The coronation ceremony of King Charles III, Queen Camilla and the grand ceremony held at Westminster Abbey, London was an event that happened only once in a generation.
Charles was crowned as King in September of last year after his mother Queen Elizabeth II died. The coronation, however, is the official crowning of a monarch. Charles will be crowned and presented with a variety of ceremonial items in a ceremony expected to last for at least two hours. He will also be recognized as King.
Some parts of central London were gridlocked in recent days. Barriers lined the route King Charles and Queen Camilla would take as they made their way from Buckingham Palace, which is the official London residence of the British monarchy, to Westminster Abbey, where the nation has held its coronation services since 1066.
Royal fans have been camping for the last few days along the 2km (1.3 mile) route to get the best view.
Charles and Camilla are accompanied by Household Cavalry as they travel to the abbey on a magnificent coach pulled by six horses.
London Metropolitan Police Service announced that Saturday will be the largest policing day in London in many years, with over 11,500 officers in London. The security of the event was brought into sharp focus this week after a man arrested outside Buckingham Palace for allegedly throwing suspected shotgun ammunition into the palace grounds.
The event was not without controversy, despite its splendor. Many have criticized the lavish spending of millions of pounds on a lavish event at a time of severe economic crisis for millions of Britons.
The ceremony will begin at 6 a.m. local (6 a.m. ET) and last around two hours. This is about an hour shorter than Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. The ceremony is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) and last for around two hours - about an hour less than Elizabeth II's 1953 coronation.
While the congregation will include around 2,300 people, it will be smaller than in 1953, when temporary structures were built within the abbey for the over 8,000 guests on the list. The royal family, members of the House of Lords and representatives of 203 countries, including dozens of head of state, will all be present Saturday.
The ceremony will have a strong religious element, as Charles is not only the head of state of 14 countries including the United Kingdom, but also the Supreme Governor of Church of England. The Archbishop Justin Welby will lead the ceremony, who is the spiritual leader of Church.
Earl Marshal the Duke of Norfolk said that the Anglican service would also include "representation of other faiths in order to reflect the modern diversity of Britain." His family is responsible for orchestrating official occasions since 1482.
Charles will be the first monarch in history to publicly pray at his coronation. In his prayer, he will ask that he "become a blessing" for people of "all faiths and convictions."
The coronation will still follow the traditional format that has been in place for over 1,000 years. The coronation will consist of the acts such as recognition, swearing, anointing and investiture, then crowning.
Music will be a major part of the ceremony. Five new compositions, including one by Andrew Lloyd Webber (a composer best known for his West End musicals), have been commissioned.
The majority of the ceremony is visible to the congregation as well as the television cameras. However, the anointment - the part that is considered most sacred - will take place behind the screen.
Charles' consort Camilla is also crowned during a simpler, shorter part of the ceremony.
After the formalities are over, the newly-crowned King and Queen ride back to Buckingham Palace in a larger parade, where they'll be welcomed with a royal salute.
The pageantry and pomp will end with the traditional balcony appearance of the King and family, as they join the crowds in the below viewing a flypast by more than 60 planes.
Controversies before the big day
The coronation was a historical event, but it wasn't without controversy.
Lambeth Palace in London, home of the Archbishop, said that the "homage to peers" would be replaced by a "honoring of the people." The palace announced that the British public and those from "other Realms" were invited to pledge allegiance for the first-time to the new monarch, his "heirs, and successors."
Some parts of the British media and the public, however, interpreted this invitation as a command. They reported that people were both "asked" and called to swear allegiance.
Republic, an anti-monarchy campaign group, called the idea "offensive and tone deaf, as well as a gesture which holds the people in disdain."
Jonathan Dimbleby is a veteran broadcaster, and a close friend of King George VI. He told BBC Radio 4 Friday that this initiative was "well-intentioned," but "rather unwise."
"I cannot think of anything that he'd find more abhorrent. He has never sought to be revered. Dimbleby stated that Charles has never asked for anyone to pay him homage, except as a mocking joke.
The cost of staging this state event during a time of cost-of living crisis has also been questioned.
Earlier this week, a controversial UK public order law that was widely criticized came into effect.
Since the death last year of Queen Elizabeth II, anti-monarchists have shown up at royal engagements in order to air their grievances.
The King signed new laws into law on Tuesday just days before his coronation. These rules empower the police to take more aggressive action against peaceful protestors.
According to the UK Home Office, from Wednesday, protest tactics that have been used for decades, such as locking-on, in which protesters attach themselves physically to objects like buildings, may result in a six-month jail sentence or an "unlimited" fine.
Republic stated that it received a letter detailing the new police powers from the Home Office and requested the campaign group "to forward this letter to any of your members likely to be impacted by these legislative amendments." The group said that they interpreted the letter to be "a passive/aggressive threat against a legitimate protest movement" and would not back down.
The King faces serious challenges despite the pomp and circumstance of Saturday. CNN found that Britons were more likely than not to believe their opinion of the monarchy has worsened over the last decade.
Savanta, a polling firm that conducted the survey for CNN in March, found Prince William, Charles' son, is more popular than his father.
The poll revealed that despite their cool attitude towards the King most Britons plan to attend at least one coronation event this weekend. Many communities are planning street parties or lunches.
The "Coronation Concert", featuring Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, will be held at Windsor Castle Sunday evening. People are encouraged to take advantage of Monday, the last day of the long holiday weekend, by volunteering in their local communities.
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