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LONDON — In a ceremony of pageantry, quirks and historic custom, King Charles III, Britain’s 62nd monarch, was on Saturday formally topped head of state of the UK and 14 Commonwealth realms.
The king, who succeeds his late mom, Queen Elizabeth II, was coronated at London’s Westminster Abbey alongside his spouse Camilla in a two-hour ceremony attended by world leaders, members of the royal household, international dignitaries, religion leaders, and heads of state.
The historic occasion was overseen by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and punctuated with rituals, regalia, and objects relationship again centuries.
These included oaths, spurs, a Jewelled Sword of Providing, varied sceptres and an orb. The king was anointed with holy oil by way of a coronation spoon, whereas the watching public have been supplied the possibility to declare their loyalty by proclaiming: “God save King Charles.”
Among the many 2,000 visitors have been French President Emmanuel Macron and his spouse, Brigitte. First Girl Jill Biden, the spouse of U.S. President Joe Biden, was additionally current, accompanied by her granddaughter, Finnegan. They wore blue and gold apparel respectively, interpreted as assist for Ukraine, whose flags share the identical colours.
The U.S. president himself selected to not attend, however wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations to King Charles III and Queen Camilla on their Coronation. The enduring friendship between the U.S. and the U.Okay. is a supply of energy for each our peoples. I’m proud the First Girl is representing america for this historic event.”
European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen sat beside President of the European Council Charles Michel, regardless of long-standing tensions between Brussels’ two most distinguished politicians. European Parliament President Roberta Metsola was additionally within the congregation.
U.S. Particular Presidential Envoy for Local weather John Kerry was seen talking briefly to former U.Okay. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, now president for international affairs at Meta. King Charles has been a life-long campaigner on the surroundings.
U.Okay. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who gave a studying throughout the service, was joined by senior members of his Cupboard and in addition to all his dwelling predecessors, together with Tony Blair, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss — the latter having served in Downing Road for simply 49 days final yr. Commons Chief Penny Mordaunt, a member of Sunak’s Cupboard, took a number one position within the ceremony, carrying the sword of state as a consequence of her ceremonial position as lord president of the privy council.
Keir Starmer, chief of the U.Okay.’s opposition Labour Get together, sat subsequent to the chief of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, whereas leaders of the devolved nations within the U.Okay. have been additionally in attendance. Prince Harry was seated amongst members of the U.Okay. royal household, although his spouse, Meghan Markle, remained in California with their kids.
Additionally current have been the presidents of Germany and Italy, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Sergio Mattarella, China’s vice-president, Han Zheng, and the prime minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif. Han’s attendance had been a subject of controversy within the U.Okay. as a consequence of his central position in China’s repression of Hong Kong.
There have been additionally leaders from the 14 Commonwealth nations for whom Charles is head of state, together with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand’s Chris Hipkins, in addition to representatives from Grenada, Papa New Guinea, the Bahamas and others.
Celebrities equivalent to singer Katy Perry, chef Jamie Oliver, actor Emma Thompson, and British TV duo Ant and Dec additionally took seats within the Abbey.
Britain is a constitutional monarchy, and as head of state King Charles has a ceremonial position in opening and dissolving parliament, appointing a authorities, and approving payments earlier than they grow to be legislation. He additionally meets weekly with Sunak, the prime minister.
Nonetheless, the power to make and move laws rests with politicians in an elected parliament.
Hundreds of flag-carrying members of the general public loved one other British custom — gentle summer time drizzle — as they gathered within the early hours alongside the procession route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. Earlier than the coronation, the top of the U.Okay.’s main republican motion, which held a protest in Trafalgar Sq., was amongst these arrested by police.
Members of the royal household have been gathered on the Buckingham Palace balcony later Saturday afternoon forward of a sequence of celebratory occasions happening Sunday, together with a pop live performance at Windsor Fortress. Monday has been designated a public vacation in Britain to mark the event.
This text is being up to date because the ceremonies proceed.