Who is going to the coronation - and who isn't?

time:2023-06-03 16:54:12 source:Al Jazeera

With less than a week to go until King Charles III's coronation, we are starting to get a clearer picture of who is on the guest list - and who isn't.

On 6 May the King will be crowned alongside Camilla, the Queen Consort, at Westminster Abbey in London.

The King has opted for a smaller, shorter and more diverse ceremony than the previous coronation held for his mother in 1953.

Invitations have been sent to about 2,000 people - here is what we know so far about the guest list.

As with many events, family often comes first, and many members of King Charles and Camilla's family are due to attend.

Prince William and Catherine, the Prince and Princess of Wales, will be attending, as will two of the King's siblings, Anne, Princess Royal and the Edward, Duke of Edinburgh.

After much speculation, Prince Harry confirmed he would attend, but his wife Meghan would not. The coronation coincides with the fourth birthday of the couple's son, Prince Archie.

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is expected to go - but his ex-wife the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, will not attend.

It's likely their daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie will attend as ninth and 11th in line to the throne - as well as Princess Anne's daughter Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall.

Both King Charles and Camilla's grandchildren will be there, with some of them taking part in the ceremony.

Prince George, the son of Prince William and Catherine and second-in-line to the throne, will be one of several "pages of honour".

Three of the Queen Consort's grandsons, Gus and Louis Lopes, Freddy Parker Bowles and her great-nephew Arthur Elliot will take the same role, and be part of the procession through Westminster Abbey.

Queen Camilla will be also joined by her sister Annabel Elliot and close friend Lady Lansdowne as Ladies in Attendance.

Key political figures and world leaders will also be among the 2,000 attendees - and it is worth noting that, as a state occasion, the government controls the guest list.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is due to attend, alongside cabinet ministers and peers from the House of Lords.

And according to reports, former UK prime ministers such as Liz Truss and Tony Blair will be there, as well as the new first minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf.

French President Emmanuel Macron will be there. It comes after King Charles's state visit to France was postponed in March due to protests, but a source told the Times Mr Macron would attend to show his "friendship, respect and esteem" for the UK.

US President Joe Biden told King Charles he would not be attending during a phone call in April, but confirmed First Lady Jill Biden would take his place.

Polish President Andrzej Duda and Anthony Albanese, the Australian prime minister, have both said they are planning to attend - and local news reports say Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the Philippines' President Ferdinand Marcos will be there.

It is also understood that religious leaders and representatives from across the Commonwealth will attend.

World leaders from Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela and Iran will not be attending. North Korea and Nicaragua have been offered the chance to attend at a diplomatic level.

In a break with tradition, members of foreign royal families are reported to be travelling to London for the ceremony.

This includes Monaco's Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, Spain's King Felipe and Queen Letizia, Japan's Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko and Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, who will be accompanied by his daughter Crown Princess Victoria.

It is also understood that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who met the King for tea at Windsor Castle in February, will be there.

King Charles and Camilla have also invited 850 community representatives to the ceremony in recognition of their charity work.

This includes 450 British Empire Medal (BEM) recipients and 400 young people from groups selected by the Royal Family.

Retired firefighter John Anderson, who has been awarded a BEM, said he felt "privileged" to be invited.

Another invitee will be teenager Max Woosey, known as the Boy in the Tent, who raised money for his local hospice by sleeping in a tent for three years.

Elsewhere, more than 6,000 members of the armed forces will be taking part in the coronation - making it the largest military ceremonial operation in 70 years.

Thousands of veterans and NHS workers have also been invited to watch the coronation, including the processions and flypast, from a special viewing platform in front of Buckingham Palace.

There has been speculation over whether any of the King and Queen Consort's famous friends will be invited to the coronation.

At least a few have been confirmed thanks to connections with the Prince's Trust - the young people's charity founded by the King decades ago. Television stars Ant and Dec, who are goodwill ambassadors and long-time supporters of the charity, will be at Westminster Abbey.

They'll be joined by British Vogue editor Edward Enninful and singer Lionel Richie - both also ambassadors. Several people who were supported by the trust in their youth have also been invited - including Kelly Jones, lead singer of the Stereophonics, and television magician Dynamo (whose real name is Steven Frayne).

Sky News has reported that Dame Joanna Lumley will be attending, before joining the broadcaster's coverage of the day.

While no other high-profile figures have announced they will be going, celebrities with close connections to the Royal Family could be among those attending.

The then Prince Charles and Camilla's wedding blessing at St George's Chapel in 2005 had plenty of famous faces in the congregation, including the Absolutely Fabulous actress, alongside comics Stephen Fry and Rowan Atkinson and actors Richard E Grant and Prunella Scales.

Rumours have also been circulating that David and Victoria Beckham could be on the guest list. They both attended Prince William and Catherine's wedding, as well as Prince Harry and Meghan's - and the former England footballer queued for 12 hours to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in state.

And for anyone who was not lucky enough to secure an invitation, the ceremony will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC Radio.

It will also be available via BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds and here on the BBC News website.

What are your plans for the coronation? Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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