His Majesty is in the building! King Charles III arrived at his official coronation ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage.
The former Prince of Wales, 74, waved to onlookers in the rain on Saturday, May 6, as the procession left Buckingham Palace and rode through the streets of London. He sat in a gilded gold and black carriage as world leaders and notable celebrities filled Westminster Abbey. On his way to the service, Charles passed a statue of his late grandmother, the Queen Mother.
Queen Camilla arrived alongside her husband for the historic event. The first time a Queen Consort has been crowned since 1937. According to ABC News, the ceremony only takes place for female consorts, meaning the late Prince Philip did not have an official crowning.
Charles and Camilla, 75, will be surrounded by many of their loved ones — including Charles’ children, Prince William and Prince Harry — during the momentous occasion. The palace confirmed last month that Harry, 38, would attend the event without his wife, Meghan Markle.
“Buckingham Palace is pleased to confirm that The Duke of Sussex will attend the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on May 6th,” an April 12 statement read. “The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.”
A source subsequently told Us Weekly that Meghan’s decision to stay home was influenced by the coronation falling on the same day as her and Harry’s son Archie’s 4th birthday. The duo — who tied the knot in 2018 — also share daughter Lilibet, 23 months.
“As much as Meghan appreciates the invite to the coronation, she wouldn’t miss her son’s birthday for the world,” the insider shared. “Despite being the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan is a mom first.”
The king, for his part, would’ve liked both of the Archewell cofounders to be present for the big day.
“Charles is sad that Meghan will not be in attendance. Charles was hoping the coronation would be a chance to better connect and maintain healing between them,” another source told Us in April.
Harry’s presence at the coronation marks his first time reuniting with his family since his grandmother’s funeral in September 2022 — and since the January release of his bombshell memoir, Spare. The Duke of Sussex has spoken out against the U.K. media and senior members of the royal family on several occasions since he and Meghan, 41, stepped back from their roles as senior royals in 2020.
Despite being estranged from his family amid his criticism of The Firm, Harry has expressed a desire to reconcile with his father and brother.
“I would like to get my father back. I would like to have my brother back,” he said during his January ITV interview.
Although the BetterUp CIO was invited to attend Charles’ coronation, royal expert Tessa Dunlop previously told Us that the family reunion might be “a bit of a nightmare” for him.
“I was watching the body language when he came out of St George’s Chapel when [Elizabeth] had finally been laid to rest on the last day of the funeral itself. He was helping Meghan into the car and he just wasn’t a man who was comfortable in his skin,” the Century Girls author said. “And this time he’s coming over without the support of Meghan.”
Family drama aside, the coronation ceremony will kick off a weekend of celebrations including a concert on the East Lawn of Windsor Castle on Sunday, May 7. American Idol judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie are among the artists slated to perform.