Ant and Dec, Katy Perry, Emma Thompson and Lionel Richie among celebrities at King's coronation

·3-min read

Celebrities including Ant and Dec, Katy Perry, Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson are among a host of stars in attendance at the King's coronation.

Around 2,300 guests were invited to Westminster Abbey, including world leaders, celebrities, UK politicians, foreign royalty, everyday heroes and the royal family.

Arriving bright and early, actor and comedian Stephen Fry was one of the first famous faces to arrive at the abbey.

I Kissed A Girl singer Katy Perry, who will perform at the coronation concert at Windsor Castle on Sunday, was one of the early US stars to arrive, wearing head-to-toe lilac.

TV royalty Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly were full of smiles as they mingled in the abbey. They are currently presenting I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here, but have been invited in their capacity as goodwill ambassadors for the Princes Trust.

The Geordie duo have hosted the charity's awards 10 times and are involved in a programme to make the media industry more accessible.

Actress Dame Emma Thompson, who is good friends with the King, arrived with her husband, actor Greg Wise, chatting to other guests as they took their seats.

The Oscar-winning star wore a bold red jacket, along with her damehood medal and insignia.

Watch and follow special coverage of the coronation

Dame Judi Dench wore a pale lavender ensemble and brimmed hat, Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith wore blue, while Australian singer Nick Cave wore a dark suit and tie.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, best known for hit musicals including The Phantom Of The Opera, Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar, was also there.

The award-winning composer, who has written the coronation anthem, said writing the music acted as an "antidote" to his loss of his eldest son, Nicholas, in March.

Singer Lionel Richie, who will also perform at Sunday's coronation concert, told Sky News: "This is not an everyday occurrence. I'm walking into history. This is the greatest show on earth right now. To have an invite to this is everything."

Richie, 73, wore a top hat to mark the special occasion.

Ultimate guide to the coronation: How to watch, timings and procession route

Dame Joanna Lumley, who will be commentating on the historic event for Sky News, said: "I'm so excited... saying God Save the King will be the most exciting bit. Hearing the choir, all the new songs, the old songs, will be ravishing. I'm also looking forward to seeing the Queen's dress - it's supposed to be spectacular!"

Other famous guests at the abbey include British Vogue's editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, former Play School presenter Floella Benjamin, Stereophonics singer Kelly Jones, and director general of the BBC, Tim Davey.

Singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading was in the audience, as was First Lady of the United States Jill Biden, who came with her granddaughter Finnegan Biden.

US President Joe Biden did not attend, with Washington denying his absence was a snub after his four-day trip to Ireland last month.

Spice Girl Melanie Brown was also spotted outside the abbey, chatting to press.

David and Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, Rowan Atkinson, Bear Grylls and magician Dynamo were also rumoured to be on the guest list.

The King will be crowned at Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury during a coronation ceremony dating back centuries.

The King's youngest son, Prince Harry, who stepped back from royal duties in March 2020 and moved to the US with his wife, Meghan, is also expected to attend.

The event is the military's largest ceremonial operation since Queen Elizabeth II's 1953 coronation, with 9,000 servicemen and women deployed and 7,000 of these performing ceremonial and supporting roles.

It's a significantly slimmed-down event compared with the more than 8,000 guests at the Queen's coronation 70 years ago.