Discover how to celebrate HM King Charles III’s Coronation in London, from exciting bank holiday events to the finest British afternoon tea. Read here.
The Best Coronation Events in London
The first weekend of May 2023 (6th – 8th May) will see the momentous occasion of the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty Queen Camilla. While celebrations will be taking place across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, London is certain to be at the heart of the proceedings with a plethora of events marking the occasion in the capital. Whether you will be a guest of The Ritz during this historic bank holiday weekend, a resident of London or visiting from abroad, here is The Ritz’s guide to the best coronation events in London.
Firstly, an unmissable Coronation Concert will take place on the grounds of Windsor Castle on Sunday 7th May. If you aren’t one of the lucky ticket holders, you can still enjoy the world-class performances as the BBC will be broadcasting the event live across their network. Why not host a viewing party with friends and family to get into the spirit? Expect a star-studded line up including Take That, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Andrea Bocelli, as well as many more dancers and performers. In line with HM The King’s wishes, tickets will also be donated to those working for charitable organisations.
Additionally, during the day there will be the Coronation Big Lunch, an initiative organised by the Eden Project and so a natural partner for the Coronation thanks to HM The King’s passion for protecting the environment. The Big Lunch will be a delicious and joyous way to celebrate the regal occasion while getting to know your neighbours and other members of your local community. Whether you decide to share traditional dishes from the different cultures within your community or enjoy English classics, The Big Lunch will no doubt be a delightful event, creating friendships that will last long after the weekend is over. Somebody pass the Pimms!
To mark the Coronation, there is an extra bank holiday in the United Kingdom on Monday 8th May, meaning the celebrations need not stop on Sunday. If you are spending the bank holiday weekend in London what better way to spend a day than taking part in The Big Help Out? You can volunteer to spend the day (or even just an hour or two) helping out those in need in the local area. Be it providing companionship to an elderly member of the community, participating in a litter pick in a local woodland area or helping out at a youth charity or food bank, there are so many ways for people to get involved and make a real difference. As charity work is close to HM The King’s heart, it seems only right that one of the official Coronation events of the bank holiday weekend encourages others to discover a cause to get behind too. Why not get a group of friends together to volunteer, as the more people who get involved, the bigger the change that can be made.
If you are looking for more bank holiday events in London, luckily the capital is home to several royal attractions, such as Hampton Court Palace, The Tower of London, The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace and the Household Cavalry Museum. From the Changing of the Guard to priceless works of art and even the Crown Jewels, there’s a whole host of royal sights and artefacts to see to help soak up the atmosphere of the coronation in London.
If you’re in the capital as a family, these attractions know how to keep children entertained while also teaching them about English royal history. The Tower of London is hosting the ‘Coronation Bench Trail’, inviting families to discover a series of benches designed by school children, inspired by the values of HM King Charles III.
Over at Kensington Palace, the much-anticipated ‘Crown to Couture’ exhibition will run until October. On display will be over 200 items ranging from 18th-century court suits and gowns of the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection to red-carpet looks worn by Beyoncé and Lizzo. Described as the ‘fashion show of the centuries’, this exhibition shows visitors how the Royal Family and its palaces remain innovative and at the forefront of culture in modern society.
Elsewhere, Westminster Abbey will be displaying their Coronation Exhibition in the Chapter House. Having been the location where Kings and Queens of England have been crowned for almost a millennium, there is unparalleled history and insight into the ancient royal ceremony on show at Westminster Abbey. Running until the end of September, this is a must-see for 2023.
Finally, if history isn’t where your interests lie but you wish to feel part of the celebrations in London, head to Regent Street where the iconic shopping destination will be adorned with 175 coronation union jacks. Seeing the skies filled with red, white and blue is sure to get you into the royal spirit and while you’re there, there’s plenty to do. Head to the world’s finest toy store, Hamleys, and pick up a limited-edition coronation teddy bear or perhaps peruse the works of British homeware and fashion designers at one of London’s most beloved department stores, Liberty.
Coronation Weekend: The Royal Processions
Of course, the main event of the bank holiday weekend in London will be the royal processions on Saturday 6th May. This will start with ‘The King’s Procession’ in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. The route will take Their Majesties down The Mall, through Admiralty Arch, along Whitehall and Parliament Street, before arriving at Broad Sanctuary. From 11am, the official Coronation ceremony of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty Queen Camilla will be conducted by The Archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Abbey.
Following the ceremony, Their Majesties will return to Buckingham Palace in a grander procession called ‘The Coronation Procession’, during which The King and Queen will be joined by other members of the Royal Family. The procession will include members of the Armed Forces from across the Commonwealth in what is sure to be a spectacular display of pageantry. Finally, in line with tradition, the newly coronated King and Queen, as well as other members of the Royal Family, will appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to greet members of the public lining the Mall.
To truly feel a part of the proceedings and take in the atmosphere of this historic procession, be sure to head down early to secure a place on the route from the Palace to Westminster Abbey and don’t forget to bring a union jack! The royal processions will be televised if you prefer to view the event from the comfort of your home.
Regal Celebrations in Mayfair
Mayfair will be the place to be during the first weekend of May, located just a hop and a skip from Buckingham Palace itself, next to leafy Royal parks Hyde Park and Green Park, and home to Royal Warrant holding businesses.
One of the key events in Mayfair over the celebratory weekend will be the Mayfair Coronation Garden Party in Grosvenor Square on 6th and 7th May. There is no ticket required and it is free to attend. Expect a wide selection of food and drink stalls, live music, show-stopping floral installations, big screens, and deckchairs to watch proceedings unfold in the sunshine.
There will also be big screens in Hyde Park, Green Park, and St James’s Park, so bring a picnic and enjoy the show in London’s Royal parks.
Mayfair is well-known for its streets filled with Royal Warrant holding boutiques, such as Paxton & Whitfield and Berry Bros & Rudd, and there’s another Royal Warrant holding icon located at 150 Piccadilly. The Ritz proudly holds a Royal Warrant for Banqueting and Catering Services, awarded by the then HRH Prince of Wales in 2002 and is the first and only hotel to have this honour. This signifies a loyal and rewarding tie to the Royal Family. Throughout the hotel’s rich history, The Ritz has had the honour of hosting royal events such as Her Majesty The Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations and HRH The Prince of Wales’s 54th birthday. Additionally, The Ritz warmly welcomed The Queen Mother on many occasions as she regularly dined in The Ritz Restaurant.
Therefore, naturally, The Ritz will be at the heart of the celebrations, hosting a Coronation Ball in His Majesty’s honour on Saturday 6th May. Guests can expect a dazzling Champagne and Canapé reception in the magnificent Palm Court before enjoying a five-course dinner with wine pairings. They will be entertained throughout the evening by live entertainment including music from the highly acclaimed BBC Big Band. There will also be a chance for guests to head to the dance floor. A momentous event, worthy of the grand celebration.
Indulge in the Finest Afternoon Tea
Even if you aren’t heading to one of the official events of the coronation weekend, there are still plenty of ways to get into the regal spirit of things and celebrate in a truly British fashion. An afternoon tea in the resplendent Palm Court, dressed to the nines and surrounded by friends and family, is the way to do it.
There’s no taste more English than that of fresh Cornish clotted cream and summery strawberry preserve on a warm, fluffy scone. To accompany it, it has to be the nation’s favourite drink, a fine bone china teacup of Ritz Royal English tea. Perfection!
As afternoon tea is credited to having been invented by the Duchess of Bedford, a lifelong friend of Queen Victoria, the tradition of afternoon tea has been a key feature of royal tea times for well over a hundred years. Therefore, as you indulge in our Pastry Chefs’ delightful pastry creations and delicate finger sandwiches, you can rest assured that it’s a most regal way of commemorating the coronation weekend.
If you plan to head to the streets to watch the processions, relax in one of the royal parks to enjoy a picnic (Great British weather depending!) or head to The Ritz for a spot of afternoon tea, we hope you have a spectacular coronation weekend.