The Grim Reaper, Louis’ Smore Dance, and “Anton Du Birk”: Memorable Moments From King Charles III’s Coronation

With the world's media winding down their coverage of King Charles III‘s Coronation, we wanted to take an amusing look back at some of the best moments from across the coverage and on social media. The Coronation of Their Majesties the King and Queen Camilla took place on the 6th of May 2023 at Westminster Abbey. The Coronation itself is a religious ceremony that has remained largely unchanged for 1,000 years. Here is a countdown of some of the most memorable moments of King Charles III coronation as seen on the broadcast coverage and on social media.

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With the world's media winding down their coverage of King Charles III‘s Coronation, we wanted to take an amusing look back at some of the best moments from across the coverage and on social media.

The Coronation of Their Majesties the King and Queen Camilla took place on the 6th of May 2023 at Westminster Abbey. The Coronation itself is a religious ceremony that has remained largely unchanged for 1,000 years. King Charles III did introduce new parts to the Coronation including the first ever gospel number sung at a Coronation and the Welsh language also being sung for the first time. King Charles III also invited representatives from multiple faiths and cultures across the United Kingdom which is also a first. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted the service which is structured around the Anglican Holy Communion and it involves King Charles III being anointed by holy oil away from public eye, taking an oath, receiving the Coronation regalia, being crowned and agreeing to uphold his spiritual and secular responsibilities.

Members of the Church of England and British Royal Family declared their allegiance to him before he and Queen Camilla travelled back along the processional route in the Gold State Coach.  The Coronation of Queen Camilla was much shorter and overall the ceremony was less than Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation back in 1953. 

Before we take a look at the more amusing moments of King Charles‘s Coronation, did you know that the plans surrounding the celebrations were code-named “Operation Golden Orb” and meetings were held once a year attended by representatives from the government, the Church of England and staff of King Charles during Elizabeth II‘s reign?

Here is a countdown of some of the most memorable moments of King Charles III coronation as seen on the broadcast coverage and on social media.

“Not My King!” Protestors

Met Police Officers arrested several anti-monarchy protesters in central London ahead of the King's Coronation on Saturday 6th including the leader of an anti-monarchy group named  Republic. The Protestors were held on suspicion of breaching the peace, conspiracy to cause public nuisance and possessing articles to cause criminal damage. 

Many social media users were able to see protestors holding up bright yellow banners saying “Not My King” and “Abolish The Monarchy”. Protestors also wore these slogans on yellow T-shirts to stand out in the crowd. 

In Scotland protestors wore the blue and white of the Scottish flag and marched through places including Glasgow city centre. Videos have emerged on social media of the protesters singing “you can stick your Coronation up your arse” in true Scottish cynicism.

Justin Welby Wiggling The Crown

During the actual crowning portion of King Charles III‘s Coronation, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby took a few goes to get the Imperial State Crown onto King Charles III's head. Sky News reported that the official crowning of the King took eight seconds in total! 

While it looked like an embarrassing fumble, the crown itself was described by Queen Elizabeth II, as incredibly heavy and uncomfortable to wear. It weighs 1.06 kg or 2.3 lb. The frame is made of gold, silver and platinum and is decorated with 2868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and five rubies.

Charles Seems Angry In His Carriage

News cameras managed to pick up King Charles III having what looks like a frustrated word with Queen Camilla in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach on the way from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. It is unusual to see members of the Monarchy having lengthy conversations and gesticulating on public display. Sky News has speculated that King Charles III was complaining that the procession wasn’t on time.

The Moonwalking Drum Horse

If you were watching the procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, you may have spied that one of the drum horses began walking out of time and to the side. The Shire horse, known as Major Apollo, is a ceremonial drum horse raised in Pembrokeshire and he also took part in Queen Elizabeth II‘s funeral procession. His role involves leading 200 other horses on the procession route carrying a ceremonial kettledrum. 

Major Apollo stands at 17 hands and weighs 800kg and was personally chosen to be part of the Royal Family by Queen Camilla when she visited Dyfed Shire Horse Farm in July 2018. The kettledrum actually dates back to the reign of King Charles II which began in 1660. Before being named Major Apollo, the Shire horse was called Ed!

The Golden Carriage Of Seasickness

When leaving Westminster Abbey to head back to Buckingham Palace, the King and Queen were taken back along The Mall in the Gold State Coach. The Gold State Coach was built in 1762 and has been used at every Coronation since William IV in 1831. It isn’t made of solid gold but instead made of giltwood which is a thin layer of gold leaf over the top of wood. It is 7m long, 3.6m tall and weighs 4 tons and needs eight horses to pull it. 

King Charles III and Queen Camilla did not want to ride in the Gold State Coach on the way to the Coronation due to it having terrible suspension making the experience incredibly bumpy for those inside. This was commented on by Queen Elizabeth II and also had been remarked upon by Queen Victoria. Eagle eyed viewers can see King Charles III and Queen Camilla being thrown about a bit in the Gold State Coach on their way back to Buckingham Palace.

Princess Anne’s Sassy Plume

The Princess Royal, Princess Anne took part in the procession back to Buckingham Palace in the role of “Gold Stick In Waiting”. This position has been held by Princess Anne since 1998 and it dates back to the 15th century when two  officers, a Gold Stick and a Silver Stick, were placed close to the Monarch to protect them from harm. Princess Anne led 6000 armed service personnel through the streets back to the palace. It is for this reason that Princess Anne was not wearing a dress like the other female members of the royal family during the Coronation. Her outfit included a hat with a large red feather. Many social media users have commented on how Princess Anne’s plume obstructed Prince Harry‘s view of the Coronation as she was sitting in front of him.

Louis Yelling Through Glass

Many viewers of the Coronation were fascinated by the youngest Wales child, Prince Louis who is only five years old and loves to pull funny faces, yawn and wave his hands about while being bored at Royal events! Prince Louis did join the Prince and Princess of Wales at his grandfather's Coronation and can be seen yawning throughout. On the way back to Buckingham Palace, Prince Louis can be seen shouting through the window of his carriage and later waving with very little enthusiasm on the Palace balcony.

Charles and Camilla Cannot Look Up

While on the Palace balcony to wave to spectators, members of the public and the British royal family were treated to a fly past which included helicopters and the Red Arrows aerobatic team. A six minute fly past was originally planned but due to rain and low cloud it was toned down. With the rest of the royal family being able to look up and enjoy seeing the planes as they went overhead, Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla were unable to bend their necks backwards to look at the sky due to still wearing the incredibly expensive and heavy crowns! 

Queen Camilla was wearing an adapted Crown of Queen Mary which includes 2,200 rose cut and brilliant cut diamonds. It originally contained the infamous 105.6 carat Koh-i-noor diamond. The crown of Queen Mary weighs 590g or 1.3lb and King Charles’ Imperial State Crown weighs 1.06kg or 2.3lb.

Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker

The Princess of Wales and her daughter Princess Charlotte both wore white Alexander McQueen dresses to the Coronation. Princess Charlotte also wore a cape embroidered with floral emblems on the collar as well as a sequin floral headpiece. However it was her plaited at the back hairdo that caused social media users to compare the young Princess Charlotte to Princess Leia from Star Wars. As she was walking alongside her brother, Prince Louis at the Coronation, he was compared to Luke Skywalker.

Oh Look It’s Liz Truss Again

With every Royal event, we can expect to see all of the previous UK Prime Ministers and their partners turn up on official business. Audiences witnessed Tony and Cherie Blair, Gordon and Sarah Brown, John Major, David and Samantha Cameron, and Theresa and Philip May attend the Coronation. However amusingly Liz Truss and her partner Hugh also attended the ceremony despite being Britain’s shortest serving Prime Minister with just a ridiculous 45 days in office! She was the last British Prime Minister to meet Queen Elizabeth II and her resignation came just 45 days later and was accepted by King Charles III at an audience in Buckingham Palace. Her length of time as Prime Minister was counted down a social media live stream featuring a head of lettuce competing to see whether she would last longer than the lettuce.

A Horse Gets Spooked

During the Coronation Parade, one of the horses was spooked as it turned onto The Mall and the horse and its officer crashed into a barrier and subsequently members of the public. It is reported that no one was injured in the momentary spooking.

A Military Hip Hip Hooray!

One of the most poignant moments of King Charles III’s Coronation and one of the most unexpected included having all the members of the armed forces who took part in the procession join Their Majesties in the garden of Buckingham Palace so they could receive a royal salute. This included three hip hip hoorays in true British style!

The Grim Reaper Attends

During one part of the ceremony in Westminster Abbey, social media users were quick to notice that in the background a small, hooded, silhouetted figure crosses from one side of the Abbey to the other. The figure is also carrying a large rod causing many viewers to humorously suggest that it is the Grim Reaper! Jokes on social media surfaced suggesting that Queen Elizabeth II had returned in the form of the Grim Reaper for the Coronation or that it was Princess Diana looking to get “revenge” on the Queen Consort who took her place at the ceremony.

Louis Dances Eating A S’more

King Charles III wanted to encourage local communities to get together and work on regeneration projects during the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend under the name, “The Big Help Out”. Several members of the Royal Family went out into communities across the UK to celebrate the Coronation including Princess Eugenie and Beatrice visiting Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire and the new Duke of Edinburgh and Duchess of Edinburgh visiting Cranleigh in Surrey. 

The Prince and Princess of Wales along with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, visited a local Scout group in Slough who were having a special Bank Holiday volunteering day. Prince Louis and the Prince of Wales sat together in a yellow digger and the two older children printed their hands on a mural with the Princess of Wales. 

One of the best moments from this Royal day out obviously starred Prince Louis who was given a large S’more full of melted marshmallow. After he took his first bite he seemed to dance out of enjoyment! 

There was also a moment where Prince William said unfazed, “George you’re on fire” after Prince George had left his Marshmallow in the fire for too long.

Is Ant McPartlin OK?

There were several notable celebrity guests at the Coronation including Katy Perry, Nick Cave, and Ant and Dec. A very strange moment caught on camera was when Ant McPartlin seemed to be practising his fake smile! Many fans of Ant & Dec and their show Saturday Night Takeaway were laughing on social media saying that it looked as if the pair were playing their famous prank game “Get Out Of Me Ear” where they tell celebrities what to say and do in different scenarios. It looks as if the pair were making themselves laugh throughout!

Two Back Up Camillas

As Queen Camilla entered Westminster Abbey, she was attended to by four Pages of Honour and by two Ladies in Attendance. The first was her sister Annabel Elliott and the second is Fiona Petty-Fitzmaurice who is the Marchioness of Lansdowne. The pair were wearing identical dresses that looked very similar to Camilla’s and they had very similar hairstyles prompting viewers across social media to laugh and say that to back up Camillas have been brought to the Coronation! 

As Camilla walked into the Abbey, The Kings Scholars of Westminster School sang “Vivat Regina Camilla” meaning Long Live Queen Camilla. However some viewers, who are unfamiliar with Latin, were quite shocked at the inclusion of the word “Regina” as they heard it as something else!

Penny Mordaunt’s Athletic Arms

One of the unlikely stars of King Charles III’s Coronation was MP for Portsmouth Penny Mordaunt, who was responsible for holding up the Sword of Offering which is described as “the one true Coronation sword”. It was commissioned by George VI in 1821 and its gilded leather sheath is encrusted with 1,251 diamonds, 16 rubies, 2 sapphires and 2 turquoises. The sword is made of Damascus steel and its handle is set with 2,141 diamonds, 12 emeralds and 4 rubies. Many viewers of the Coronation were impressed that Penny Mordaunt could hold the sword upright for that long, joking that she has gained more athletic success since her infamous appearance in 2014 on the reality TV programme Splash!

The Most Handsome Bodyguard

Leading up to the Coronation, King Charles III took the time to meet Royal fans up and down The Mall. However he wasn’t the only face that caught peoples eye! King Charles’ Head Bodyguard Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson has been papped on social media also shaking hands with onlookers after being dubbed by the Press as “The Most Handsome Member Of The Royal Family‘s Team”. 

One commenter on TikTok wrote, “I would camp out on The Mall in the rain without a tent for three days for a glimpse of this man”. Before taking up the role of King Charles III bodyguard and Royal Equerry, he was Queen Elizabeth II‘s most senior bodyguard.

Megan Markle Is Not Sir Karl

One of the notable absentees of King Charles III’s Coronation is the partner of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle. She stayed at home in America to celebrate their child’s birthday which fell on the same day. Prince Harry himself only stayed for the official part of the Coronation before heading home on a commercial flight to spend the evening with his family. Some social media users joked that Meghan Markle may have turned up to the Coronation in disguise after they spotted someone sitting next to composer Andrew Lloyd Webber in large glasses with a long moustache and long hair covering most of their face. The person in question was actually Sir Karl Jenkins who is also a composer with pieces being played at the Coronation itself. However the idea that Meghan Markle turned up to the Coronation in the famous Groucho glasses was funny enough!

Katy Perry’s Lost Seat

Singer Katy Perry was spotted at King Charles III‘s Coronation after being announced as an ambassador for the British Asian Trust’s Children’s Protection Fund for India. Perry was a guest at Westminster Abbey on the Saturday before performing at the Coronation concert in Windsor on the Sunday. The camera managed to capture the slightly awkward moment of Katy Perry wandering around the Abbey trying to find her seat looking through her very large hat!

Who Is Anton Du Birk?

Kirsty Young had a few memorable moments during the BBC’s coverage of King Charles III is Coronation including one fantastic introduction to a celebrity guest ready to discuss the upcoming ceremony. Kirsty was joined in the studio by Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden and Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Anton du Beke. However she accidentally said she was joined by “Anton du Birk” which made him grimace.

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Kirsty Young was also in charge of presenting the BBC’s coverage of the Coronation concert on Sunday 7th of May and Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla surprised everyone by arriving a few moments early. This led to Jordan Banjo‘s interview with Nicole Scherzinger being cut short and Kirsty Young scrambling to thank Nicole but couldn’t pronounce her surname so spent the next few moments giggling as the King and Queen arrived.

We All Love Breakfast Pie

Many British people can agree that while Royal engagements in the UK may seem standard practice, across the world they can be a bit confusing! That seems to be the case in America where the New York Times seriously reported that people across Britain were tuckinginto “classics” such as the “Breakfast Pie“ and Bucks Fizz is which was described as “a non-alcoholic version of a Mimosa“! Firstly we hope you know that Breakfast Pie doesn’t actually exist and secondly, Bucks Fizz is Orange Juice and Champagne mixed together. There’s literally only two ingredients, New York Times, otherwise we’re just drinking Orange Juice! The full quote in the New York Times article also suggested that fans of the Coronation would be dining on Scones and Scotch Eggs while wearing gloves and “small head pieces called fascinators”.

Prince William Is All Of Us

At the end of the Coronation concert the whole crowd and British Royal family were standing up waving small Union Jack flags. It looks as though Prince William’s internal thoughts got the better of him as we can see him waving his flag right in the face of Prince George! We also spotted Princess Charlotte going to Dab!

If you’re a supporter of the British Royal Family or not, we’re sure you can agree that they produce some very entertaining moments during their large events!

Image Credit: Coronation of Charles III and Camilla - King's Procession 6 May 2023 (Katie Chan CC BY-SA 4.0)

Memorable Moments King Charles III Coronation - The Grim Reaper, Louis’ Smore Dance, and “Anton Du Birk”: Memorable Moments From King Charles III’s Coronation

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