On Saturday 6th May 2023, the attention of the world will be focused on London for the first coronation of a British monarch to take place in the 21st century and the fortieth crowning of a King or Queen to be held at Westminster Abbey since 1066. It is sure to be a weekend of exceptional pageantry, and if, like many others, you are planning to join the festivities in the great British capital, you will be privy to a host of events and activities. For a guide on how to spend the long weekend in London, here is our breakdown of the best things to do, see, and places to be for the King’s Coronation this May.

Saturday 6th May 

On Saturday, the centrepiece of the coronation events will be taking place: the King’s coronation ceremony and procession. The ceremony will be held at Westminster Abbey and will begin at 11am; however, ahead of this, an array of military pageantry and display is scheduled to satisfy your royal appetite.

Alongside immersing one’s self in the grandeur and vibrancy of the atmosphere, live screenings of the ceremony across the capital afford the perfect chance to savour this historic moment, and our London hotels will also be televising the ceremony. At The Rubens at the Palace, located just across from Buckingham Palace, guests can bear witness to the King’s official crowning whilst savouring the delights of a specially curated Coronation Day Afternoon Tea. For a more casual affair, the laid-back and trendy restaurant, bbar, just next door boasts the opportunity for a private viewing with exclusive use of the Jubilee Suite. Poised on Buckingham Palace Road, there is nowhere else in London boasting such comfort and proximity to the event.

Following the ceremony is the King’s procession. A wealth of pageantry and pomp will fill London’s streets as the Diamond Jubilee State Coach makes its way from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace – the royal neighbour of The Rubens at the Palace and Hotel 41, as well as a short walk from The Chesterfield Mayfair. The crowds that gather will have the chance to catch a glimpse of The King and Queen Consort as they make their way through some of London’s most iconic streets.

The route will begin at Westminster Abbey at 2pm. The King and Queen Consort will then head to Broad Sanctuary via Parliament Square, traverse down Parliament Street and Whitehall, pass Trafalgar Square, and finally, make their way down the iconic Mall in the final stretch towards the palace. As crowds gather to wave and congratulate the newly crowned King, guests can be assured of a vibrant and energising ambience.

After the procession, the Royal Family will then gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the military flypast – a spectacular moment of airborne artistry.

Sunday 7th May

Following the excitement of the coronation ceremony, Sunday will be playing host to the official Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle. In attendance will be 10,000 people successfully drawn from a ticket ballot, along with volunteers from charities affiliated with the King and Queen. Those not fortunate enough to attend the event, however – which will showcase a one-off performance by The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal College of Music and The Royal College of Art – can still join in the pageantry by watching it live on TV.

To complete the weekend-long affair, Sunday evening will conclude with the Lighting up the Nations – a festival of illuminations that will see locations across the UK light up with projections, lasers, and drone displays in honour of the King’s reign ahead. 

Monday 8th May (Bank Holiday)

On the final day of the long weekend is The Big Help Out, a scheme that will see people across the UK join to partake in volunteering initiatives in their local area. It is a day of community and togetherness, and the perfect end to the buoyancy of the weekend’s celebrations.