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Hugh Bonneville hails the monarchy and warns of changes to come

Hugh Bonneville  (Getty Images)
Hugh Bonneville (Getty Images)

Hugh Bonneville hailed the King’s coronation as an “extraordinary” event, but said the challenge for the future of the monarchy will be to allow the next generation to define what it means to them.

The Downton Abbey and Paddington star, 59, is hosting the star-studded Coronation Concert in the grounds of Windsor Castle featuring performances by Take That, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

The King and Queen and other members of the royal family will join around 20,000 members of the public at the event to continue the celebrations after their crowning at Westminster Abbey on Saturday.

He told the PA news agency: “I think each generation will need to make its own definition of what monarchy means.

“And I think that is the challenge for the future. In our ever-changing world, where does the monarchy stand? What does it mean?

“I mean, for my generation, and for my parents’ generation, it was the glue that bound our nations together, and that glue will need to shift and evolve in order to keep the strength that it’s had in the past.”

Bonneville said he thought the coronation service was “extraordinary” and admitted he found the moment the King swapped his “robes of status and honour” for a simple white shirt for the private anointing as “particularly touching”.

He added: “I found it moving and an extraordinary change-marker in the sand for our culture and for our generation.”

The actor added he feels the concert was a “magical” way to continue the festivities.

The show in Windsor will also see performances by Paloma Faith, Olly Murs, veteran rock guitarist Steve Winwood, and Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls.

Classical acts including Andrea Bocelli, Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel and Chinese pianist Lang Lang are also on the bill.

Hollywood star Tom Cruise, Dynasty actress Dame Joan Collins, adventurer Bear Grylls, singer Sir Tom Jones and former Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse will also make an appearance via video.