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Celebrations as King Charles and Queen Camilla crowned

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King Charles has been crowned at his Coronation, the first in the UK for 70 years.

The Archbishop of Canterbury placed the St Edward’s Crown on the King’s head during a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

The crown was made for King Charles II in the 17th Century and is only worn when the monarch is crowned – meaning King Charles III is not due to wear it again.

After the King was crowned, his wife Camilla was crowned Queen.

The Coronation began at 11:00 BST and is due to end at 13:00, with the main theme being the importance of service.

That theme was reflected in the oaths and prayers King Charles made, and the sermon delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

“I come not to be served, but to serve,” the King said in his first prayer after reaching the abbey.

“We are here to crown a King, and we crown a King to serve,” the Archbishop opened his sermon with.

“The King of Kings, Jesus Christ, was anointed not to be served, but to serve. He creates the unchangeable law that with the privilege of power comes the duty to serve,” he added.

In the abbey, Charles was proclaimed as the “undoubted King” in the first stage of the ceremony.

The congregation was then asked to show their homage and service, shouting “God Save the King”.

Yet among the music and oaths, there were moments of complete silence as each stage of the ancient ceremony finished.

In the most sacred part of the service, the King was shielded from public view by anointing screens while choristers sang Handel’s Zadok the Priest – performed at every coronation since 1727.

Prince William also made a pledge of loyalty to King Charles, before members of the congregation were invited to offer their own support.

Gun salutes were made at 13 locations across the UK, including in London, Edinburgh and Hillsborough, at the moment King Charles was crowned, while the bells of Westminster Abbey rang for two minutes.

Meanwhile, the crowd on The Mall broke out in a chant of “God Save the King”, and the sound of corks being popped could be heard.

Some 2,300 people are inside the abbey for the service, with Prince Harry arriving alongside his cousins.

Celebrity guests are also there – including actress Emma Thompson and US singer Katy Perry.

US First Lady Jill Biden, and her granddaughter Finnegan, arrived in a three-car motorcade. President Joe Biden is not in the UK.

French President Emmanuel Macron and First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska are also in the abbey, as are Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and leaders of the Commonwealth countries.

A military band played the national anthem as the King and Queen Consort set off from Buckingham Palace on Saturday morning, as crowds erupted into thunderous cheers.

As the King arrived at the abbey in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, he was seeing smiling and waving.

Following the ceremony, the King and Camilla will return to Buckingham Palace.

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, arrived from the United States on Friday on a commercial flight, and was seen entering the abbey with his cousins Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.

It is the first time since he has been in public with his brother, Prince William, since his memoir, Spare, was released.

It is thought Prince Harry will fly back to the US just hours after the ceremony to rejoin his wife Meghan, as their son Archie is celebrating his fourth birthday.

On the procession route, umbrellas started to pop up as the rain arrived.

But despite the very English weather, there was a celebratory atmosphere on The Mall, with periodic Mexican waves and police officers and security guards being cheered.

Among the spectators was Alexandra Hornyak, 57, from Montreal, Canada.

“I’ve known for years that I would want to attend this day, and the day that it was announced, I was driving to the office, and my husband just called me and said ‘May 6’,” she told the BBC.

“I knew exactly what it was. And I jumped on the phone to get a hotel reservation and we went from there.”

Karen Daly, 54, from Birmingham, said: “We could have done this at home, but the atmosphere is so good and everyone’s really happy.

“When the Queen died, we couldn’t make it because we all couldn’t get out of work. So we booked off as soon as we knew about the coronation.”

Charles became King of the United Kingdom and 14 other realms in September, when his mother Elizabeth died after 70 years on the throne.

Months of intense planning have gone into the coronation celebrations – the 40th to take place at Westminster Abbey since 1066.

Unlike the procession route, there were no crowds outside the abbey, as it was closed to the public ahead of the service.

The service is being led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, assisted by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell.

“There have been wall-to-wall rehearsals this week, and indeed last week,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“None of us have done this for a very long time, so working out the choreography has been complex”.

The ceremony has emphasised diversity and inclusion, with more multi-faith elements than any previous coronation, with contributions from Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Sikh representatives.

A Bible lesson was read by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is Hindu, and music was sung in Welsh and Scottish and Irish Gaelic.

After the service, at around 13:00 BST, King Charles and Queen Camilla will travel in the Gold State Coach back to Buckingham Palace, in a spectacular mile-long (1.6km) procession, with 4,000 soldiers and 19 military bands.

When they reach the palace, it remains uncertain who will be seen with the King and Queen for the traditional balcony appearance.

There are plans for a flypast when the senior royals are on the palace balcony, but there will be concerns about the weather, with a forecast of cloud and showers.

The Coronation drew a small group of protesters from Republic, the group campaigning for the abolition of the monarchy.

Around six protesters, who were unloading a van of placards, were arrested.

There is a massive security operation, with the Metropolitan Police putting 11,500 officers on duty in what it said would be its biggest ever single-day deployment.

Anti-monarchy groups have defended their right to protest, but the police have warned that “tolerance for any disruption, whether through protest or otherwise, will be low”.

The guest list was also questioned – with criticism of the invitation of Chinese vice-president Han Zheng, who is accused of presiding over a crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong.

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