LONDON, UK — Most casual observers are aware that Charles is already king. In official terms, he ascended the throne when his mother died in September 2022. So why is the United Kingdom having a massive party this weekend to name him king?
First of all that big delay is not unusual. Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation was 15 months after her father died in 1952. The delay is traditionally given to allow the new monarch time to mourn the passing of their parent before having a huge celebration.
The other reason is practical. Coronations are not simple events. It takes months of planning to put this thing together. The undertaking even has a name: Operation Golden Orb.
It’s not just all the pageantry that has to be organized. Other things like security have to be arranged. Over 11,000 police officers are being deployed in London to keep everyone safe.
Then there is the massive ceremony. While Charles legally became king last year, the coronation is a religious ceremony, kind of like a wedding, to formalize his new status as king. It is also when he officially becomes head of the Church of England.
However, Charles would still be considered king even if there was never a coronation. This weekend is more about celebrating his status as head of state and the sheer endurance of the House of Windsor.