14 CORONATION RULES KING CHARLES HAS TO FOLLOW—AND 5 MAJOR RULES HE'S BREAKING
King Charles became England's official monarch the second his mother Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8, 2022, but his official coronation is going down in May—and will be full of pomp and circumstance. Not to mention orbs, scepters, and hopefully a delightful array of hilarious hats (though actually, they might be banned, more on that in a minute).
As we all know, the British royals are pretty much obsessed with protocol, and King Charles's coronation will be no exception. There are a ton of rules he'll be expected to follow, some of which stem from a straight-up rule book called the Liber Regalis, which was written in 1308. Of course, several traditions have been changed and amended over the years—and King Charles's coronation is expected to be much more modern than Queen Elizabeth's was back in 1953. Even so, royal protocol will be a thing, so here's what to expect.
The Royal Coronation Rules
- King Charles has to walk up the aisle of Westminster Abbey, just like he'd do at a royal wedding.
- He has to take the coronation oath, which is the only part of the ceremony actually required by law. Per the House of Commons website, "The wording of this oath has constantly evolved to reflect changes to the territorial composition of the U.K. and the wider Commonwealth."
- He has to sit in King Edward's chair, which was made in 1300 and has been used by every Sovereign since the 1600s.
- At some point he'll be wearing an ermine fur, though this could be axed considering other tweaks to Charles's outfit that we'll get to in a moment.
- He has to be anointed by the "coronation spoon," which is part of the Crown Jewels.
- Speaking of anointing, Charles will wear a simple white gown during this part of the ceremony—if he follows tradition—and will be covered by a canopy.
- Charles will likely wear the a "cap of maintenance" until he gets crowned, which is basically a fancy fabric hat.
- He has to hold an orb and scepter.
- He has to appear on Buckingham Palace's balcony following the coronation—where the rest of the royal family will join him.
- Princesses and princes typically wear a special "coronet" during the ceremony. (Prince William's will be extra fancy since he's the heir.)
- As for guests, men are expected to be in uniform or morning dress, while women in 1953 were asked to wear evening or afternoon dresses with a veil.
- Hats are not permitted (but tiaras are).
- Charles has to wear St. Edward's Crown, the official crown of the monarch.
So, What "Rules" Will Charles Break?
- He won't wear silk stockings and breeches and will instead wear a military uniform. (A source told The Sun, "Senior aides think breeches look too dated.”)
- Dukes no longer have to kneel and swear allegiance. However, The Sun reports that Prince William may do so as a symbolic gesture.
- Peers may be allowed to wear lounge suits instead of ceremonial robes, per the Daily Mail.
- Charles won't be presented with a bunch of gold bars.
- Traditional velvet chairs won't be used for guests.
And that's it for now!