Coronation of Charles III

The coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as king and queen of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms took place on Saturday 6th May 2023 at Westminster Abbey in London. Charles accended to the throne on Thursday 8th September, upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.  The religious ceremony, which was structured around an Anglican service of Holy Communion, was highly symbolic.  It included Charles being anointed, receiving the coronation regalia and being crowned, emphasising his spiritual role and secular responsibilities.  Charles and Camilla's coronation service was altered from past British coronations to represent multiple faiths, cultures and communities across the United Kingdom, and was shorter than his mother's coronation in June 1953.

A Christian Orthodox chant of Psalm 71 was sung in Greek during the Exchange of the Swords ritual.  The psalm, which consists a prayer to God to bless a new king and lead him to be righteous and deliver justice, was expertly sung by the seven Greek musicians forming the Byzantine Chant Ensemble.  The Greek Psalm was sung in recognition of His Majesty's father Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh, who was born in Corfu and was a member of the former Greek royal family.  The Byzantine Chant Ensemble was led by Greek-Canadian music professor Dr. Alexander Lingas, who formed the ensemble especially for the coronation.  Lingas was named Archon Mousikodidaskalos (Chief Music Instructor) by Ecumenical Patriach Bartholomew in 2018.

The President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, attended the coronation ceremony in London.  FolIowing the coronation, she said "I want to congratulate King Charles and Queen Camilla on their enthronement on behalf of the Greek people but also personally, and wish them a long and successful course.  I am confident that King Charles will continue the work of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth, while mainaining an undiminished interest in meeting the challenges of our time.  Knowing his love for Greece, I am convinced that he will make a desisive contribution to the further strengthening of our bilateral relations".  It is well known of Charles' love of Greece and its history.  Charles was last in Athens, with Camilla, in March 2021 for the bi-centennial celebrations of the start of the Greek War of Independence, a restricted national occassion due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The coronation was a state event funded by the British government, with approximarely 2,200 guests from 203 countries invited.  They included members of the British royal family, representatives from the Church of England and other British faith communities, prominent politicians from the UK, the Commonwealth and many foreign heads of state.  Invitations were extended to 850 community and charity representatives, including 450 British Empire Medal recipients and 400 young people, half who were nominated by the British government.  A UK public holiday was declared on Monday 8th May to commemorate the coronation.