King Charles's coronation: UK TV guide as BBC announces schedule

All you need to know about this Royal appointment viewing

Photo by: KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2023 4/6/23 King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort pose with Dean of York Dominic Barrington and other religious representatives holding nosegay bouquets after the Royal Maundy service at York Minster in York, England. King Charles III distributes Maundy Money to a selected group of Christians to thank them for their work within the Church, for the first time since becoming Monarch and Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
The coronation of King Charles will be held at Westminster Abbey on 6 May. (AP)

The coronation of King Charles will finally take place on Saturday, 6 May, with a whole bank holiday weekend’s worth of activities, events and performances planned and that includes on the TV.

With an added day off, many people will be able to tune into the action live via the BBC’s planned coverage throughout the weekend — but what will be happening and when?

If you’re struggling to plan your TV schedule for this monumental royal weekend then don’t get your crown in a tizzy just yet.

Read more: Coronation concert: What we know

We’ve pulled together all the key information on how UK viewers can watch live TV coverage of the coronation and its accompanying concert.

Where can I watch live coverage of the King’s coronation?

The Coronation Chair inside Westminster Abbey in London.
The coronation chair inside Westminster Abbey in London. (Pool Photo via AP)

Live coverage of the coronation will be available to view on BBC and BBC iPlayer throughout the day, with mirroring coverage also available on ITV and Sky.

While exact timings are liable to change, the official ceremony is set to start at 11am at Westminster Abbey and will see Charles and his wife Camilla ushered in as the new King and Queen.

The BBC and ITV will likely be many people's first port of call for much of the day’s activities, from the military movements that will kick start proceedings to King’s and Queen Consort’s ceremonial route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.

This journey will see the pair travel a 1.3-mile route down The Mall via Admiralty Arch, along the south side of Trafalgar Square and through Whitehall and Parliament Street.

Read more: What will happen at the coronation?

From there, they’ll pass through Parliament Square and Broad Sanctuary before arriving at Westminster Abbey. If you’re unable to make it down to London to see this happen first-hand, you needn’t worry.

Broadcasters' live coverage promises footage from multiple angles to give you a front-row seat, complete with a running live commentary.

Photo by: zz/KGC-107/STAR MAX/IPx 2023 4/14/23 King Charles III attends the 200th Sovereign's Parade at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on April 14, 2023. His Majesty inspected the cadets and presented the academy with its new Colours and Sovereign's Banner. (Sandhurst, Camberley, England, UK)
King Charles III attends the 200th Sovereign's Parade. (AP)

This will be available live via BBC iPlayer with a signed version of events running live on BBC Two and further accessible coverage available via the red button.

Live coverage will also be available for free on ITV and both Sky News and Sky Showcase in Ultra HD, continuing throughout the coronation service itself inside the Abbey.

Once complete, this same coverage will accompany viewers on the King and Queen Consort’s return route back to Buckingham Palace where they will join other members of the Royal Family for a sure-to-be-iconic balcony moment.

Who will be presenting coverage of the coronation?

The Coronation on the BBC will feature JJ Chalmers, Clara Amfo, Clare Balding, Huw Edwards, Kirsty Young, Sophie Raworth, Jordan Banjo and Anita Rani.
The coronation on the BBC will feature JJ Chalmers, Clara Amfo, Clare Balding, Huw Edwards, Kirsty Young, Sophie Raworth, Jordan Banjo and Anita Rani. (BBC/Clara Amfo, Multiple)

The BBC has gathered an eclectic line-up of presenters to guide viewers through this momentous day. Leading the way is broadcasting legend Kirsty Young who will be in a studio at Buckingham Palace.

Scottish presenter JJ Chalmers will be speaking to those taking part in the day’s military moments, while news presenter Huw Edwards will be on hand to provide commentary throughout proceedings at Westminster Abbey.

Clare Balding will talk us through the King and Queen Consort’s route to the ceremony, with newsreader Sophie Raworth speaking to the event’s various guests upon arrival and Anita Rani talking to the crowds lined up to view this celebratory moment first-hand.

Those tuning in via radio will hear presenters Martha Kearney, Eleanor Oldroyd, Mishal Husain and James Naughtie comment on the atmosphere of the day, with added insight from royal correspondent Jonny Dymond.

Dame Joanna Lumley will join Sky's coverage of King Charles III's Coronation.
Dame Joanna Lumley will join Sky's coverage of King Charles's coronation. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Absolutely Fabulous star Dame Joanna Lumley will join the presenter coverage on Sky fresh from the service itself, accompanying channel presenters Kay Burley and Anna Botting.

They'll also be airing a specially-commissioned documentary across the weekend looking at King Charles' journey to the throne.

Tom Bradby and Julie Etchingham will be guiding viewers over on ITV. They'll be joined by Mary Nightingale, Nina Hossain, Charlene White and James Mates reporting from selected locations throughout the day, with special guests including Mel B and Jonathan Dimbleby joining Kate Garraway, Charlotte Hawkins and Laura Tobin at various spots in the hours leading up the coronation service at 11am.

If all this is leaving you feeling a bit royal-ed out, don't worry. Channel 4 will be offering up a range of coronation-free programming for those looking for a bit of variety across the bank holiday weekend.

Who is performing at the Coronation concert and how can I watch it?

Katy Perry is scheduled to perform at the celebration concert for the coronation of King Charles III.
Katy Perry is scheduled to perform at the celebration concert for the coronation of King Charles III. (Getty)

A day after the coronation itself, viewers will be treated to the coronation concert which they can again watch live on BBC and iPlayer from 8pm.

Taking place on the East Lawn of Windsor Castle on Sunday, 7 May 2023, the concert will feature performances from Take That, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

Additional names on the bill include Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli, Welsh bass-baritone singer Sir Bryn Terfel, classical composer Alexis Ffrench and singer and songwriter Freya Ridings.

A group of amateur singers and community choirs made up of refugees and members of the LGBTQ+ community known as the Coronation Choir are also due to perform during the event.

Paloma Faith, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Winwood will deliver music on the night alongside pianist Lang Lang. Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Nick Cave has self-confirmed to attend the coronation itself but won't be performing as part of the concert.

Tom Cruise is also due to appear via a specially-recorded video, with Bear Grylls and Sir Tom Jones expected to do the same. Prince William will pay tribute to his father and stepmother in a speech delivered on the night, too.

What's more, the concert will also see the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal College of Music and the Royal College of Art come together to present a new piece of work fronted by new Doctor Who Ncuti Gatwa and Olivier nominee Mei Mac.

This unique mix promises a performance of a song from West Side Story by the Royal Opera Chorus, with accompanying dancing by the Royal Ballet and new artwork projected onto Windsor Castle created by the Royal College of Art.

Providing live hosting services at the event will be Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville who will introduce each act: “I’m delighted to be taking part in this unique event, celebrating the best of musical entertainment in honour of His Majesty’s coronation," he said.

“In true British style, come rain or shine it will be a night to remember.”

On the BBC, Kirsty Young will host this event via live coverage with Clara Amfo and Jordan Banjo speaking to acts backstage. Those tuning in via radio can hear from Zoe Ball and Dermot O’Leary on BBC Radio 2.

When is the King’s coronation bank holiday?

In addition to the coronation service on Saturday 6 May, and the coronation concert a day later, we’ll also be able to enjoy a bonus bank Holiday on Monday, 8 May 2023 to mark this historic event.

What else is happening during King Charles III’s coronation?

Assorted royal merchandise is on sale in a party and balloon shop in Kensington, west London.
Assorted royal merchandise is on sale in a party and balloon shop in Kensington, west London. (Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)

The above highlights the official proceedings that will form the backbone of the coronation weekend but there’s plenty of other stuff planned too.

On Sunday, 7 May, Lighting Up The Nation will see various places in the UK brought to life via illumination, lasers and drone displays, while coronation Big Lunches are expected to happen throughout the country to promote neighbourly get-togethers.

On Monday, 8 May, the bank holiday will host The Big Help Out — a day designed to encourage people to use this extra day off to volunteer at various spaces in their local area.