The King crowned by Archbishop of Canterbury in historic coronation at Westminster Abbey

·6-min read

The King has been crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his historic coronation at Westminster Abbey.

The archbishop Justin Welby placed the 360-year-old St Edward's Crown on the monarch's head minutes before Camilla was crowned with St Mary's Crown.

The archbishop proclaimed "God save the King" after placing the crown on the monarch's head.

The congregation, which included 100 heads of state, kings and queens from across the globe, celebrities, everyday heroes and family and friends of the monarch, then replied: "God save the King!"

Archbishop Welby had to adjust the position of the crown on the King's head for several seconds before it sat comfortably.

A fanfare was played and the abbey's bells rang for two minutes after the crowning, with gun salutes fired from the nearby Horse Guards Parade, the Tower of London and saluting stations across the nation.

The King was then enthroned as the archbishop proclaimed: "Stand firm, and hold fast from henceforth this seat of royal dignity."

The enthronement traditionally represents the monarch taking possession of his kingdom.

Live updates from day of King's historic coronation

William becomes only blood prince to pay homage to King

Minutes later, Queen Camilla was seen adjusting her hair out of her face as she was crowned.

She had earlier been anointed in public in a break with tradition.

The Bishop of Dover presented the Queen with the Rod with Dove before Lord Chartres presented her with the Sceptre with Cross.

The Queen then curtsied before the King as they appeared to smile at each other in a charming moment in the coronation.

As Andrew Lloyd-Webber's coronation anthem was sung, the Queen was enthroned.

Earlier Prince William paid homage to the King, the only blood prince to do so, in a break with tradition.

William appeared to avoid eye contact with his father through much of the homage.

He then kissed the King on the cheek who was seen to say a couple of inaudible words to his elder son.

At the end of the ceremony, the King walked through the abbey as Prince William, Kate, the Princess of Wales, and their children Louis and Charlotte joined the rest of the congregation in singing the national anthem.

William and Kate's eldest son, Prince George, was not seated with them - as future king he was part of the ceremony as one of the pages of honour.

The King and Queen then left Westminster Abbey in the Gold State Coach as thousands of wellwishers clapped and cheered them along their journey to Buckingham Palace.

The King, sitting on the right-hand side of the carriage, smiled and waved at the crowds as he was driven towards the Mall.

A military band played God Save The King as he passed by, drowning out a group of protesters shouting "Not my king".

The Princess Royal followed the King and Queen's state coach on horseback in her role as Gold Stick-in-Waiting.

Next was a carriage carrying the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children.

Louis appeared to be singing as he looked out of the window waving.

They were followed by Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh, and his family.

Shortly after arriving back at Buckingham Palace at around 1:30pm, the King and Queen went to the West Terrace where they were saluted by 1,000 musicians from 19 bands.

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King and Queen join family on balcony for flypast
Prince Harry and Andrew sit in same row
The coronation in pictures

The King and Queen later appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony ahead of the flypast.

They were initially joined by their pages of honour - which includes Prince George - as they came out to greet crowds.

The Prince and Princess of Wales and their children were also on the balcony, along with the Princess Royal and the Duke of Edinburgh and his family.

Helicopters passed over before the Red Arrows gave a red, white and blue salute to the King and Queen.

King fulfils his destiny at coronation

The historic ceremony of pomp and pageantry, which marks the first time most people have seen the coronation of a British monarch, had been watched by millions around the world.

The crowning was the moment the King fulfilled his destiny following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned for 70 years.

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Before being crowned, the monarch was anointed with holy oil before putting on the coronation robes.

He wore a deep scarlet robe which was previously worn by his grandfather, King George VI.

Charles became the 40th reigning sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, the nation's coronation church since 1066.

The coronation was a deeply religious ceremony steeped in symbolism and its prayers took the theme of "Called to Serve", an attribute associated with the late Queen who pledged her life to the Commonwealth.

Before the crowning the archbishop delivered a sermon to the 2,300 guests present at the service.

The monarch later delivered a King's Prayer, the first time a king or queen has spoken words to God aloud during a coronation, and he touched on the duty of the sovereign to serve all communities.

Prince Harry and Prince Andrew had been among the senior royals at the ceremony but were not given formal roles for the coronation.

Actress Dame Emma Thompson, musicians Lionel Richie and Nick Cave, and a cheery-looking Ant and Dec were among the celebrities who attended.

British actor Stephen Fry, musical impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber and the US first lady Jill Biden were also in attendance.

However, President Biden did not attend.

Before the ceremony began at Westminster Abbey at around 11am, thousands of wellwishers clapped and cheered along the Mall as the King and Queen left Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.

The royal couple smiled and waved at those who gathered near the palace - with many having camped overnight with the hope of securing a perfect spot to view the monarch.

London train stations had buzzed into life from early this morning as thousands of members of the public descended on the capital with hats, dresses, flags and even clothes for dogs emblazoned with Union Flags.

Among those who arrived was a man who identified himself as a relative of the King.

The man, who did not want to be named, had secured a coveted invite to the ceremony.

"On days like today, so filled with joy and excitement, it is like dancing with God," he said.

Six friends from the US who are studying at St Mary's University in Twickenham said they wanted to be close to the coronation because it's "a once-in-a-lifetime thing".

"How could we be in England and not go to the coronation?"

Protesters arrested ahead of ceremony

It came as Republican protesters were arrested after police seized lock-on devices which would make it hard to remove them from their place of demonstration.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed four people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance on St Martin's Lane.

The force also said they made a number of breaching-the-peace arrests in the area of Carlton House Terrace and a further three arrests in the Wellington Arch area on suspicion of possessing articles to cause criminal damage.

A massive security and policing operation, dubbed Golden Orb, has been under way all day with 11,500 police officers on duty alongside more than 9,000 military personnel taking part in the ceremony.