See The Royal Processions
On the day of the coronation, two processions will take place between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. Before the coronation ceremony, Charles and Camilla will travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey in what’s officially called the King’s Procession. Then on their return after the service, they will be joined by other senior royals in the Coronation Procession. An appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace will conclude the official activities of the day.
The King’s Procession will follow a route that starts from Buckingham Palace, passing The Mall, Admiralty Arch, King Charles I Island, Whitehall, Parliament Street, Parliament Square, and Broad Sanctuary, before finishing at Westminster Abbey. The Coronation Procession will travel on the same route but in reverse. The service will begin at 11 am, but it’s recommended to get a spot early to get a front-row view of the parade route.
Mayfair Garden Party
Receive the royal treatment in Mayfair during the coronation bank holiday, as the neighbourhood hosts a secret garden party in honour of the new Monarch. Grosvenor Square is being transformed into an urban garden wonderland inspired by Alice in Wonderland. So, soak up the sunshine in the square while sipping themed cocktails and watch history unfold on the cinema screens dotted across the greenery before a slap-up supper in one of the world-class restaurants nearby – from Gordon Ramsay’s Lucky Cat to the stylish Twenty-Two Restaurant.
Westminster Abbey has announced a series of events to celebrate the coronation, some of which have already sold out. While you won’t have an opportunity to walk on the Cosmati pavement, where the Coronation Chair will be placed on May 6, you can still visit the coronation exhibition at the Chapter House. Entry to the exhibition is included in the entry price to the Abbey, and you can see historic illustrations and photographs that showcase the pomp and ceremony behind the coronation traditions. Note that Westminster Abbey will be closed between April 25 and May 8 in preparation for the coronation, and the exhibition will be up between April 11 and September 30, 2023.
Go on a River Cruise
Cruising down the Thames is always a great way to see London — but it’s even better if you want to avoid the crowds on the streets during the coronation. Between April 17 and May 8, City Cruises will be dressing their boats in bunting to celebrate the coronation, while onboard commentary will give first-timers an insight into the buildings that line the riverfront, from Westminster Abbey to the Tower of London. There’s the option to hop off if you want or stay on board and enjoy one of the coronation-themed afternoon teas or dinners.
What better way to get a view of the busy capital than from the London Eye? In honour of the King’s coronation, one of the glass pods will be decorated in the style of Westminster Abbey, where you can step into the King’s shoes and sit in a recreation of the 700-year-old coronation chair and hold replicas of the crown jewels.
Regarding afternoon tea, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to London dining options. A good option can be The Landmark London’s High Palms Coronation High Tea, offering a quintessentially British experience nestled among grand palm trees in the hotel’s Winter Garden Restaurant. Think a glass of chilled Champagne Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV, the official Champagne supplier for the royal family, plus scones and desserts.
Picnic in a Royal Park
St James’s Park and Green Park will both be extremely busy on coronation day, but it may still be possible to find a spot further away from the main action to lay out a picnic blanket and enjoy the atmosphere. Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are great alternatives and are vastly more spacious. Pack your own picnic or, for a treat, check hotels in the area — for big celebrations, many will create special hampers that visitors can reserve and pick up.
Coronation Events at Biscuiteers
Biscuiteers are hosting Coronation icing masterclasses from their Belgravia and Notting Hill cafes. Serious about frosting? Join the two-hour-long masterclasses where you’ll learn everything from colouring, piping, and feathering to the line and flood icing to create your very own Coronation collection of biscuits (including doughy crown and Royal guards) which you can take home in a little tin. Just after a good time? Hit up the family-friendly DIY classes where you can craft your treats with a cup of tea on hand, or a glass of prosecco.
Kensington Palace Crown to Couture Exhibition
Expect to see modern masterpieces like Lady Gaga’s luminous green MTV Awards dress alongside historical garments worn by Monarchs, including Charles II. A highlight of the exhibition is the Rockingham mantua, an exquisite example of court dress dating to the 1760s. Incorporating a fitted bodice, stomacher, narrow train draped at the waist, and wide matching petticoat, it would cost over £10,000 in today’s money to create. Alexander McQueen’s production designer Joseph Bennett is behind the curation, so expect to be astounded in the glittering world of the Georgian royal court.
You may not be able to get close to the Queen Consort during the coronation, but you can see the next best thing at Madame Tussauds London. It is releasing a new waxwork statue of Camilla in a dark blue Anna Valentine gown, which will stand alongside King Charles, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the late Queen, and the Duke of Edinburgh in the Throne Room. Guests can also enjoy the Royal Palace experience, where they can sign a coronation book.
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