London is an exciting place to be during the King’s Coronation. This significant event in British history celebrates the ascension of the new King. And on Saturday, May 6, 2023, King Charles III will be the 40th monarch to be crowned in Westminster Abbey. The Coronation of the King and the Queen Consort will be marked with special events across the country, including a concert at Windsor Castle, and a spectacular fireworks display. There’s no better place than London to experience the pomp and ceremony that comes with such a momentous event.
1. Watch the Coronation Ceremony, Procession & Flypast
Set up a viewing party with your family and friends and watch the King’s Coronation on TV along with millions of people from around the word. Or join the crowds to watch the festivities on jumbo screens at free screening sites in Hyde Park, Green Park or St. James’s Park. More than 30 screens will be set up in cities around the UK.
The Coronation Procession
The Coronation Procession is a must-see event, and it’s free to watch from the streets of London. You can catch a glimpse of the King and The Queen Consort as they travel in a procession in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. After the Coronation service, King Charles III and Queen Camilla will travel in the Gold State Coach from Westminster Abbey, back to Buckingham Palace.
Royal Balcony & Flypast
Members of the “working” Royal Family will appear on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. Watch the breathtaking Coronation Flypast of more than 60 military aircraft over the skies of London. Be prepared for huge crowds in London, especially along the procession route, the Mall and at Buckingham Palace.
2. See Buckingham Palace & The Changing of the Guard
Walk along the Mall to Buckingham Palace. Thousands of well-wishers will be there to catch a glimpse of the Royals on the Palace balcony. And be sure to check schedules to see London’s famous Changing of the Guard.
3. Visit Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is the site of many royal events, including coronations, weddings and funerals. The Coronation of King Charles III will take place on May 6, 2023 (by invitation only). The service, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, will begin at 11am. During your visit to London, take a tour of Westminster Abbey. Admire its beautiful architecture and see its magnificent stained glass windows, tombs, and monuments.
4. Take a Scenic Thames River Cruise
Take a scenic day or evening Thames River cruise and admire views of London’s iconic landmarks from the water. It’s a great way to see the city skyline and take part in the Coronation celebrations. Or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Thames River and see London’s top attractions, including the Shard (London’s tallest building), Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, and HMS Belfast.
5. Visit the Tower of London
The Tower of London, a historic castle and former royal palace, is one of the city’s top tourist attractions. Explore its rich history and see the priceless Crown Jewels. During the Coronation, the Tower of London will be filled with exhibitions and displays to celebrate the special once-in-a-lifetime occasion.
6. Enjoy a Picnic in Hyde Park – a London Screening Site
Hyde Park is one of London’s largest parks and a great place to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day. The park also is one of London’s free screening sites where you can mingle with the crowds and watch the King’s Coronation Ceremony and Procession on jumbo screens. Other screening sites around London include Green Park and St. James’s Park.
7. Explore the British Museum
The British Museum is one of the world’s finest museums. It’s home to many historic artifacts and treasures from around the globe. During the coronation, the museum will be filled with exhibitions and displays related to the history of the British monarchy. It makes a fun and educational day out for the whole family. Open daily. Free admission.
8. Attend a Street Party
The King’s Coronation is a great excuse for a party, and there will be street parties all over London to celebrate the special occasion. So put on your dancing shoes and join in the fun as you welcome your new King of England!
9. Visit the National Gallery
The National Gallery is a world-renowned art museum with an impressive collection of masterpieces, including Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. It’s one of our favorite London museums, conveniently located in the heart of Trafalgar Square. We could have easily spent the day here if we’d had more time during our last visit to London. There’s so much to see. The museum also has a fantastic cafe and restaurant. Open daily and admission is free.
10. Go to a Show
London’s West End is renowned for its theater scene. And many shows offer afternoon matinees. Attend a play, musical, or ballet for a night of entertainment.
Get Tickets to London Shows
London is a fantastic place to be during the Coronation of a King, and there are plenty of activities and events to keep you busy. There’s something for everyone in this vibrant and historic city. So make the most of your time and enjoy all that London has to offer.
Tips & Reminders
- Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be doing a lot of London walking, waiting, and standing.
- You might want to build up your walking endurance prior to your visit as it tends to be an exhausting day when dealing with all the crowds.
- Stay hydrated. Bring bottled water because many of the lines for refreshments will be long.
- Wear a hat if it’s sunny. Yes, London does have sunny days! 🙂
- Bring binoculars so you can see the Royals riding by on the coaches, and later, when they make an appearance on the Palace balcony.
TV Viewing Tips
The Coronation Ceremony begins at 11am London time, 6am EST New York time, and 3am PST LA time. For viewers watching at home in the UK, the event will be broadcast live on BBC, ITV and Sky. As for U.S. viewers, check local listings for coverage. We’ll be taping the festivities and setting our alarms to catch the early morning show in San Francisco.