Tea coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla is less than a week, with London gearing up to host the historic event.
The service in Westminster Abbey will start at 11am on Saturday 6 May 2023 – the first weekend coronation in more than a century. The UK will then get an extra bank holiday on Monday 8 May.
The King and his wife will travel the 1.3-mile journey to the church in the Diamond Jubilee State Coachleaving Buckingham Palace before heading down The Mall via Admiralty Arch, turning to go through Whitehall and then around the east and south sides of Parliament Square to Broad Sanctuary.
After the ceremony, they will take the reverse of that route back to the palace, a shorter journey than Charles’ mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, took after her coronation in 1953, when she waved to crowds along Piccadilly, Oxford Street and Regent Street.
There’s no ticketing if you want to join the strong of people hoping to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family but it’s best to plan in advance. Organizers have already started preparing for large crowds, with stands being put up outside Buckingham Palace and at Horse Guards Parade near Westminster Abbey.
Where are the best places to watch the coronation processions?
As mentioned, it’s going to take some serious advance planning to grab a good spot – there were reports of people camping out 48 hours before the platinum jubilee celebrations to secure their space in 2022.
For those who have their sights set on a great view, there are a number of vantage points to aim for.
Buckingham Palace is where the proceedings begin and end, and is also where the working members of the Royal Family will assemble on the balcony, when there will also be a large formation flypast.
Another place to base yourself is along The Mall, a favorite with crowds during royal events. Although you might not get to see much of the procession from St James’s Park, it’s likely to be a winning spot for atmosphere (and there could be large screens showing the procession and service, though this hasn’t been confirmed).
Elsewhere, you could plant yourself at Trafalgar Square, along Whitehall or in Parliament Square, just outside of Westminster Abbey.
Where are the nearest Tube stations?
The closest London Underground stations along the route are:
- St. James’ Park (District and Circle lines)
- Green Park (Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee lines)
- Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines)
- Westminster (Circle, District and Jubilee lines)
During the platinum jubilee weekend last summer, there were limited opening times and some closures on the stations listed above. However, Transport for London (TfL) has said that there are no planned closures across its network on the day of the coronation. There will be no Night Tube on Sunday, 7 May.
A statement said: “TfL services may be very busy, particularly during the day on Saturday at key transport interchanges, but customers will be able to get to where they need to go. Some short-term safety measures such as queuing, temporary station or road closures, or changes to the way customers enter or exit a station may be necessary.”
What about taking the bus?
There will be some changes to bus routes and times due to road closures. There are plenty of bus stops close to the procession route but check tfl.gov.uk to find the best option depending on your starting point and any alterations; you can also visit TfL’s bus status updates.
People may find it easier to get around central London on foot, TfL states on its website.
Victoria Coach Station, which is just a mile from Westminster Abbey, was closed during the Queen’s funeral last year. It will remain open throughout the Coronation, but some passengers will face diversions and extended journeys because normal routes through Westminster will be closed.
Two National Express stops in central London, where coaches normally pick up and drop off, will be suspended: at Marble Arch and Victoria railway station.
What are the roads looking like?
The AA has issued a travel update reminding people driving on the corornation weekend to expect traffic restrictions and diversions, especially where roads are closed temporarily to allow street parties to go ahead safely.
It recommends checking council websites for planned closures.
Is there disruption to trains?
There’s no major engineering work affecting London stations on 6 May, according to the National Rail.
On Sunday 7 May, work is taking place at London Victoria that will see no Southern trains to and from the station, and no Gatwick Express services. Buses will be replacing trains between West Hampstead Thameslink and London St Pancras International before 9am.
Southeastern and Govia Thameslink, which operates Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink, will operate with more carriages.
Thameslink and Great Northern have confirmed that they will be running a Sunday service on all routes on the bank holiday Monday.
Great Western Railway will run “very early” trains from South Wales and the west of England to Paddington, with an “enhanced service” between Windsor and Slough on 7 May and in the early hours of 8 May when around 10,000 people are expected at the coronation concert at Windsor Castle.
South Western Railway will run extra trains between London Waterloo and Windsor.