King Charles III coronation: Great Britain’s royal family turns the page on a new chapter Saturday with the coronation of King Charles III — a spectacle that echoes medieval times but featuring modern flourishes. The pomp, pageantry and symbolism dates back more than 1,000 years, but the crowning of this king will feature new twists on the tradition and changes from the coronation of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, 70 years ago.
Charles automatically ascended to the throne when Elizabeth died Sept. 8, and he was officially proclaimed Britain’s monarch two days later in an ascension ceremony broadcast for the first time on television.
Charles said he was “deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me.” There is no legal requirement for a coronation, and other European monarchies have done away with the ceremonies.
Plans for the ceremony at Westminster Abbey call for a more toned-down affair than the last one, even though royals from other nations, heads of state and most of Charles' family will be there, and the monarch plans to wear the same vestments as Elizabeth did.
What is Stone of Destiny?
The Stone of Destiny — a 275-pound (125-kilogram) chunk of sandstone linked to both Scottish and English monarchs — is a symbol of Scottish nationhood seized by an English king in the 13th century and not returned until 1996, had to be moved to Westminster Abbey in secrecy and amid tight security.
The stone has been sent from Edinburgh to London to take its traditional place under the coronation chair.
Will Stone of Destiny be used in King Charles III coronation?
The iconic stone weighs around 125 kgs. It is after 25 years that the Stone of Destiny was transported from Scotland to London as it will be used at the coronation ceremony of King Charles, situated under the coronation chair.
It's a very fragile stone then its appearance as it was dropped when it was stolen from Westminister Abbey on Christmas Day in 1950 and was later repaired.
(With inputs from AP)