(The Hill) – On Saturday, the U.K. will hold a coronation ceremony to formalize the reign of King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla, an affair filled with pomp and pageantry that will draw a crowd of notable political and societal figures.
The U.K. is the only European country to hold a coronation ceremony, a tradition that dates back to 1066. King Charles III’s celebration will be held at London’s Westminster Abbey, the site of several other glitzy royal affairs including the 2011 nuptials of Prince William and Princess Kate of Wales.
The ceremony, dubbed Operation Golden Orb, will be the first in Britain in 70 years. All major U.S. and U.K. networks will be broadcasting the event, slated to begin at 11 a.m. local time, or 6 a.m. EST and 3 a.m. PST.
Here’s what to look for in Saturday’s ceremony:
Reactions from stateside
Madeline Monroe/Greg Nash
Former President Trump has already shared his thoughts surrounding the historic event, slamming President Biden in a recent interview for not attending the coronation while praising the British monarchs.
“Your new Queen is going to be terrific. She has a fantastic personality and Charles is a wonderful guy,” Trump told GB News.
President Biden will likely issue a statement in place of his attendance, as he did when expressing his condolences after learning of Queen Elizabeth’s death.
A new procession route
Britain’s King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort, in Windsor, England, Sunday April 9, 2023. (Yui Mok/Pool via AP, File)
The procession route from Buckingham Palace to the church for Charles’s coronation is 1.3 miles long, making it shorter than the route taken by Queen Elizabeth in 1953. He and Queen Consort Camilla will also devolve from tradition by taking the same route home, instead of the 5-mile return procession route around London taken by his mother, notes the Associated Press.
Although monarchs typically travel to and from Westminster Abbey in the Gold State Coach, Charles and Camilla will head to the church in Diamond Jubilee State Coach, created for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The procession following the ceremony is likely to be a much larger ceremonial display, according to the Royal Family’s website.
‘Not My King’ protests
Protesters hold placards with the message “Not my king” before Britain’s King Charles III arrives to attend the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London, Monday, March 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
British police are anticipating several anti-monarchy demonstrations during Saturday’s events.
“We will be protesting on Trafalgar Square and along the route of the coronation procession on Saturday,” activist group Republic, which is petitioning for a democratically-elected government, pledged in a Wednesday press release.
The British Metropolitan Police said the coronation will be one of its “largest security operations,” and includes the deployment of more than 29,000 police officers.
“Our tolerance for any disruption, whether through protest or otherwise, will be low,” the Met warned in a statement. “We will deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining this celebration.”
A modernized ceremony
In this June. 2, 1953 file photo, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, wave to supporters from the balcony at Buckingham Palace, following her coronation at Westminster Abbey, London. (AP Photo/Leslie Priest, File)
King Charles’s coronation will maintain most aspects associated with the tradition but is being pared down in size and duration in an attempt at modernization.
The ceremony is slated to last about two hours, compared to the three hours allotted for the coronation of his mother, and will be less extravagant and costly than past coronations. Additionally, the guest list maxes out at 2,800 people, while around 8,000 attendees joined Elizabeth’s crowning. It remains to be seen what other elements may be altered.
The ceremony is likely to include more religious diversity than those of the past. Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh religious leaders are expected to play a role in the ceremony, according to Time.
“I have always thought of Britain as a ‘community of communities,'” Charles previously said, per Time.
Prince Harry’s role in the ceremony
Britain’s William, Prince of Wales, and Prince Harry at the funeral of Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Pool photo via AP)
It’s unclear what role Prince Harry will take on in his father’s coronation, as tensions have plagued his relationship with the royal family since he and his wife Meghan Markle left the monarchy in 2021.
Markle will not attend the festivities, and Prince Harry is slated to be in London for less than 48 hours, per CBS News.
In the months since Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, the last time Harry appeared publicly with his royal family, he released his tell-all novel “Spare.”
It appears that while Harry does not have a defined role in the fanfare, his brother, Prince William, will participate in an oath loyalty ceremony known as “The Homage of Royal Blood,” according to USA TODAY.