The coronation of Charles III, the former Prince of Wales and the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, is set to take place on Saturday, May 6. King Charles, 74, took over the throne in September 2022 after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Countrywide celebrations, including parades, will be organised over the coronation weekend during which the 74-year-old monarch will officially be crowned in a grand ceremony.
However, the ceremony is attracting a lot of criticism due to a variety of reasons. Here are five of them.
1. The extravagant cost of the ceremony
Critics have questioned the price tag of such a lavish event that comes at a troubling financial time for the country. The Operation Golden Orb committee, which is in charge of planning the coronation ceremony, estimates that the event could cost around 100 million pounds (over ₹1021.5 crore), Time magazine reported.
Since it is a state event, the coronation will be paid for by the British government, using taxpayers’ money. More than half of Britons do not think it should be funded by the Government, a poll has suggested.
The Coronation has also been marked as a bank holiday, which brings its own costs. According to a previous report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, each UK bank holiday costs the country around 2.3 billion pounds.
2. Prince Harry to attend the Coronation without Meghan Markle
Amid speculations over whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would attend the event, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince Harry would attend the coronation –alone, as per BBC. Meghan Markle will remain in the United States with the couple’s children. It will also be the first time Prince Harry will have been seen with the royal family since his memoir, ‘Spare,’ was published in January 2023.
More so, he will be made to sit 10 rows behind other members of the royal family at the coronation. Further, he is scheduled to leave back for the United States just two hours after the ceremony, so that he can celebrate the birthday of his son Archie.
3. No Kohinoor for Queen Consort Camilla
Queen Consort Camilla won’t be wearing the controversial colonial-era Kohinoor diamond at the coronation. According to BBC, ”there were concerns about a diplomatic row with India if it had been used” since India has demanded its return. India has made several claims to be the rightful owner of the diamond.
Instead, she will be crowned with Queen Mary’s Crown, which has been taken out of the Tower of London to be resized. It is thought to be the first time in “recent history” that an existing crown will be “recycled” for a coronation.
4. Public invited to swear allegiance to King Charles
Organisers of the event said that people watching the Coronation will be invited to join a “chorus of millions” to swear allegiance to the King and his heirs. According to The Guardian, people around the UK and abroad will be invited to say the words “I swear that I will pay true allegiance to your majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”
Many have termed it an ”offensive and tone-deaf gesture”, with many saying that it is ”another example of how the monarchy is outdated.”
5. Anti-monarchist group plans to protest on Coronation Day
Protests against the British monarchy have been planned around the United Kingdom on the day of King Charles III’s coronation ceremony, as perCBS News. Notably, the anti-monarchy group Republic, wants the King replaced as the official head of state by an elected official.
“Hereditary public office goes against every democratic principle. And because we can’t hold the King and his family to account at the ballot box, there’s nothing to stop them abusing their privilege, misusing their influence or simply wasting our money,” Republic said on its website.