grand daughter Finnegan Biden.

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Prince Andrew

The crowds cheered for Charles and Camilla as they were driven down The Mall, but it’s been a more mixed reception for Prince Andrew.

PA reports that parts of the crowd in a grandstand in front of Buckingham Palace booed as Andrew went past.

Scotland Yard is expected to confirm the anti-monarchy arrests shortly, but more footage is appearing on social media which appear to show member of anti-monarchy group Republic being arrested.

Leading activist Peter Tatchell has claimed that England is “not a free country when we do not have the right to freely protest”.

He adds that “you don’t have to oppose the monarchy to agree that people should have the right to protest”.

Tatchell has joined in with anti-monarchy group Republic and he too reports that its CEO has been arrested. 

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla are now driving up The Mall in London.

They will now enter Buckingham Palace, get changed into their coronation garb, and ready themselves for later. 

Anti-monarchy arrests

It was warned by the Met Police that there would be a low tolerance for “disruption” it’s reported that six members of an anti-monarchy group have been arrested.

Newswire service AFP reports that UK police arrested leading members of the anti-monarchy group “Republic” as they prepared to protest along the route of a procession for the coronation of King Charles, the organisation said.

“They’ve arrested six of our organisers and seized hundreds of placards, they won’t tell us why they’ve arrested them or where they’re being held,” a Republic activist told AFP in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and President Michael D Higgins are attending the coronation today, and both men also attended a reception at Buckingham Palace yesterday evening. 

In a statement ahead of the coronation, Varadkar said: “King Charles and Queen Camilla are long-standing friends of Ireland and King Charles has visited regularly in the past two decades, supporting good bilateral relations, co-operation, peace and reconciliation.”

Varadkar had an opportunity to speak to Charles at the reception yesterday, and he said: “I expressed my hope that his regular visits will continue into his reign.”

In today’s statement, Varadkar added: “A vibrant British community actively contributes to life in Ireland in so many ways. And, of course, there are many people, in the North especially, who are both British and Irish. 

“As we mark the coronation of King Charles, I look forward to further strengthening British-Irish relations and the friendship between our peoples and look forward to welcoming the royal couple to Ireland in due course.”

Lionel Richie has just arrived in Westminister Abbey.

He and Katy Perry will be among the musical performers at a special concert tomorrow night.

Presenters Ant and Dec can also be seen in the Abbey. 

There was a strong “ratio” on a tweet from London’s Metropolitan Police warning that “tolerance for any disruption will be low”.

There appear to be early signs of this low tolerance for disruption in the early parts of this morning:

Order of the Day

Things kickstarted early this morning, with viewing areas opening along the procession route at 6am.

Guests for Westminster Abbey started to arrive at security checkpoints in Victoria Tower Gardens between 7.15am and 8.30am.

You can get a full itinerary of the day’s events here.

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