King Charles III’s coronation is less than a month away, and final touches are being put on celebration plans up and down the country.
The official coronation ceremony will see the King and Camilla, the Queen, parade through central London before the official crowning at Westminster Abbey.
But people will also use the bank holiday weekend to mark the occasion by planning their own events, from viewings to street parties.
Here are some tips if you are looking to throw a party of your own, along with the schedule of official events.
When is the coronation?
Before and after the coronation itself, Charles and Camilla will travel by coach through central London.
Two days later, on Monday 8 May, the UK will get an additional bank holiday – giving the nation three days off that month.
Charles automatically became King upon the death of his mother, but the coronation is typically held some months later.
The delay is intended to distinguish the celebration of the new monarch from the death of the previous head of state, and to allow enough time to organise the grand celebration.
Can I hold my own coronation party?
The rules for throwing a coronation street party differ, depending on your council. You can check the regulations under your local authority by entering your postcode into the government website here.
Many councils will require at least six weeks’ notice to hold a party that requires a road closure, but if you are yet to make an application, hosting a smaller gathering is not out of the question.
The government website states you do not need a licence host a party for residents and neighbours – just make sure you are familiar with your council’s rules.
Once your party is organised you can add it to the interactive map on the official coronation website here. You can also use this map to find existing parties to attend. There are currently more than 1,000 public events and 270 street parties registered.
There is also a coronation toolkit on the official website that includes plenty of templates and materials to help with your celebrations. You can find it here.
You can find activities for children like mazes and word searches, templates for bunting, recipes including Nadiya Hussein’s coronation aubergine and Ken Hom’s coronation roast rack of lamb, invites and even a Spotify playlist.
What is the official coronation route?
The coronation procession route of King Charles III stretches to just 1.3 miles – around a quarter of the length of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s five-mile celebratory journey.
After they have been crowned, Charles and the Queen will make their way back from Westminster Abbey via a tried and tested journey.
They will follow Parliament Square, along Whitehall, around Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and down The Mall back to Buckingham Palace.
This is the exact reverse of their route to the Abbey earlier in the day. It is much shorter than the Queen’s five-mile return expedition around central London, which saw the 27-year-old monarch waving to crowds along Piccadilly, Oxford Street and Regent Street.
The grand procession in 1953 took two hours and featured tens of thousands of participants, with the two-and-a-half mile cavalcade taking 45 minutes to pass any given point.
The Queen’s journey to her crowning on 2 June, 1953 was 1.6 miles, and included a tour along the Victoria Embankment by the River Thames.
Charles’s shorter routes are understood to have been chosen for practical reasons, with a preference for the familiar journey used on many a royal occasion.
What is the official coronation schedule?
Buckingham Palace has revealed details of many of the events being staged to commemorate the crowning of King Charles.
The coronation service
According to the palace, the coronation itself – which is expected to be scaled back from previous versions – will be “a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry”.
The service will “reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry”.
i revealed that Commons authorities have been told that around 3,000 dignitaries will be invited to the coronation service – a fraction of the 8,000 guests who came to the Queen’s coronation more than 70 years ago.
The coronation procession
Charles and Camilla will arrive at the Abbey in procession from Buckingham Palace, known as “the King’s procession”.
The King and Queen will each have four Pages of Honour supporting them on the day of the coronation – a group of schoolboys who are family friends or close relatives. Prominent among them is the future monarch Prince George, aged nine, but they will all be known well to Charles and Camilla.
King Charles has personally selected the musical programme for his coronation, including an anthem composed specifically by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The monarch has commissioned 12 pieces of music for the 6 May ceremony at Westminster Abbey, which has been designed to showcase a range of musical talent and styles from the UK and the Commonwealth.
Following the conclusion of the service, they will return to the palace in a larger ceremonial procession, known as “the coronation procession”, joined by other members of the Royal Family.
At the palace, Charles and Camilla will be joined by family members on the balcony to conclude the day’s ceremonial events.
The palace has not said exactly which family members will appear in the coronation procession or on the balcony, so it is not yet known if the Duke of Sussex or the Duke of York will be in attendance.
The coronation big lunch
On Sunday, people are invited to gather for a “coronation big lunch” overseen and organised by the Big Lunch team at the Eden Project.
Camilla has been patron of the Big Lunch since 2013.
The palace said thousands of events are expected to take place in streets, gardens and parks in every corner of the UK on the day.
The coronation concert
On Sunday, evening a coronation concert will be staged at Windsor Castle and broadcast live on the BBC, with “global music icons and contemporary stars” descending on the royal residence.
It will feature a world-class orchestra playing interpretations of musical favourites fronted by “some of the world’s biggest entertainers, alongside performers from the world of dance”, the palace said.
The performances will be supported by staging and effects located on the castle’s east lawn and will also include a selection of spoken word sequences delivered by stars of stage and screen.
Several thousand members of the public will be selected to receive a pair of free tickets through a national ballot held by the BBC.
The audience for the Windsor Castle will also include volunteers from the King and Queen’s charity affiliations.
The Coronation Choir, a diverse group that will be created from the nation’s keenest community choirs and amateur singers from across the UK, such as refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups and deaf signing choirs, will also make an appearance.
A new documentary exploring the formation of the choir will tell the stories of the people representing the many faces and voices of the country.
The Coronation Choir will appear alongside the Virtual Choir, made up of singers from across the Commonwealth, for a special performance on the night.
The palace said the centrepiece of the event, dubbed “lighting up the nation”, will see the country join together in celebration as landmarks across the UK are lit up using projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations.
The big help out
The bank holiday on Monday has been set aside for volunteering and is being billed as “the big help out”.
Organised by the Together Coalition and a wide range of partners such as the Scouts, the Royal Voluntary Service and faith groups from across the UK, it aims to highlight the positive impact volunteering has on communities.
The palace said in tribute to the King’s public service, the big help out “will encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas”.
The aim of the day is to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the coronation weekend.