Vast military procession to mark King Charles' coronation

Souvenirs designed for the Coronation of King Charles III are seen in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Around 5,000 members of the British armed forces will participate in the coronation of King Charles next month, joined by soldiers from more than 30 Commonwealth countries to form one of the largest ceremonial military operations in decades.

Charles will be crowned at London's Westminster Abbey on May 6 in a ceremony resplendent with pomp and pageantry, with traditions dating back 1,000 years.

Gun salutes will sound out across the country to mark the moment the king is crowned, before military personnel later conduct a flypast of more than 60 aircraft.

"From the procession on The Mall, to the flypast over London, with gun salutes at sea and across the country, it will be a spectacular and fitting tribute," Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement on Sunday.

The coronation comes less than eight months after huge crowds thronged the streets of London to witness the grand processions and ceremonies that marked the funeral of Queen Elizabeth who died after 70 years on the throne.

The palace has been slowly releasing details of her son Charles' coronation, which is set to have a few differences from that of Elizabeth's in 1953, most notably in its scale, partly reflecting the modern age and the cost of living crisis.

Buckingham Palace said Charles had also been involved in the commissioning process and details of the music programme, with film composer Patrick Doyle writing a coronation march and Andrew Lloyd Webber a coronation anthem.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by David Holmes)