Westminster Abbey has been Britain’s coronation church since 1066. King Charles III will be the 40th reigning monarch to be crowned in May 2023.
The ceremony is performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the most senior cleric in the Church of England, of which the monarch is supreme governor.
The two monarchs who did not have any coronation were Edward V (the boy king), who was presumed murdered in the Tower of London before he could be crowned, and Edward VIII who abdicated 11 months after succeeding his father and before the date set for his coronation.
William III and Mary II were the only joint monarchs to be crowned and the chair specially made for Mary’s use in 1689 is on view in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries in the Abbey triforium.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, public spectacle sometimes overshadowed religious significance. At George III’s coronation some of the congregation began to eat a meal during the sermon. George IV’s coronation was a great theatrical occasion but he flatly refused to allow his estranged wife Caroline to enter the Abbey. William IV had to be persuaded to have a coronation at all and spent so little money on it that it became known as ‘the penny coronation’. With Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1838 came a renewed appreciation of the true religious meaning of the ceremony.
By the time Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953 millions around the world were able to witness her coronation on television.
His Majesty The King will be crowned at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6th May 2023. The Queen Consort will be crowned alongside him.
A full description of the coronation and more history can be found at: https://www.westminster-abbey.org/about-the-abbey/history/coronations-at-the-abbey/a-history-of-coronations