Coronation: Everything you need to know day-by-day

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The King’s coronation day on May 6 is now just 48 hours away.

Here is a look at everything we know so far – what is happening day-by-day over the weekend and how the celebrations will unfold.

ROYAL Coronation Screens
(PA Graphics)

The big day begins early with viewing areas opening along the procession route at 6am and guests for Westminster Abbey beginning to arrive at security checkpoints in Victoria Tower Gardens between 7.15am and 8.30am.

Heads of state, overseas government representatives, Government ministers, first ministers, former PMs, foreign royals and members of the royal family will arrive between 9.30am and 10.45am.

Some of those expected to be among the 2,300 guests include US first lady Jill Biden, French president Emmanuel Macron, Chinese vice-president Han Zheng, Sinn Fein’s leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill, Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese and Pakistani prime minister Shehbaz Sharif.

King Charles III coronation
The King leaving Westminster Abbey following a rehearsal for his coronation on Wednesday (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Others expected to be in the congregation are TV presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful and singer-songwriter Lionel Richie.

The King and Queen Consort’s procession will set off from Buckingham Palace at 10.20am and arrive at Westminster Abbey at 10.53am.

The service will begin at 11am and last for two hours, with the key moment coming at midday when the King is crowned.

King Charles III coronation
The Queen Consort (Yui Mok/PA)

The service will include the first Homage of the People – a modern addition to the ancient ceremony that will see people across the UK and overseas realms invited to swear an oath of allegiance to Charles.

When the service ends, the newly crowned King and Queen will embark on their coronation procession back to Buckingham Palace in the Gold State Coach via the tried and tested route of Parliament Square, along Whitehall, around Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and down The Mall, arriving back at Buckingham Palace at 1.33pm.

The King’s Coronation Procession stretches to just 1.3 miles – around a quarter of the length of the late Queen’s five-mile celebratory journey.

Grammy Awards presenters
First lady Jill Biden during a visit to Windsor Castle (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Charles and Camilla will receive a royal salute from the military in the palace gardens at 1.45pm.

This will be followed by a balcony moment when the couple will be joined by other members of the royal family to watch a flypast at around 2.15pm.

Big screens will be placed in royal parks including in Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park so royal fans can watch the day’s events.

Coronation regalia for Charles III
(PA Graphics)

For those who do not plan on venturing out for the celebrations, they can watch it all on television from the comfort of their sofa.

Kirsty Young and Huw Edwards are among the BBC’s presenting team and the coronation programme, which will cover the lead-up to the Westminster Abbey service, the ceremony, the return procession to Buckingham Palace and the King’s balcony appearance, will see former Desert Island Discs presenter Young in a studio at Buckingham Palace on the day.

Edwards will provide commentary as the Westminster Abbey doors open to greet those arriving for the ceremony, with Sophie Raworth, Clare Balding, Anita Rani and JJ Chalmers also contributing to the day’s coverage.

ITV News At Ten anchor Tom Bradby, a close friend of the Duke of Sussex, will front ITV’s coverage alongside Julie Etchingham.

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A night-time rehearsal in central London for the coronation (James Manning/PA)

– Sunday May 7

Thousands of street parties are expected to be held at the weekend, with people encouraged to come together across the country for the Coronation Big Lunch.

A palace spokeswoman said big lunches will take place from Saturday to Monday “in a nationwide act of celebration and friendship”.

On Sunday, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh will attend a big lunch in Cranleigh, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will attend a community street party in Swindon, and Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie will attend a big lunch in Windsor.

Prince Edward given Duke of Edinburgh title
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

The show, hosted by Paddington and Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville, will see Hollywood star Tom Cruise, Dynasty actress Dame Joan Collins, adventurer Bear Grylls and singer Sir Tom Jones appear via video message.

The series of pre-recorded sketches will reveal little-known facts about the monarch and will also include moments from beloved literary figure Winnie the Pooh – seemingly echoing the famous moment Paddington Bear drank tea with the Queen during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Reception for supporters of the British Asian Trust
The then Prince of Wales with Katy Perry (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

The Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal College of Music and the Royal College of Art will come together for the first time to create a one-off performance featuring Sex Education and Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa and Olivier Award nominee Mei Mac.

As part of the Coronation Concert, choreographed lasers, projections and drone displays will radiate over historic bridges and buildings.

Seven of the 10 locations involved in the event, Lighting up the Nation, have been disclosed so far, including Blackpool seafront in Lancashire, where people can join a viewing party from Blackpool Tower.

Sheffield Town Hall will showcase a display in the Peace Gardens, while Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge and Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge lights will cast riverside reflections for an audience stretching between the quays.

Top Gun: Maverick UK Premiere – London
The then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge accompanied by actor Tom Cruise as they arrive for the UK premiere of Top Gun: Maverick (Dan Kitwood/PA)

Light shows will also brighten up Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff at various locations.

The remaining three locations will be revealed during the concert.

The Coronation Concert will be broadcast on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds from 8pm.

– Monday May 8

The Big Help Out will take place on bank holiday Monday, with the aim of inspiring and recruiting a new generation of volunteers by showing how easy it is to get involved.

Buckingham Palace said the Big Help Out will “highlight the positive impact volunteering has on communities across the nation”.

Edward and Sophie will take part in a puppy class at the Guide Dogs training centre in Reading, while Anne and Sir Tim will attend a civic service recognising local volunteers at Gloucester Cathedral.

King Charles III coronation
The Princess Royal (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will meet young volunteers from the Coptic Orthodox Church at a coronation party at St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Kensington.

The palace spokesperson said that according to the latest polling, an estimated 6.5 million people say they are planning to take part in the Big Help Out, ranging from community litter picks to signing up to longer-term volunteering opportunities with a wide range of charities.

The palace said that while “wholly supportive” of the Big Help Out initiatives on Monday, Charles and Camilla will not be attending any of the events in person.

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