Coronation reception to be held for Charles and Camilla at Palace of Westminster

The King and the Queen Consort are to attend a celebratory reception in the Palace of Westminster in the week of their coronation.

Charles and Camilla will gather with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Opposition Leader Sir Keir Starmer in Westminster Hall on May 2 – just four days before the historic ceremony.

With nearly a week to go until the monarch and his consort are crowned in front of 2,000 guests and a worldwide audience of millions, the King presented new Standards and Colours to the armed forces at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

Royal presentation of new standards and colours
Charles and Camilla at the military ceremony on Thursday (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

In the gardens of the famous royal residence, Charles, head of the Armed Forces, spoke of the “intense pride” he feels and his “profound gratitude” to the many servicemen and servicewomen who stood before him.

The four Colours and Standards which were consecrated will be seen during the coronation procession on May 6.

Westminster Abbey is closed to prepare for the service while Regent Street in central London has been decked out in a sea of union flags.

King Charles III Coronation
Union flags fly above Regent Street in London to celebrate the coronation (Matt Alexander/PA)

Meanwhile, Transport for London’s (TfL) famous roundel logo has been redesigned to celebrate the coronation.

The so-called crowndels feature a likeness of St Edward’s Crown, which will be used to crown the sovereign.

They have gone on display at several central London Tube stations, as well as some Elizabeth line and London Overground stations.

The so-called crowndel logo
Transport for London’s roundel logo has been redesigned to mark the coronation (TfL/PA)

Next Tuesday, Charles and Camilla will meet members from both Houses of Parliament including Speakers and senior leaders at the parliamentary reception, with the King introduced to those who share his passion for the environment, education and the arts.

Camilla, who will join after the arrival of the King while the reception is under way, will meet those who focus on her charitable causes of literacy, domestic violence and osteoporosis.

The King and Queen Consort will also be invited to view the Speaker’s Coach, which was used at past coronations.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle visit to Arlington Court
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, with the historic Speaker State Coach (Steve Haywood/UK Parliament/PA)

It is the earliest surviving English coach in the UK and is thought to have been made for King William III and Queen Mary II in around 1698.

It is believed to have been given to the Speaker in around 1702 by Queen Anne.

The coach was used for the coronation processions of Edward VII, George V, George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

But in 2005 it was formally retired due to the extreme fragility of the original woodwork and metalwork.

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The Queen’s coffin lying in state in Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster (Yui Mok/PA)

Westminster Hall – the oldest building on the parliamentary estate – is where thousands of mourners filed past to see the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying in state in September.

It used to be the scene of coronation banquets, and was where monarchs were presented with the coronation regalia before their procession to the Abbey, but both ceremonies have not been staged since George IV’s extravagant coronation in 1821.