In the sumptuous Westminster Abbey, in central London, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the Church of England, placed the crown of Saint Edward on the head of the 74-year-old monarch. It had not been worn by anyone since the coronation in 1953 of his mother, who died in September.
The crowd gathered in the streets of London, despite the rain, erupted into cheers.
Queen Camila, 75, was crowned next.
Then, back at Buckingham Palace after their second procession of the day escorted by thousands of servicemen in full regalia, the monarchs appeared on the balcony to salute.
From there they witnessed an air parade shortened by bad weather.
Carlos III and Camila left accompanied by members of the royal family, but without Prince Enrique, the 38-year-old monarch’s youngest son, who maintains tense relations with the monarchy and attended the ceremony without his wife Meghan, who remained in California, in United States, with their two children.
– “God save the king!” –
The heirs to the crown, Guillermo and Catalina, aged 40 and 41, had a stellar place in the parade and religious ceremony, punctuated by choral songs, sermons and readings from the Gospels, conceived according to a lavish ritual that has practically not changed for a thousand years. years.
They were accompanied by some 2,300 guests, including figures such as US First Lady Jill Biden, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, as well as hundreds of British civil society representatives.
Enrique discreetly sat next to his cousins in the third row.
“God save King Carlos!” Shouted the attendees, beginning the ceremony with this recognition, accompanied by a fanfare of trumpets, after Carlos III and Camila entered dressed in ceremonial capes after a first procession by float from the Palace of Buckingham.
With his hand on the Bible, the king took the oath. Then, in what is considered the holiest part of the ceremony, Archbishop Welby anointed the hands, chest and head of the monarch, hidden from view by a screen.
Replacing the traditional homage of the aristocrats, the priest then invited everyone, from wherever they were watching or listening to the coronation, to swear allegiance to the new king, a historical first that seeks to democratize the ceremony, but which provoked strong criticism from the anti-monarchists.
– Protesters arrested –
Thousands of admirers thronged along the route of the royal carriage.
“We are very proud to be British,” Phyllis Taylor, 60, who traveled to London from Scotland with her husband for “this very special occasion,” told AFP.
On their way, however, the royal couple also passed the yellow banners of the anti-monarchist group Republic, which read “Not my king.” The organizers of the protest were arrested before it even started.
“We abolish the monarchy, not the right to protest,” the group tweeted five hours later, assuring that “the entire Republic core team remains in custody.” “No reason has been given to us,” he added.
About twenty members of the environmental group Just Stop Oil, which in past protests have blocked roads by sticking to the asphalt, were also arrested. The police, which deployed 11,500 officers for the occasion, announced that they would not tolerate any disturbances.
“Not a single Just Stop Oil activist apprehended in the crowd had glue, paint or any plans to disrupt the coronation,” the group said on Twitter.
New police laws mean we now live in a dystopian nightmare: this shameful overreach is what you’d expect in Pyongyang, North Korea, not Westminster.”
NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Greenpeace also criticized a new law rushed into law this week that gives police greater powers against protests.
– Gold jewelry and clothing –
Although the king wanted a more modern and simple ceremony than that of his mother, in a context of serious crisis due to the soaring cost of living, three crowns set with diamonds were used: one for Camila and two for Carlos III, since the of San Eduardo is only worn at the precise moment of the coronation.
Also several ancient garments embroidered with gold that the king progressively wore during the ceremony, three sceptres, a sword covered with precious stones and a pair of gold spurs.
Following the monarch’s environmental convictions, the oil used in the anointing was vegan, although it was consecrated as required by tradition in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
On Sunday, there will be potlucks across the country and a huge pop concert in honor of the monarch outside Windsor Castle, west London.
On Monday, which will be a holiday, the royal couple called on the British to volunteer.