What is a coronation?
Not to be confused with King Charles III’s accession, which occurred when Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8—making that his Accession Day forever after—or the day he was formally proclaimed king by the Accession Council on Sept. 10, the coronation is, for all intents and purposes, a religious ceremony that dates back to 1154.
According to the Royal Collection Trust, it is the “formal investiture of a monarch with their regal powers,” during which the nearly 5-pound St. Edward’s Crown will be placed on Charles’ head (as it was on his mum’s) for the first (and only) time, as the piece never leaves Westminster Abbey. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will bless the new sovereign and anoint him with holy oil from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The oil is poured from the Ampulla, a 1661-era golden vessel shaped like an eagle, into the Coronation Spoon.
The Church of England issued a booklet of 28 daily prayers, starting with one for Easter Sunday, so the faithful can gear up for the event by praying for Charles, his family and the country ahead of time.
And in a nod to newfangled technology, there’s also a “Coronation Celebration Playlist” streaming on Spotify featuring tunes curated by the government’s Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport.