How to Throw a Coronation Party

My Anglophile ways go way back.

I was 10 years old when Princess Diana died. I remember reading every newspaper article about the crash & this real-life Princess whose life was cut so tragically short. The pictures of her sons walking behind her coffin were heartbreaking.

Fast forward to high school & the dreaded British Literature class. I ended up loving it! Well, except for Beowulf. But who can blame me?! We got to learn about this long history of literature that dated back before the Norman invasion, before the Viking Raids, even before the Romans built walls & aqueducts there.

Then, in college, I took 2 semesters of Brit Lit & also 2 semesters of British History. Dr. Hayner was one of my favorite professors! She knew all of the material so well that it felt like storytime. Her class was difficult, but that hard work was fun because I enjoyed it so much.

OK - now that you remember what a nerd I am, how about we talk about the CORONATION of KING CHARLES III?

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Why the Coronation Matters

"Elaine," you say. "These monarchies need to go the way of history. They're just figureheads putting on a show. And that show costs a lot of taxpayer money. Besides, you're not British!"

While the British monarchy remains one of the most respected institutions in the world, its long history hasn't been without many ups & downs. Civil war, uprisings, beheading, & abdication. All have marked its path to this point. And that's not to mention the tragedy of Princess Diana's death that brought a new wave of criticism to how she was treated by her ex-husband & his family. Or the even more recent accusations brought against the current Duke of York.

In my humble opinion, here's why I'm excited to watch:

  1. The coronation represents the peaceful transition of the Crown from one head to another. (No picking the crown up out of a bush along a battlefield.) In that way, it's much like an inauguration or any other swearing in ceremony.
  2. It reminds us of the many generations of monarchs who have gone before & how that history still impacts us today. Coronations have been full of rejoicing, but they have also been times of uncertainty & even mourning.
  3. The symbolism & ceremony highlight Biblical truths. Such as "the king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will." (Proverbs 21:1) And that we should be praying for these people who are in positions of authority & honor. (1 Timothy 2:1-2) The anointing ceremony recalls the sacred calling of kings in the Old Testament & the anointing oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

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What Happens at the Coronation

It's a grandiose ceremony with lots of symbolism & tradition. It will include items that have been passed from one generation to another. This coronation will be smaller than that of Elizabeth II, but it will still be a grand & solemn occasion.

First, a large procession will bring King & Queen from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. When Elizabeth II was crowned, her procession involved 16,000 participants. King Charles is known for his thriftiness (if a member of the royal family can be called thrifty?) & his plans to slim down the monarchy, so we can be sure that his procession won't be quite that large! It will still be grand & include those fancy carriages that only get used at coronations & other such special occasions.

Next, they will arrive at the Abbey where the ceremony will take place. Westminster has been the site of so much royal history. Coronations have taken place there all the way back to William the Conqueror's coronation on Christmas Day in 1066.

Here are a few elements of the coronation to pay close attention to:

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury will be one of the main actors in the ceremony. He will perform most of the ceremonial duties, although it has been announced that King Charles has invited other faith leaders to be included in the event. He recognizes that not all of the people he serves are members of the Church of England & would like for his coronation to reflect that diversity.
  • One of the first parts of the ceremony is usually the presentation of the monarch as the true heir to the throne. Nowadays, this is just symbolic, but back just a few hundred years, the heir was not always agreed upon before the previous monarch's death.
  • The King will recite & sign an oath, promising to serve the people of the commonwealth for his whole life.
  • The King will sit in the coronation chair. Then, the Archbishop will anoint the King. This is considered an extremely sacred moment & will not be televised. Even the people present in the Abbey will most likely have their view shielded by a golden canopy. His head, chest, & hands will be touched with oil that was blessed in Jerusalem a few weeks ago.
  • Next, is the investiture. Lots of really cool history & symbolism here is you want to go down a rabbit hole. Included will be the robe, orb, scepter, & other items that make up the Crown Jewels.
  • After all of this step, we'll see the actual crown placed very solemnly on the head of King Charles III. This is often a moment that is celebrated with a cheer of "God save the King!" (or Queen).
  • Once he has been crowned, the monarch traditionally receives homage from some of the most important members of the audience. At the coronation of Elizabeth II, her husband knelt before her & pledged his homage to her. (I'm sure that was an interesting conversation when that idea was voiced!) I'm not sure what this will look like for this coronation.
  • Queen Camilla will be crowned at this point in the ceremony. Since she is not the regnant monarch, her part will be much less grand. But, she still will be anointed & have a crown placed on her head.
  • The service usually ends with the monarchs taking communion & visiting the tomb of Edward the Confessor that's located right in the Abbey. While hidden away, they will also change robes & crowns.
  • The whole ceremony will be wrapped up by singing the national anthem "God Save the King."

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How to Celebrate the Coronation

Now that we know a few things about the actual coronation, let's throw a little party to celebrate the event!

Coronation Watch Party

If you're planning to watch it live, make sure you set your alarm! My preference is to watch the BBC broadcast of royal events. They're usually kind enough to livestream on YouTube. I'm not saying that American journalists won't do all the necessary research to know what they're talking about. There's just something that's lost when you're watching an American broadcast versus a British one.

Coronation Party Food

I know you'll be up super early, so you might just survive with a strong cup of coffee (or tea, if you want to get a little more into the spirit of things). But let's make it a little more special!


What's a fancy breakfast without a quiche? While Their Majesties were gracious enough to share a "Coronation Quiche" recipe, I haven't the foggiest clue what a broad bean is. For a recipe with slightly more familiar ingredients, check out this one from my friend Sam!

image of scones from recipe

Next we need scones! These ones are my FAVORITE! Sharp cheddar, salty bacon, savory leeks. They are delicious! I use any excuse to make them. Royal baby born? These scones. Royal wedding? These scones. Anything Downton Abbey? These scones. I'm thinking of growing leeks in my yard so that I can make them whenever I have the craving...

image of blueberry coffee cake

If you need something sweet to balance out all of those savory treats, try this delicious blueberry coffee cake.

Coronation Party Activities

There are sure to be moments in this ceremony that might drag a little. If your kids happen to sneak out of bed to watch with you, or if you want some options for decorations you can make in advance, you can take a look at my Pinterest board. Because you know I have a Pinterest Board for this - ha!

Some of my favorites:

activity from Sally Lloyd Jones

After the Coronation

Coronation festivities will be going on all weekend. Along with a concert, there will also be:

  • The Coronation Big Lunch - Started as an initiative to get neighbors together, this organization recognizes the importance of strong communities to improve overall quality of life.
  • The Coronation Big Help Out - Brits are being encouraged to get out into their communities & find ways to help out! Park clean ups, planting community gardens, & all kinds of other special ways to make a difference right where you live - we can all join in on that.

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So, are you ready for your coronation party? I hope so! I know that I'm excited to be able to witness this moment in history.

Let me know if you find any other fun ideas!

Cheering you on!


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