All the details from the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla

It proved to be the greatest show on Earth as the King promised to serve his country and Commonwealth

It was an occasion of great pomp and pageantry – truly fitting for a king. But sweep aside the centuries-old traditions, the grand processions, the ornate robes and the priceless ancient bling, and at the heart of the coronation was a man simply vowing to carry out his duty to serve.

King Charles III was crowned alongside his wife, Queen Camilla, at Westminster Abbey in a service that showcased the stunning spectacle and symbolism of the British monarchy. But he summed up what it was really all about as he was welcomed at the beginning of the proceedings by 14-year-old chorister Samuel Strachan “in the name of the King of kings”.

The King replied in a loud and clear voice, “I come not to be served, but to serve.”

Born to be Monarch, the King had a 70-year apprenticeship after his mother, Elizabeth II, became sovereign. He hit the ground running as monarch after her death. Now the coronation formally signifies that it’s his turn to take on the responsibility that comes with the role.

It was a solemn ceremony steeped in ancient rituals and deeply religious elements, but thanks to the King, 74, also managed to be “a very 21st-century coronation that included many modern touches”, according to royal biographer Robert Hardman.

These included making the guest list far more inclusive. Many peers of the realm who have typically filled the pews at state occasions had to watch the proceedings on TV from home as 400 seats went to people from all walks of life who have received a British Empire Medal.

Charles also dispensed with 900-year-old protocol that said no one from other royal houses could attend, and invited friends like Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco, and King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain.

Although the service revolved around his role as the head of the Church of England, Charles was very keen for different faiths to take part, so Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim religious leaders played active roles in the coronation.

When it came to music, along with traditional hymns and pieces like Handel’s Zadok the Priest, 12 composers were commissioned to write new anthems for the occasion, including musicals maestro Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The King put in a special request for a gospel choir and also asked for Greek Orthodox music to be performed as a tribute to

his late father, Prince Philip, who was a member of the Greek royal family.

But rituals dating back many centuries, such as investing the King with the priceless regalia that symbolises his role and authority as Sovereign, still dominated the two-hour long ceremony and made it a truly unique occasion.

British MP Penny Mordaunt holds the ceremonial swords for the duration of the coronation.

Of special significance to the King was the fact that his wife, Queen Camilla, was crowned with him. For many years, after the end of his marriage to Princess Diana and before Camilla, 75, became his second wife, Charles feared that when his big day came, he would be crowned alone.

Even once he and the woman he’d loved since he was in his twenties were married, it was not a done deal that she would be crowned Queen alongside him. The understanding at the time of their 2005 wedding was that she would use the title Princess Consort.

Camilla’s ceremony was much shorter.

But Elizabeth II made it clear last year that she wanted her daughter-in-law to be Queen Consort, and Charles has now indicated that she is to be known as Queen Camilla. Having her by his side was crucial, says royal writer Richard Kay.

“What really mattered was that Camilla was there every step of the way. She had steadied and readied him for it. He seemed to take confidence in her very presence.”

There were a few moments when they both appeared a little nervous, especially when the crowns – St Edward’s Crown for the King and Queen Mary’s Crown for the Queen – were placed on their heads. But the smiles they exchanged when the particularly challenging parts were over showed just how proud, happy and probably relieved they both were that everything had gone without a hitch.

It all leads to this moment, when St Edward’s Crown is placed on Charles’ head.

One of the most poignant moments came when the Prince of Wales paid homage to the King by kneeling in front of him and saying, “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.”

William, 40, then kissed his “Pa” on the cheek and the King, who appeared to be very moved, quietly thanked his eldest son. Youngest son Prince Harry, 38, was at the coronation but did not play any part in proceedings and left the UK straight afterwards.

In a heart-warming touch, son and heir Prince William swears his allegiance to the King, following it with a kiss, which proves to be an emotional moment for Charles.

Their stepmother Camilla looked regal in an elegant ivory Bruce Oldfield gown. It featured delicate gold and silver embroidery depicting garlands of wildflowers, representing the King and Queen’s love of nature, along with the floral motifs of the four British nations. Near the hem was a pair of embroidered dogs, thought to represent Camilla’s beloved Jack Russell terriers Beth and Bluebell.

Official portrait of our Queen.

Meanwhile, Charles wore several outfits, including two different velvet robes previously worn during George VI’s 1937 coronation. To be crowned, he put on the Supertunica, a gold coat made in 1911 for George V, and the lavish Imperial Mantle, a gold cloak dating back to 1821.

Each stage of the meticulously planned service, from the Recognition, Coronation Oath and Anointing through to the Investiture (which included the Crowning), Enthroning and Homage ran like clockwork. And despite wet weather, the processions between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey were magnificent.

Hundreds of thousands of people braved the rain to crowd into the streets and watch as more than 7000 members of the Armed Forces (including 21 New Zealanders) took part in the impressive display as their Majesties made the journey in ornate carriages.

The Armed Forces’ 4000-strong Coronation Procession guides Their Majesties in the Gold State Coach back to Buckingham Palace.

The day ended with two appearances by senior members of the royal family and the King and Queen’s attendants on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

After two more days of celebrations, including the concert at Windsor Castle, the King sent out a message thanking everyone who helped to make his coronation such a special occasion.

“To know that we have your support and encouragement, and to witness your kindness expressed in so many different ways, has been the greatest possible coronation gift, as we now rededicate our lives to serving the people of the United Kingdom, the realms and Commonwealth.”

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