In a solemn religious ceremony, Charles III was crowned as the King of the United Kingdom on Saturday at Westminster Abbey.
King Charles III placed his hand on the Bible during the Coronation ceremony and solemnly swore to rule the people of the United Kingdom with “justice and mercy” and to foster a society where people of all faiths and beliefs can live in freedom. Later, he kissed the Bible.
The king and his wife, Camilla, the queen consort, made the 2.2-kilometer trip from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey at a stately pace in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, which was commissioned for Queen Elizabeth II in 2012. It was decorated with a gilded crown.
The main west door of the abbey was used by the king to enter. He walked slowly through the church behind his wife, Camilla, wearing a long, dark red robe. A congregation of about 2,200 people welcomed him, including world royalty, heads of state and government, and local heroes.
India at the UK coronation
India was represented at the historic event by Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar and his wife, Dr. Sudesh Dhankhar, who sat next to other Commonwealth Heads of State.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty attend the event.
As the first British Prime Minister of Indian descent to deliver a reading at the Coronation ceremony, Rishi Sunak made history.
As the country’s first Hindu head of government, the 42-year-old read from the Epistle to the Colossians from the New Testament reflecting the theme of service to others, in keeping with the recent tradition of UK Prime Ministers giving readings at State occasions.
He and wife Akshata Murty, the daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, led the procession of flag-bearers as the UK’s Union Jack flag was carried into the Abbey by a high-ranking Royal Air Force (RAF) cadet.
Sunak stressed the Coronation – the first in 70 years since Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in June 1953 – is not just a spectacle but a proud expression of history, culture, and traditions.
Westminster Abbey’s royal history
Westminster Abbey has been the site of every British Coronation since that of William The Conqueror in 1066 and King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla, followed in the footsteps of this grand tradition in a service themed “Called to Serve”.
The Service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, with faith leaders and representatives of the Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish communities processing through the Abbey ahead of the service.
The medieval tradition began with the Archbishop of Canterbury presenting Charles III to the congregation as the “undoubted king.” The two-hour-long ceremony at the Abbey will conclude with the chiming of Abbey bells and the newly crowned King and Queen making their way to another waiting horse-drawn historic Gold State Coach. Last seen during the Pageant of the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in June 2022 and used at every Coronation since that of William IV in 1831.