What time is the coronation of King Charles III? Ceremony and procession timings

Set your alarm!

a close up of King Charles smiling and wearing military unifrom ahead of the coronation
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

With just days to go now, we've shared details on what time the coronation of King Charles III will take place.

King Charles III's coronation is a momentous day for the UK, Commonwealth and royal fans across the world. On May 6, 2023, Charles will be crowned alongside Queen Camilla in an epic coronation ceremony, taking place at the same prestigious venue where Queen Elizabeth II's coronation happened back in 1953.

Whether you're watching the coronation at home or travelling by train on coronation day to see the action in person we've shared details of the all-important start time for the coronation of King Charles III. 

What time is the coronation of King Charles III?

Coronation day begins at 10:20am with King Charles and Camilla's procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. The official ceremony then follows at 11am BST/6am ET.

Once the ceremony has finished, King Charles and Queen Camilla will embark on another procession, travelling back from Westmister Abbey to Buckingham Palace. It's been confirmed that for this journey, the couple will be in the Gold State Coach - also used for the Queen's coronation 70 years prior.

Other members of the Royal Family - including the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie Wessex - will also join the coronation procession. They will follow behind in cars on the 1.3 mile route back to the palace.

Camilla and a newly-crowned Charles - wearing the Imperial State Crown - will make their way back from Westminster Abbey via Parliament Square, along Whitehall, around Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and down The Mall to return to Buckingham Palace. 

Though shorter than the route of Queen Elizabeth's coronation procession, it's thought that Charles' procession will still take some time with around 4,000 military personnel expected to be involved.

After the Royal Family reconvenes at Buckingham Palace, they will appear together on the palace balcony in front of crowds. They will remain on the balcony to watch the Coronation flypast of RAF planes flying overhead to celebrate the crowning of King Charles. 

Following the flypast, the family will exit the balcony, in what will be their final public appearance of the day - drawing an end to celebrations for Coronation day.

What time is the coronation on TV?

Whilst the ceremony doesn't start till late morning, coverage of the coronation is expected to begin early morning on TV. The BBC have confirmed that there will be live broadcasting in the build-up to the coronation procession.

"Bespoke commentary, starting with the atmosphere on the streets of London as the street-liners take position, will set the scene for the departure of Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort from Buckingham Palace," they state.

TV coverage will continue throughout the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, during the return procession and will finish shortly after the Royal Family's appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

They confirm that after the coronation service: "the day will continue with the return procession to Buckingham Palace. 

"As the Royal Family are received at The Mall, the BBC will capture the moment that the nation welcomes its newly crowned monarchs before the events culminate in the balcony appearance."

How long is the coronation service?

The coronation ceremony of King Charles III is estimated to be around 90 minutes to 2 hours long. This is much shorter than his mother's coronation ceremony which went on for 3 hours.

Philip Turle, International Affairs Editor at France 24, said that Charles' coronation will be a maximum of 2 hours. It's understood that the reason the ceremony is shorter than Queen's Elizabeth is to keep the cost of the coronation down.

King Charles and Queen Camilla will be crowned near the end of the coronation cermeony - as is tradition. Once seated in the coronation chair, Charles will be annointed with oil and then invested with special coronation robes, before being handed the Sceptre with the Cross and Sovereign's Orb. The Archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce Charles king after placing the St Edward's Crown on his head.

What time is the flypast on coronation day?

The Coronation flypast will start at 2:30pm. Members of the Royal Family, including the newly crowned King and Queen will assemble on the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the jets fly overhead.

The planes will depart from RAF Benson at 1.40pm and arrive at Stapleford Aerodrome at 2.20pm BST. They will then head for the palace. More than 60 aircraft are involved in the Coronation flypast including the Red Arrows, 16 helicopters and a number of historic Spitfires from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

What is the schedule for King Charles coronation?

  • Procession 1: King Charles and Camilla travel in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach from Buckingham Palace to Westmister Abbey
  • Coronation cermony: Starts at 11:00am GMT/6:00am ET, lasting approximately 90 minutes.
  • Procession 2: King Charles and Camilla travel in the Gold State Coach from Westmister Abbey back to Buckingham Palace
  • Balcony appearance: Royal Family members will gather on the Buckingham Palace balcony and wave at crowds.
  • Coronation flypast: 60 aircrafts will soar over London in a flypast to mark the coronation of the King and Queen. 

Related features:

Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.