King Charles’s Coronation guest list: a who’s who of everyone expected to attend

·9-min read

Save-the-date emails have been sent and preparations are under way as the countdown to King Charles's Coronation in May begins.

The final guest list is yet to be confirmed, but the attendees are certain to include an array of foreign royals, heads of state and politicians.

But one high-profile individual who will not attend is Joe Biden.

The US President confirmed to King Charles in a phone call that he would not be attending the Coronation and the US would instead be represented by his wife Jill, the first lady.

Despite the president’s decision not to attend, Washington has been at pains to deny that his absence was intended as a snub.

Meanwhile, Humza Yousaf, the new First Minister of Scotland, has said he will be attending – despite being a committed Republican and having promised to speak at an independence rally in Glasgow later on the same day.

Only a small minority of politicians and peers are expected to be invited and far fewer members of the aristocracy than the vast numbers that attended Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.

While 8,000 guests crammed into Westminster Abbey for the late Queen's investiture, the guest list this year has reportedly been cut to around 2,000.

Here, we detail all the guests who are likely to attend the May 6 ceremony.

Royal family - Paul Grover/REUTERS
Royal family - Paul Grover/REUTERS

British Royal family

While King Charles's Coronation will be a slimmed-down event in comparison to 1953, nearly the entire Royal family will be out in force.

Members from across the family, including extended cousins and grandchildren, are expected to attend the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Even the youngest members of the family - including Prince Louis - are expected to be involved, posing a challenge for their parents about how to rein them in.

Prince George is to become the youngest future king to play an official role at a coronation, having been named one of his grandfather’s four Pages of Honour.

The nine-year-old will be tasked with carrying the King’s robes alongside three other Pages of Honour - schoolboys Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, 13, Nicholas Barclay, 13, and Ralph Tollemache, 12. All three are the sons of His Majesty’s friends.

The big question that remains is whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will attend.

While the couple have stated that they have been in correspondence with the King's office regarding the Coronation, they have not confirmed for certain whether they will attend.

A spokesman said: "An immediate decision on whether the Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time."

If either of them does attend, it is understood the visit will be brief. It is not thought that either Archie or his sister, one-year-old Lilibet, will travel to London for the ceremony.

Meanwhile, the Duchess of York also revealed at an event in New York earlier this month that she had not yet received an invitation.

"I'm travelling at the moment, so maybe it [invitation] has gone to another place," she said.

While many members of the family will attend the ceremony, just working royals are expected to appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a fly-past, in line with King Charles's wish for a more streamlined monarchy.

Camilla's Family
Camilla's Family

Queen Consort's family and friends

Camilla's family is set to get equal billing at the Coronation, with a number of her grandchildren to be thrust into the limelight for the first time with official duties.

The Queen has chosen to include as her own Pages of Honour her three grandsons, twins Gus and Louis Lopes, 13, and Freddy Parker Bowles, 12, as well as her great-nephew, Arthur Elliot, 11.

Meanwhile, it is likely that the Queen Consort's six companions - her replacement to the former ladies-in-waiting - will also attend the event.

They were appointed to support and accompany Her Majesty on key occasions.

Foreign royals

Members of foreign royal families are also expected to be invited to the ceremony in an historic break with tradition.

Convention dating back centuries stated that a coronation should be a sacred ceremony between a monarch and their people in the presence of God.

But King Charles is set to do away with the tradition and invite his counterparts from around the world.

A source told The Mail on Sunday: "I believe the rule began because a Coronation is meant to be a monarch’s private event with God.

"At the Queen’s Coronation there were no crowned monarchs, only the protectorate rulers like the Queen of Tonga. It’s been a tradition for centuries."

Foreign royals - Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images
Foreign royals - Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images

The source added: "Inviting the King of Jordan, the Sultan of Brunei, the Sultan of Oman and the Scandinavian royals – who are all friends of Charles – will be a good bit of soft power and diplomacy."

Some international royals have already indicated that they will attend the ceremony, including Prince Albert of Monaco.

Speaking to People magazine, the monegasque head of state said: "I’m certain that it’s going to be an incredible ceremony and a very moving one. We’ve maintained contact since His Majesty became King, but I haven't talked to him personally since the Queen’s funeral.

"I’m certain His Majesty will add his own personal touches to the ceremonies, but what those will be, I’m sure I don’t know."

British MPs and peers

Parliamentarians have been in uproar after learning that only a minority will be invited to the ceremony itself. Members have been lobbying the Cabinet Office to argue their case, convinced that they have a right to attend.

It was initially planned that just 20 MPs and 20 peers would get a ticket for Westminster Abbey.

These numbers have now been more than doubled, according to those with knowledge of the event.

On top of this, there will be extra places reserved for former prime ministers, Cabinet ministers and some members of the Privy Council.

Officials have also found a way to allow far greater numbers of MPs and peers feel involved in the proceedings, by creating up to 400 tickets for them to stand in a cordoned off area of Parliament Square, just outside the carriage gate entrance to Parliament.

Former PMs - Kirsty O'Connor/Getty Images
Former PMs - Kirsty O'Connor/Getty Images

From there, they will be able to see the King and his Coronation procession coming down Whitehall and making its way into Westminster Abbey.

“This is an attempt to appease them,” one source involved in the planning told The Telegraph.

An extra event for MPs and peers has also been added to the Coronation line-up - a special reception in Westminster Hall which will take place on the Tuesday before the Coronation and will be attended by the King.

“This will ease the pressure on tickets in the Abbey,” the source said. “It is one way of trying to say ‘look, the King is coming to see you’.”

While both the Government and the Royal household are determined to put on a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle of “glorious” pomp and pageantry, the Coronation will be smaller in scale than Queen Elizabeth II’s.

In 1953, 800 MPs and 910 peers were invited to the late Queen’s coronation. But there will be no scaffolding erected in Westminster Abbey this time around to accommodate such numbers, meaning that spaces are much more limited.

The final decision about which peers and MPs will make the cut will be made by the Cabinet Office, which is keen to ensure that attendees are representative of all parties, geographical locations, ages and backgrounds.

Foreign heads of state

The heads of state and representatives from a number of key British allies and Commonwealth nations are expected to attend the ceremony.

The event will be attended by heads of state from around the world, including from Ireland, France, Spain, Belgium, Japan, Hungary and Monaco.

All three presidents of the EU – Ursula von der Leyen, Roberta Metsola and Charles Michel – will also be there.

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, was the first head of state to be confirmed as attending the event.

During a visit to Poland last week, Prince William said he was very much looking forward to seeing President Duda and the first lady at the Coronation, and he thanked him for attending the late Queen’s funeral last September.

However, as the push for republicanism grows in certain nations where King Charles is still sovereign, in particular in the Caribbean, it remains to be seen whether all will send representatives to the Coronation.

Members of the public

Representatives from many of the King's charity affiliations and a large cross section from the voluntary sector are set to be present at the ceremony.

It has already been revealed that refugees and the NHS will be at the heart of the star-studded concert taking place at Windsor Castle on May 8, the day after the Coronation.

One of the highlights will be the performance of the Coronation Choir, a diverse group drawing together singers from the nation’s community choirs, including refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups and deaf signing choirs.

The King may opt to invite representatives from similar organisations to the Coronation itself. But as the patron or president of more than 400 charities and organisations, the King may have a difficult time choosing.

A Buckingham Palace source has said the three-day weekend would represent Britain “as it is today”, while maintaining the best traditions of pomp and pageantry “for which we are rightly known”.

It has been designed to ensure that everyone who wants to get involved has the opportunity to do so. A royal source said the Coronation needed to be “majestic” but “inclusive” to reflect a diverse modern Britain.

Meanwhile, representatives of all different faiths are also expected to be present, in line with the King's long-running work to promote interfaith dialogue.

During the ceremony, the King is expected to recognise that he serves all religious faiths and not just the Church of England.