The Coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey today (Saturday 6th May 2023). Their Majesties will arrive at Westminster Abbey in procession from Buckingham Palace, known as ‘The King’s Procession’.
Almost a year ago, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. This marked her 70 years of service to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and its Realms. Sadly, a few months later, aged 96, Queen Elizabeth II died and King Charles III was officially proclaimed King.
Also read: The Platinum Jubilee
Today at 11.00 am (UK) time, The King and The Queen will now officially be crowned at Westminster Abbey. This is the first Coronation Service in almost 70 years.
After the Service, Their Majesties will return to Buckingham Palace. This time, the ceremonial procession will be larger as they will be joined by other Members of the Royal Family. This is known as ‘The Coronation Procession’.
Upon returning, The King and The Queen will receive a Royal Salute. This will take place in the Garden of Buckingham Palace from the Armed Forces that are taking part in the Processions.
The Balcony appearance
The King and The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will then appear on the Buckingham Palace Balcony for the Flypast and the conclusion of the day’s ceremonial events.
You can watch the events here
10.00 am Procession of Faith Leaders and Ecumenical Leaders through Westminster Abbey
10.15 am Procession of Commonwealth Realms through Westminster Abbey
10.20 am Their Majesties’ Carriage Procession, known as The King’s Procession, leaves Buckingham Palace
10.53 am The State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry will sound a fanfare as Their Majesties´carriage arrives at the West Gate to Westminster Abbey.
10.54 am The Abbey bells will ring
11.00 am The Coronation Service begins
Then at around 1.00 pm, the Coronation Procession will depart from Westminster Abbey. As they leave, the Abbey bells will chime. Then, at 2.30 pm, the Flypast will take place over Buckingham Palace.
Captured in art
Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort have commissioned five artists. They have been asked to capture some of the most significant moments of the Coronation Weekend. These artists will produce sketches and paintings of the Coronation Procession and Service, as well as the Coronation concert.
Sketches along the processional route
His Majesty has selected three alumni of The Royal Drawing School to draw events they witness from positions along the Processional Route. These artists will observe and capture: crowds lining the route, Their Majesties’ departure from Buckingham Palace, Their Majesties’ arrival at Westminster Abbey and the return journey following the Service, in their medium of choice.
The artists are Fraser Scarfe, Phoebe Stannard and Gideon Summerfield.
Scarfe is currently Head of the Drawing Year and studied on the Drawing Year 2012-13. (The Drawing Year is a full scholarship postgraduate-level course offering up to thirty students the opportunity to focus on drawing from observation for one year. There are no tuition fees for The Drawing Year. Furthermore, all students are awarded a full scholarship and receive a free studio space.)
Similarly, Stannard also teaches at the Royal Drawing School and completed The Drawing Year at the Royal Drawing School in 2010. On covering the Coronation, Stannard said: “I believe The King understands the power, intimacy and precision of drawing to capture time. His Majesty’s support of the arts has helped train a generation of artists, like me, and it is a privilege and challenge to be invited to use my skills to record the spectacle of the day.”
Paintings in the Abbey
Eileen Hogan has been commissioned to paint the Coronation Service itself from within Westminster Abbey. Moreover, she is the first woman to have been appointed in this role. Hogan is Emeritus Professor at the University of the Arts London, a Trustee of the Royal Drawing School and an Ambassador for the Salvesen Mindroom Centre.
Hogan supported ‘The Last of the Tide: Portraits of D-Day Veterans (2015) and contributed to ‘Prince and Patron’ (2018).
It is expected that Hogan will produce a series of ten small paintings from inside Westminster Abbey, some of which may later be worked up into larger paintings.
Hogan has acted as a mentor for the alumni students of The Royal Drawing School during the process.
The formal painting of the State Portraits will take place after the Coronation. Their Majesties have each personally chosen an artist to paint their Portrait.
Peter Kuhfeld NEAC.RP.CAS. will paint His Majesty’s Coronation State Portrait.
Kuhfeld’s previous work with the Royal Household includes ‘The Last of the Tide: Portraits of D-Day Veterans’ (2015) and ‘Seven Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust’ (2022).
Paul Benney will paint Her Majesty’s Coronation State Portrait. Benney has twice won the Public Choice award in the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Portrait Awards. Previous work with the Royal Household includes ‘The Last of the Tide: Portraits of D-Day Veterans’ (2015), ‘Seven Portraits: Surviving the Holocaust’ (2022) and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (2015).
Artist and illustrator Shana Pagano Lohrey, also alumni of the Royal Drawing School, has been selected to draw at the Coronation Concert, capturing the atmosphere, crowds and ambience of the event.
Shana has been tasked to produce a variety of artworks and anticipates she will use charcoal and pastels. As with all other works commissioned above, Shana’s work will become part of the Royal Collection.