Two thousand guests will gather in Westminster Abbey for the King’s coronation, but who are the central figures on the day and behind the scenes?
Charles III was the longest-serving heir to the throne before becoming monarch on September 8 2022 on the death of his mother Elizabeth II.
The bestowal of the coronation crown upon his head will cement him as King in the nation’s psyche.
Known for his troubled marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales, Charles, 74, found happiness with his former mistress, now the Queen Consort and his wife of nearly 20 years.
The Queen Consort
The spotlight will also be on Camilla when she is anointed and crowned within the gothic walls of the abbey.
Down to earth, warm and friendly, the former Duchess of Cornwall, 75, is known for her work on literacy, campaigns against domestic and sexual violence, and decades-long support of the King.
The Earl Marshal – the Duke of Norfolk – is in overall charge of the coronation – a role which is hereditary.
He was banned from driving for six months in September for using his mobile phone behind the wheel despite claiming he needed his licence to arrange the upcoming coronation.
The duke, who is reported to be worth more than £100 million, apparently oversees proceedings with a “mixture of flair, timing, absolute precision and with great humour”, but is also reported to be somewhat “pompous”.
A Privy Council “Coronation Committee” is usually formed to oversee the planning.
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop – Most Revd Justin Welby – anoints and crowns the King and Queen Consort.
The archbishop has admitted the coronation is giving him “nightmares”, saying: “I dreamt we got to the point (of the coronation) and I’d left the crown at Lambeth Palace.”
Dean of Westminster
The Dean of Westminster, as successor to the medieval abbots of Westminster, has the right to instruct the sovereign in all matters relating to the ceremony and to assist the archbishop at the anointing.
The Prince and Princess of Wales
As heir to the throne and a future king, William will be watching a ceremony he will one day be at the centre of himself.
Kate, too, is a future queen and will, like Camilla, be anointed and crowned one day.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis
George, Charlotte and Louis – if William and Kate feel their youngest child can endure the solemn ceremony – are all expected to make an appearance at the coronation to see history in the making as their grandfather is crowned.
The trio will also be expected on the Buckingham Palace balcony afterwards – with royal fans hoping for a repeat of Louis’s antics during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The Duke of Sussex
Harry is not expected to have a formal role on the day but all eyes will be on the duke as he faces his relatives in public for the first time since he lambasted Charles, Camilla, William and Kate in his tell-all memoir Spare.
A source told the Daily Telegraph part of the reason why Meghan is not attending is because she did not receive a satisfactory response to a letter she sent to Charles expressing concern about unconscious bias in the royal family.
But Meghan’s spokesperson denied this and said any suggestion she was thinking about correspondence from two years ago was “false and frankly ridiculous”.
Harry has indicated he has enough material to fill another book, likely to make the royals wary of encountering him.
He will make a quick exit though, flying back to the US to mark Archie’s birthday, and is expected to attend only the Abbey ceremony.