It has been announced that more than 6,000 members of the Armed Forces will participate in the Coronation in just a few weeks’ time.
Becoming the largest military ceremonial operation for 70 years, the Coronation will see soldiers and aviators from across the UK and Commonwealth take part in the two processions before and after the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
The procession route has already been confirmed to go from Buckingham Palace down The Mall via Admiralty Arch, along the south side of Trafalgar Square, past Whitehall and Parliament Street, around the east and south sides of Parliament Square to Broad Sanctuary, to finally arrive at the Abbey.
In the first procession, known as ‘The King’s Procession’, there will be under 200 members of the military and they will be from The Sovereign’s Escort of The Household Cavalry, on horseback. The journey to Westminster Abbey will see Their Majesties riding in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.
On the return to Buckingham Palace, there will be nearly 4,000 personnel and will see The King and Queen riding in the Gold State Coach.
Once the procession has returned to Buckingham Palace, there will be a Coronation flypast, much like the traditional flypast as part of Trooping the Colour celebrations.
Featured amongst the procession will be aircraft that have delivered support to Ukraine, policed NATO airspace, supported disaster relief, deterred drug trafficking and countered terrorism in the Middle East and Africa.
The Spitfires of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the RAF’s brand-new P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, Joint RAF and RN crewed state-of-the art F-35B Lightning II jets and transport aircraft from the RAF’s Air Mobility Force are all set to feature. The flypast will feature the first flypast involvement of the RAF’s new Envoy IV CC1 aircraft.
The Coronation Procession will showcase the diversity and traditions of the UK and Commonwealth Armed Forces, where we are expected to see a range of uniforms, flags and 20 different marching bands.
The moment The King is crowned will see military bases, both on land and at sea, give gun salutes for the occasion. 21 rounds will fire to mark the Coronation, with the exception of The Tower of London and Horse Guards Parade, where a 62 round salute and a six-gun salvo will fire.
Speaking about the role that the military will play in the upcoming Coronation, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: ‘I am incredibly proud of our brilliant military personnel who are preparing to honour centuries of military tradition by taking to the streets, skies and seas to pay tribute to our new King and Queen and mark the Coronation next month.
‘As they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Commonwealth friends and allies, I know the hard work of thousands of our servicemen and women during the past weeks and months will culminate in an incredible display that will amaze crowds at home and across the world.’
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff, said: ‘The contribution of the Armed Forces to the Coronation symbolises unyielding service to King and Country. It reflects centuries of tradition, but is indicative of the integral role the Armed Forces play in modern Britain and the extraordinary ways we support the nation, whether deterring aggression and maintaining stability worldwide or strengthening our domestic resilience and prosperity.
‘The soldiers, sailors and aviators participating in the Coronation are privileged to be part of this historic ceremony and all it represents. Thousands more servicemen and women will be watching at home and overseas, and are justly proud to wear The King’s Uniform on this special day.’