Coronation procession route map: Best places to catch a glimpse of the King

Thousands of people are expected to line the streets of London to catch a glimpse of the newly crowned King and Queen after their coronation later today.

Royal fans have been urged to secure their place along the procession route early, with viewing spots open to all on a first-come first-served basis.

Charles and the Queen Consort will take a much shorter route than his mother Elizabeth II, missing out large parts of the capital taken in during Her Late Majesty’s five-mile procession in 1953.

The monarch and Camilla personally decided to stick to the same 1.3-mile route to Westminster Abbey and back to Buckingham Palace.

It means well-wishers managing to grab themselves a spot on The Mall will get to see the King twice, while those in other parts of central London face missing out altogether.

They will travel down The Mall via Admiralty Arch, along the south side of Trafalgar Square, along Whitehall and Parliament Street, around the east and south sides of Parliament Square to Broad Sanctuary to arrive at the Abbey.

The best viewing spots are outside Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey – where the procession will begin and end – along The Mall, up at Horse Guards Parade, in Trafalgar Square, in Whitehall and in Parliament Square.

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The historic Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla will take place in Westminster Abbey on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

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Those travelling across the country on public transport will be reminded to ‘mind the gap’ by the King himself.

Charles and Camilla have recorded an announcement which is being played between Friday and Monday at every railway station across the UK and all London Underground stations, industry body the Rail Delivery Group said.

In the message, the King begins by telling passengers: ‘My wife and I wish you and your families a wonderful coronation weekend.’

Camilla then says: ‘Wherever you are travelling, we hope you have a safe and pleasant journey.’

The message concludes with Charles adding: ‘And remember, please mind the gap.’

It was recorded at Highgrove earlier this year by the audio team from Transport for London.

In a break from tradition, the King and Queen will only use the 260-year-old Gold State Coach for the return journey, with the King wearing the Imperial State Crown.

The outward trip, known as the King’s Procession, will be made in the more modern, comfortable Diamond Jubilee State Coach, complete with shock absorbers, heating, and air conditioning.

The late Queen rode both ways in the Gold State Coach for her 1953 coronation, famously describing the bumpy experience in the carriage, which is suspended on leather straps, as ‘horrible’.

It has been used at every coronation since 1831, but even the then-monarch William IV – who was known as the Sailor King – likened it to ‘being aboard a ship tossing in a rough sea’.

Queen Victoria was not a fan and complained of its ‘distressing oscillation’.

Elizabeth II’s outward procession was 1.6 miles long but her return procession was five miles, with the 27-year-old Queen waving to crowds along Piccadilly, along Oxford Street, Regent Street and Haymarket.

It took two hours to complete, featured 16,000 participants and was designed to allow her to be seen by as many people as possible.

More than 6,000 members of the armed forces will take part on the day of the coronation – the largest military ceremonial operation for 70 years – staging gun salutes and a flypast, and parading in the processions.

Some 4,000 sailors, soldiers, aviators and other military personnel from across the UK and the Commonwealth will accompany Charles and Camilla on their return Coronation Procession.

Flanking the roads will be more than 1,000 route liners from the British Army, RAF and Royal Navy.

The Princess Royal will feature in the procession, riding on horseback behind the gold state coach carrying the monarch as he travels down The Mall.

The Mirror reported Charles has given his younger sister the prominent role during the historic day in recognition of her service.

The newspaper reported a royal source as saying about the King: ‘He is rewarding the Princess Royal for her loyalty and her unwavering devotion to duty.’

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will also join the grand carriage procession back to Buckingham Palace.

The King and Queen will be followed by three others carriages carrying working members of the royal family.

In the first carriage behind the Gold State Coach will be the Prince and Princess of Wales with nine-year-old George, Charlotte, eight, and five-year-old Louis.

The next carriage will contain the King’s youngest brother the Duke of Edinburgh with his wife the Duchess of Edinburgh and their children Lady Louise Windsor and the Earl of Wessex.

The late Queen’s cousin the Duke of Gloucester and his wife the Duchess of Gloucester, and Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will travel in the third carriage,

Following by car are the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra, also cousins of Elizabeth II, and completing the procession of royals.

There is no place in the procession for the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of York, who play no formal part in the coronation ceremony, nor for Princesses Beatrice or Eugenie.

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