Preparations for the Queen’s funeral have occupied the country for more than a week. After his burial, a new chapter begins: the reign of King Charles III. But what are the steps to get there?
What happens after the funeral?
After the funeral in Westminster, the Queen’s coffin will be transferred to Windsor Castle, where there will be a burial service in St George’s Chapel. She will be buried in the castle’s King George VI Memorial Chapel, alongside her father, mother and sister’s ashes.
The coffin of her late husband Prince Philip, who died last year, will also be moved from the royal vault in St George’s Chapel to be buried with the Queen, as the couple requested.
What is the date of the coronation of King Charles III?
On the Queen’s death, the throne immediately passed to the heir, Charles, his son and the former Prince of Wales. He will be officially crowned king at the coronation, which could take place next spring or summer.
For the past 900 years – since William the Conqueror – the coronation has taken place at Westminster Abbey.
Unlike royal weddings, the coronation is a state occasion: the government pays for it and chooses the guest list.
What crown will he wear?
The Archbishop of Canterbury will place St Edward’s Crown, which dates from 1661, on Charles’s head. This is the iconic solid gold crown of the Crown Jewels of the Tower of London, which is studded with 444 colored gemstones including rubies, garnets, sapphires and tourmalines, filled with a center in purple velvet and trimmed with fur. It is only worn by the monarch at the time of the coronation itself, in part because it weighs 2.23 kg.
Can we expect new jewelry or other rituals?
Coronations are traditional affairs, although it is understood that King Charles would like a smaller version of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
It will still be loaded with jewels, however. Along with St Edward’s Crown, he will receive the Coronation Ring, dubbed the Wedding Ring of England, which is placed on the fourth finger of the monarch’s right hand.
The ring has been in use since 1831 and is a symbolic sapphire ring with cross-shaped baguette-cut rubies on the face, representing St George’s Cross and the Scottish Flag.
He will also receive a scepter dating from 1661, which has been used at every coronation since. In 1910, King George V added the Cullinan I Diamond, a 3,106 carat stone discovered in South Africa in 1905.
Prince Charles will also receive two gold armills to symbolize the monarch’s connection to the people.
Where will King Charles live?
Around 100 workers at Clarence House, where Charles and Camilla lived until the Queen’s death, have been told they could lose their jobs as he will no longer be living there.
Although we know that King Charles is leaving Clarence House, we don’t know where he is moving. Queen Elizabeth II owned several residences, including Buckingham Palace, Balmoral and Windsor Castle.
There has been no official announcement yet, but the new monarch is expected to live at Buckingham Palace, which Charles considers an important symbol of the monarchy.
However, Buckingham Palace is currently undergoing a £369m taxpayer-funded renovation which won’t be completed until 2027. This could mean Charles and Camilla delay their move.
What will change under King Charles III?
As king of a constitutional monarchy, Charles cannot change much because only the elected parliament can make and pass laws. This system is underpinned by the expectation that the king will remain politically neutral, although Charles is known as a passionate advocate for several causes, including the climate crisis.
Charles is understood to want a lean official royal family and there has been speculation that decisions will be made to reduce the cost of the family to the public purse.
An important area will concern the modernization of relations with Commonwealth countries. He has previously commented at a Commonwealth summit on his desire “to deepen my own understanding of the lasting impact of slavery”. Her coronation follows Prince William’s much-criticized royal tour of Caribbean countries and Barbados’ decision to depose the Queen as head of state.
What will happen to royal warrants?
Royal Warrants are a mark of recognition given to goods and services provided to the Queen, and a valuable marketing tool that allows holders to display a royal coat of arms.
Royal warrants granted by the Queen will lapse two years after her death, giving companies time to remove the coat of arms from their packaging and advertisements. If King Charles III wishes to grant them another Royal Warrant, they may again receive the honour.