King Charles III: What is the difference between accession and coronation?

King Charles III

King Charles became monarch after the death of Queen Elizabeth II – but it will be formally declared by the Accession Council (Photo: James Veysey/Shutterstock)

King Charles III to be formally proclaimed monarch by the Accession Council after becoming king in the wake of the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

During the ceremony – which will be televised for the first time in history – the Accession Council will meet at 10am at St James’ Palace, before a proclamation is read from a balcony by a courtier to publicly proclaim him king .

He will also be holding a coronation ceremony further afield – although the royal family is now in a period of mourning, it is unlikely to take place for the time being.

But while the coronation will be a celebratory event, with the public getting an extra day of celebration to mark the occasion, the Accession Day is more muted, considered a day of reflection.

But what does accession mean and what is the difference with a coronation?

What is Accession Day?

Accession refers to the official process of a monarch taking office.

Whoever is first in line to the throne officially becomes monarch as soon as his predecessor abdicates or dies, as the throne can never be vacant.

An Accession Council, usually convened at St James’s Palace in London, takes place within 24 hours of a sovereign’s death – although in the case of King Charles III it has been postponed to allow him to return from Balmoral, where the queen passed away.

The event will be accompanied by celebrations such as the firing of cannons in Hyde Park and the Tower of London, as well as the blowing of fanfare on trumpets.

A young Queen Elizabeth II wears her crown

Accession and coronation are two very different events (Photo: © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Elizabeth officially became queen upon the death of her father King George VI on February 6, 1952.

Princess Elizabeth was 25 and was on the first stop of a Commonwealth tour with Prince Philip in Kenya when the the news of her father’s death broke.

The couple was scheduled to travel on to Australia and New Zealand, but the tour was canceled and Her Majesty immediately rushed back to the UK.

After a meeting of the Accession Council, which included members of the Council of State, major state officials, the mayor and several senior officials, she officially assumed the title of head of state.

As usual, a proclamation of principle was read two days later at St. James’s Palace.

The King was laid out in Westminster Hall for his funeral which was held on 15 February 1952 in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where he is buried.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen would traditionally spend the day thinking about her late father, King George VI (Picture: Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty)

Accession Day is usually a quiet day of reflection, rather than a day of celebrations and celebrations is that it marks the date of the previous monarch’s death.

The Queen usually spent the day pondering privately and usually chose to spend the day at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, where her father died.

What is the difference between accession and coronation?

While the accession is a time of reflection and mourning, the coronation has a much more celebratory tone.

A coronation is simply the placing of a crown on a monarch’s head – they actually became king or queen on the day of accession, which is usually long before this event.

It’s not yet known when King Charles III’s coronation will be – although Queen Elizabeth II’s came more than a year after she became monarch, so it’s likely the new king’s coronation ceremony won’t take place for some time.

In addition to the actual coronation, the term coronation is also often used to describe the entire ceremony – and all the exciting events surrounding it.

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II as sovereign of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon took place on Tuesday 2 June 1953 at Westminster Abbey.

It lasted three hours, was the first British coronation to be televised and over 8,000 guests attended.

It was also the fourth and final coronation of the 21st century.

MORE : WWE pays surprisingly poignant tribute to Queen Elizabeth II live on air: ‘She carried herself with dignity and grace’

MORE: Gogglebox viewers praise the show for ‘comforting’ them after the sad news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death: ‘It’s good for the soul’

Follow Metro through our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Share your thoughts in the comments below

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.