LONDON’S 12 BEST CORONATION EVENTS TO CELEBRATE KING CHARLES III
Top Royal Knees Ups for the Big Bank Holiday Weekend
On Saturday 6 May, London will be enveloped in bunting as Liberace carriages and achingly safe pop stars are unleashed on the capital to mark the coronation of our shiny, new King Charles III.
Royalists and Republicans can all agree that an extra bank holiday is always a good idea. And if you’re looking for somewhere to digest this moment of history and get your Victoria Sponge kicks, check out our round-up of the capital’s top 12 experiences to mark the royal occasion.
King Charles III Coronation Procession
You can gawp at The King’s Procession to the Westminster Abbey service on the morning of 6 May for free.
It will start at Buckingham Palace and then head down The Mall, followed by St James’s Park, through the Horse Guards Parade and down Parliament Street, ending at Westminster Abbey.
There will be numerous big screens studding the route and hundreds of thousands of flag-wavers are expected, so it’s advised to get there early.
Public viewing areas open at 6am along the route. Royals start arriving from 9.30am. 6 May.
The Royal Palace at Madame Tussauds
Fancy snooping around Buckingham Palace and taking some selfies with the King and Queen Consort? Well, you can at Madame Tussaud’s replica of Charles and Camilla’s fancy digs, before bothering a few corgis, waving from the royal balcony and enjoying the obligatory afternoon tea.
Madame Tussauds, Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5LR. £36 per adult online.
London Eye's ‘Coronation Capsule’
If watching the coronation isn’t enough, you can now experience what it’s like to become king, while gazing down at your peasants and capital beneath you from the London Eye’s new, Coronation Capsule.
One of the pods has been transformed into a slice of Westminster Abbey, where you can sit in a recreation of the 700-year-old coronation throne, holding your crown jewels (get your mind out of the gutter) and toasting yourself with champagne while gently circling over the Big Smoke’s skyline.
London Eye, South Bank, SE1 7PB. £60 pp. Until 8 May.
King’s Road Coronation Festival
The Royal Borough’s King's Road knew it couldn’t get away with a few limp, cucumber sarnies, so it’s gone all out with a wonderfully eccentric, coronation themed festival. Expect a parade of more than 100 King Charles Spaniels as well as Chelsea Pensioners marching in a “stick pacing” display. Sloane Square to Cheltenham Terrace will be pedestrianised with picnic tables, a sustainable food market and regal decorations and Royal Avenue will unveil a giant, floral installation of the Royal Crest and Coronation emblem.
King's Road 6 May, 11am - 5.30pm. FREE.
Westminster Abbey Coronation Afternoon Tea
You might not be allowed in Westminster Abbey on the morning of the coronation, unless you bag yourself a particularly sparkly tiara. But from 8 May until 31 July, you can enjoy an afternoon tea inspired by King Charles at the Abbey’s Cellarium.
The dishes reflect the King’s “passion for sustainability, with British ingredients.” And it comes in at a very reasonable £35.
Westminster Abbey Cellarium, Westminster Abbey, Dean's Yard, The Sanctuary, London SW1P 3PA. £35 pp
Mayfair’s Coronation Garden Party
Grosvenor Square will be bursting with floral installations and botanical, Insta-worthy tablescapes for its big party, which includes an outdoor screening of the coronation, live music performances, cocktails, English wines, regal food and family-friendly entertainment, like face-painting, jewellery-making, crafts and giant garden games.
Grosvenor Square. 10am - 8pm on Saturday 6 May, and from 12pm until the end of the Windsor Castle concert on Sunday 7 May.
King Charles III's Coronation Walking Tour
Starting at his Buckingham Palace gaff, this two-hour guided tour takes in all the royal sights, from St James’ Palace to the Changing of the Guards ceremony. And you’ll learn about lesser known spots, like Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite off-licence (she and Winston Churchill bought their fags from the same tobacconist) and Prince Philip’s former barbers. You’ll also take in the Crown Estate and discover some of HR’s top hangouts and shops. Coronation Walking Tour. Meet and depart from Buckingham Palace at 10am daily, Buckingham Gate, Tourist Bus Stop, SW1A 1AA (outside Queens Gallery). Until 31 December. Adult £15pp Child £10pp
The Ritz Coronation Ball
If you’re feeling particularly regal - and have a spare £1,250 to drop for a ticket - you can mark the crown-addled event at The Ritz’s impossibly swish coronation ball.
A Bollinger Champagne reception will be followed by a five-course dinner at the Michelin-star restaurant, plus entertainment from the 19-piece BBC Big Band and Elle and the Pocket Belles swing musicians.
The Palm Court and The Ritz Restaurant 150 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1J 9BR. 6 May.
Royal Coronation Boat Party
Fancy getting royally hungover until 6am in the name of our new King? Then board the Party! Party! Royal Coronation Boat from Westminster Pier. As you sail down the Thames past the capital’s illuminated, nighttime skyline you can enjoy two decks of music, dancing and booze, because bars can stay open until silly o’clock on the water. Chin, chin.
Party! Party! Coronation Boat. Meet at Westminster pier, Victoria Embankment at 7.45pm to 6am. 6 and 7 May. £20-£40.
Hotel Café Royal King Charles III Package
Hotel Café Royal lives up to its regal title with a series of eye-wateringly extra, bespoke packages to celebrate King Charles III. It includes a dusk viewing of the crown jewels and the full King Charles III package, featuring a chauffeur driven London tour in the Queen Mother’s Daimler, Champagne afternoon tea, breakfast and an overnight stay at the luxurious, 5 star hotel.
Hotel Cafe Royal,10 Air St, London W1B 5AB. Until 1 October. From £2,625.
Fortnum & Mason Coronation Tea
Eat like a King at Chucky’s favourite, palace grocer Fortnum & Mason. The royal warrants holder has created a new afternoon tea experience inspired by His Majesty's favourite ingredients - Welsh lamb scotch egg with wild herb aioli will be a nod to Charles’ fondness for the famed Welsh export, while native Coronation lobster is enhanced with Coronation spice, created exclusively for His Majesty.
The Coronation Afternoon Tea will be served in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon seven days a week.They have also created a new, organic Darjeeling tea to mark the coronation, which can be enjoyed as part of the experience.
Fortnum & Mason The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason. 181 Piccadilly, St. James's, London, W1A 1ER View map. From £78 pp
The Dorchester Recreates 1953 Facade for HM the King
To celebrate the coronation, The Dorchester has recreated the decorations used for his mother’s coronation in 1953 on its famous façade. The original decorations were by British stage set designer Oliver Messel, including dramatic draping across the hotel balconies, to make it look like a theatre interior. The hotel will also launch its Champagne Coronation Afternoon Tea (£125 pp including gift) and will unveil regal floral decorations. The Dorchester’s new Vesper Bar, will also be serving a special ‘Sovereign Martini’ inspired by The King’s favourite tipple. The stir will use Wessex gin, Royal Garden mead, dry vermouth, lavender bitter and orange scent. The Dorchester, 53 Park Ln, London W1K 1QA