As it happened: King Charles III's coronation

King Charles III has been crowned in a formal ceremony at London's Westminster Abbey.

Charles became King after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died in September last year. 

Born in Buckingham Palace in 1948, he was heir to the throne from the age of three, when his mother became Queen.

At age 74 he is the oldest person to accede to the throne: he was heir to the throne and served as the Prince of Wales longer than any other monarch. 

The ceremony began with a procession at around 9:20pm on Saturday (NZ time) and concluded at around 1:30am, when the Royal Family appeared on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. 

You can watch the coronation ceremony on Three Now. 

Timeline of events 

All times in NZ time:

  • 5:30pm: Doors of London's Westminster Abbey open to the congregation. Music begins an hour and a half later.
  • 8:35-8:45pm: Members of the British Royal Family arrive.
  • 9:20pm: The king's procession begins. Charles and Camilla will be escorted by cavalry divisions and musicians on the route to Westminster Abbey. They will pass along The Mall, a grand avenue outside the palace, which will be lined by crowds.
  • 9:53pm: The king's procession arrives and the bells of the abbey are rung.
  • 10:00pm: The two-hour coronation ceremony begins.
  • 11:00pm: Charles will be crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. A fanfare will sound and gun salutes will be fired at the Tower of London and across the capital, the nation, in Gibraltar, Bermuda and on ships at sea.
  • 12:00pm: The Coronation Procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace begins, with Charles and Camilla travelling in the Gold State Coach.
  • Prince William, Charles' son and heir, along with his wife Kate and their three children, will travel in the first carriage behind Charles. Other working members of the royal family will follow behind.
  • 12:45am: The Coronation Procession reaches Buckingham Palace. Charles and Camilla will proceed to the garden for the Royal Salute from members of the armed forces before joining other members of the Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
  • 1:30am: There will be a flypast of modern and historic military aircraft after which the royals will gather for an informal family lunch.

These live updates are now over.

1:35am - With King Charles returning for one final wave, the Royal Family have gone back inside Buckingham Palace, bringing an end to our coronation live updates. Thanks for joining us!

1:26pm - The Royal Family have appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony to loud applause.

King Charles III and Queen Camilla waved as they were joined by other members of the Royal Family, including the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children.

Overhead, the flypast began with a helicopter formation followed by a display by the RAF's Red Arrows display team.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Getty Images

1:20am - Crowds are gathering outside Buckingham Palace in anticipation of the Royal Family making an appearance on the balcony at around 1:30am.

1:05am - According to Britain's PA Media, a planned military flypass has been scaled down due to the bad weather.

Only helicopters and the Red Arrows display team will now take part, the Ministry of Defence reportedly said.

12:55am - The King has been saluted by the troops and the national anthem has played, followed by three cheers.

12:47am - Troops are gathering in the Buckingham Palace garden where they will salute the King.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: BBC / Screenshot

12:35am - The coach carrying the King and Queen has arrived at Buckingham Palace.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Getty Images

12:24am - The procession is off, and crowds lining the street cheer and wave as the King and Queen pass.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: BBC / Screenshot

According to the UK Ministry of Defence it is the largest military procession for 70 years, and features 4000 Armed Forces personnel from 33 Commonwealth countries.

12:04am - A military procession is in place to escort King Charles and his wife through the streets.

According to the royal household it features "Armed Forces from across the Commonwealth and the British Overseas Territories, and all Services of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, alongside The Sovereign's Bodyguard and Royal Watermen".

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: BBC / Screenshot

12:03am - King Charles emerges from Westminster Abbey to the sound of bells, and he enters the coach to return to Buckingham Palace.

12:01am - Before the King leaves the Abbey, he is greeted at the Great West Door by faith leaders and representatives, who he thanks.

11:55pm - Next, a fanfare sounds, and all stand to sing the National Anthem as King Charles reappears wearing his crown and carrying the orb and sceptre.

He walks back down the aisle on what's known as his outward procession.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: BBC / Screenshot

11:45pm - As the choir sings, King Charles and Queen Camilla are preparing to leave for the second procession back to Buckingham Palace.

11:30pm - After the King and Queen receive Holy Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury introduces the Lord's Prayer.

11:15pm - Queen Camilla is now being crowned. She is anointed with holy oil and presented with the Consort's Ring and the Sceptre and Rod before being crowned with Queen Mary's Crown and enthroned.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Getty Images

11:10pm - The Archbishop of Canterbury now pays homage to Charles, followed by Prince William who knelt and said:

"I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you, and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God."

The Archbishop then invites the public to pledge their own allegiance to the King with the words: "I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God."

11pm - The moment of crowning is here - a moment not seen in seven decades.

The Archbishop of Canterbury placed St. Edward's Crown on King Charles III's head, and said:

"King of kings and Lord of lords, bless, we beseech thee, this Crown, and so sanctify thy servant Charles, upon whose head this day thou dost place it for a sign of royal majesty, that he may be crowned with thy gracious favour and filled with abundant grace and all princely virtues; through him who liveth and reigneth supreme over all things, one God, world without end. Amen.

"God Save the King."

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: BBC / Screenshot

10:52pm - King Charles is presented with the coronation regalia as he sits on the coronation chair.

The Sword of Offering or Jewelled Sword is blessed by the Archbishop before being delivered to the King and then offered up at the altar.

After this comes the Armills, the Orb, and the Sceptre and Rod.

10:45pm - King Charles is now being disrobed before he's anointed with holy oil on his hands, chest and head. He is shielded by screens during this part of the ceremony.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: BBC / Screenshot

10:37pm - A sermon is now being delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

"We are here to crown a King, and the King is crowned to serve," he said, and praises those who have worked for charity, community and the military.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Getty Images

10:32pm -  The next reading is from the Gospel of Luke.  It's followed by an alleluia sung by the Ascension Choir.

10:26pm - UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is reading from the Bible:

"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist."

10:20pm - King Charles III has knelt before the altar at Westminster Abbey and said a prayer.

"God of compassion and mercy, whose Son was sent not to be served but to serve, give grace that I may find in thy service perfect freedom, and in that freedom knowledge of thy truth," he said.

"Grant that I may be a blessing to all thy children, of every faith and belief, that together we may discover the ways of gentleness and be led into the paths of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

10:15pm - The next step is the Coronation Oath. King Charles is presented with the Bible, and swears to uphold the law and the church.

"I, Charles, do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God profess, testify, and declare that I am a faithful Protestant, and that I will, according to the true intent of the enactments which secure the Protestant succession to the throne, uphold and maintain the said enactments to the best of my powers according to law," he said.

10:12pm - The ceremony starts with the Recognition. King Charles presents himself to the people, who acknowledge him as the king.

The Archbishop of Canterbury says: "I here present unto you King Charles, your undoubted King: Wherefore all you who are come this day to do your homage and service: are you willing to do the same?"

And the congregation answers with "God save King Charles".

10:10pm - The Archbishop of Canterbury begins the service.

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered to offer worship and praise to Almighty God; to celebrate the life of our nations; to pray for Charles, our King; to recognize and to give thanks for his life of service to this Nation, the Realms, and the Commonwealth; and to witness with joy his anointing and crowning, his being set apart and consecrated for the service of his people," he said.

"Let us dedicate ourselves alike, in body, mind, and spirit, to a renewed faith, a joyful hope, and a commitment to serve one another in love."

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Getty Images

10:00pm: The two-hour coronation ceremony begins. You can watch the livestream in the video player above.

9:59pm - King Charles III has entered Westminster Abbey and is walking down the aisle for the coronation ceremony.

Behind him walk the Prince and Princess of Wales.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Getty Images
9:55pm: Royal regalia is being carried into the abbey.

9:49pm - The King and Queen's coach has arrived at Westminster Abbey, and the start of King Charles' coronation is now just minutes away.

9:43pm - The King's procession has entered the final part of the route to Westminster Abbey.

9:40pm - Members of the Royal Family including Prince Harry are arriving at Westminster Abbey.

King Charles' siblings - Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew - have now all taken their seats inside.

9:35pm - The Royal Family have shared a video showing Their Majesties on their way to Westminster Abbey.

9:25pm - Crowds are waving and cheering for the King as he passes by, escorted by the sovereign's escort of the Household Cavalry.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: BBC / Screenshot

9:20pm - King Charles and Queen Camilla's procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey is underway.

They are escorted by cavalry divisions and musicians on the route, which will pass along The Mall, a grand avenue outside the palace, which will be lined by crowds.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Getty Images

9:15pm - King Charles and his wife Camilla have been seen boarding the Diamond Jubilee State Coach at Buckingham Palace. They will travel to Westminster Abbey for the coronation before returning.

9:00pm - The Royal Family have shared a photo of the military waiting outside Buckingham Palace before King Charles makes his way to Westminster Abbey.

8:40pm - A pre-coronation concert is taking place inside Westminster Abbey, which is filling up with guests. Actors Judi Dench and Emma Thompson have arrived, along with singers Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Nick Cave.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Getty Images

8:30pm - King Charles III has arrived at Buckingham Palace ahead of the coronation procession, which is due to start in around an hour.

The King was photographed in the back of a car with the Royal Standard, and waved to well-wishers lining the street as his motorcade went passed.

King Charles in his car.
King Charles in his car. Photo credit: Getty Images

8:15pm - Leader of the Opposition Christopher Luxon has been spotted making his way towards Westminster Abbey for the coronation ceremony, alongside other members of the New Zealand delegation.

Christopher Luxon attending King Charles' coronation.
Christopher Luxon attending King Charles' coronation. Photo credit: Getty Images

7:55pm - The first guests are arriving at London's historic Westminster Abbey for the coronation ceremony.

Some 2200 people are due to attend, including members of the House of Lords, members of the Royal Family, heads of state, religious figures and community and charity volunteers.

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Newshub

7:40pm - Multiple people have reportedly been arrested at an anti-Monarchy demonstration in Trafalgar Square.

"Six Republic members have been arrested including the CEO as the demonstration was starting at the edge of Trafalgar Square," Republic activist Luke Whiting told the PA news agency.

"It is unclear why, potentially it is because one of them was carrying a megaphone.

"It is unclear exactly whether the police are using these new powers and whether they are misusing them to stop protest happening."

The Metropolitan Police warned it would take a tough attitude toward protests around the coronation.

"Our tolerance for any disruption, whether through protest or otherwise, will be low," it wrote on Twitter earlier this week.

"We will deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining this celebration."

7:30pm - UK PM Rishi Sunak says the coronation is a moment of "extraordinary national pride".

"No other country could put on such a dazzling display," he wrote in a Twitter post.

"But it is not just a spectacle. It's a proud expression of our history, culture, and traditions.

"It is a vivid demonstration of the modern character of our country. And a cherished ritual through which a new era is born.

"God Save The King."

7:20pm - Crowds are gathering to celebrate King Charles' coronation with some royal supporters camping out in central London for days to nab the best spots along the route.

Others have travelled from around the world to see the monarch's procession.

"I've known for years that I would want to attend this day, and the day that it was announced, I was driving to the office, and my husband just called me and said 'May 6'," one woman from Canada told the BBC.

"I knew exactly what it was. And I jumped on the phone to get a hotel reservation and we went from there."

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Newshub

7:15pm - Newshub's live coverage of King Charles III's coronation has begun. You can watch it in the video player above or on our shows page.

7:00pm - Here's a roundup of some of the best photos Newshub has been sent from royal fans in New Zealand.

6:45pm- Royal fans in New Zealand are sending in pictures of how they will be watching the coronation. 

Below are shots from Louise Keenan and Mark Ryder.  

As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Mark Ryder
As it happened: King Charles III's coronation
Photo credit: Louise Keenan.

06:20pm - The Daily Mail says Prince Harry arrived for his father's coronation on board an American Airlines flight. 

 His wife Meghan and their two children stayed in the US. Harry reportedly has no formal role at the coronation and may even sit separately from the "working royals" such as his brother William and Princess Anne. 

It is only a flying visit for Harry as it is his son Archie's birthday and he wants to get home to celebrate.   

06:10pm - If you have any burning questions about today's coronation, such as where members of the Royal Family will sit, what crown they will use or what Charles will be wearing here is a guide to the day's events.