Where King Charles’ procession will go and the coach he and Queen Camilla will travel in

Details around the coronation of King Charles III are gradually being released as the big day draws nearer.

The monarch and the Queen Consort will be crowned in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May, with the service starting at 11am.

Before and after the coronation itself, Charles and Camilla will travel by coach through central London – here’s everything you need to know about the procession.

What is the 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 celebration 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 the Admiralty Arch and down The Mall back to Buckingham Palace.

A graphic shows the procession route for the coronation of King Charles III on 6 May 2023 (Photo: PA)
King Charles and Camilla are following a shorter route than Elizabeth II (Photo: PA)

This is the exact reverse of their route to the Abbey earlier in the day. However, 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 June 2 1953 was 1.6 miles, taking a slightly longer route than Charles’s by making her way 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 coach will Charles and Camilla travel in?

Charles and Camilla will travel back to Buckingham Palace in the Gold State Coach, famously criticized by many monarchs, including Elizabeth II, for being uncomfortable.

Only a sovereign and their consort are permitted to travel in the historic coach, which is more than 260 years old. This will be the first time Charles and Camilla have used it.

Embargoed to 2230 Sunday April 9 File photo dated 14/10/2019 of Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, returns to Buckingham Palace, London, in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, having delivered The Queen's Speech.  The King and Queen Consort will travel to the coronation in the modern Diamond Jubilee State Coach and return in the historic Gold State Coach.  Issue date: Sunday April 9, 2023. PA Photo.  See PA story ROYAL Coronation Carriages.  Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
The King and Queen Consort will travel to the coronation in the modern Diamond Jubilee State Coach (Photo: PA)

Martin Oates, senior carriage restorer at the Royal Mews, will walk behind the four-tone carriage in the procession and act as the “brake man” pulling the hand-held T-bar at the back to secure it in place when it stops.

He said the Gold State Coach creaks like an “old galleon” as it rolls along, but runs a lot smoother than it used to.

Elizabeth II once described her journey to and from the coronation in the bumpy carriage as “horrible”. A hot water bottle was strapped under her seat to keep her warm during an unseasonably cold day in June 1953.

Unlike the Queen, Charles and Camilla will travel to the Abbey in the more high-tech Diamond Jubilee State Coach – Mr Oates described it as more like a car with its mod-cons of air conditioning and hydraulic shock absorbers.

Additional reporting from Press Association

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