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LONDON — In a ceremony of pageantry, quirks and historical custom, King Charles III, Britain’s 62nd monarch, was on Saturday formally crowned head of state of the United Kingdom 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 ceremony 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 Offering, numerous sceptres and an orb. The king was anointed with holy oil by way of a coronation spoon, whereas the watching public had been provided the prospect to declare their loyalty by proclaiming: “God save King Charles.”
Among the two,000 friends had been French President Emmanuel Macron and his spouse, Brigitte. First Lady Jill Biden, the spouse of U.S. President Joe Biden, was additionally current, accompanied by her granddaughter, Finnegan. She wore blue and gold apparel, interpreted as assist for Ukraine, whose flags share the identical colours. The U.S. president himself selected to not attend.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sat beside President of the European Council Charles Michel, regardless of long-standing tensions between Brussels’ two most outstanding politicians. European Parliament President Roberta Metsola was additionally in the congregation.
U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry was seen talking briefly to former U.Okay. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, now president for world affairs at Meta. King Charles has been a life-long campaigner on the atmosphere.
U.Okay. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who gave a studying through the service, was joined by senior members of his Cabinet and in addition to all his dwelling predecessors, together with Tony Blair, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss — the latter having served in Downing Street for simply 49 days final yr. Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, a member of Sunak’s Cabinet, took a number one function in the ceremony, carrying the sword of state attributable to her ceremonial function as lord president of the privy council.
Keir Starmer, chief of the U.Okay.’s opposition Labour Party, sat subsequent to the chief of the Liberal Democrats, Ed Davey, whereas leaders of the devolved nations in the U.Okay. had 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 youngsters.
Also current had 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. Zheng’s attendance had been a topic of controversy in the U.Okay. attributable to his central function in China’s latest repression of Hong Kong.
There had 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 in the Abbey.
Britain is a constitutional monarchy, and as head of state King Charles has a ceremonial function 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.
However, the flexibility to make and cross laws rests with politicians in an elected parliament.
Thousands of flag-carrying members of the general public loved one other British custom — mild summer season drizzle — as they gathered in the early hours alongside the procession route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. Before the coronation, the pinnacle of the U.Okay.’s main republican motion, which held a protest in Trafalgar Square, was amongst these arrested by police.
Members of the royal household had been attributable to collect on the Buckingham Palace balcony later Saturday afternoon forward of a collection of celebratory occasions happening Sunday, together with a pop live performance at Windsor Castle. Monday has been designated a public vacation in Britain to mark the event.