Charles and Camilla to be crowned side by side

Charles and Camilla to be crowned side by side

Camilla will be crowned alongside Charles in a Coronation that will be radically streamlined, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The service at Westminster Abbey will be markedly shorter and cheaper than in the past under plans being drawn up with the codename Operation Golden Orb.

The Prince of Wales has already let it be known that he favours a leaner, more modern Monarchy and his Coronation service – whenever it comes – is expected to set the tone for his reign.

Last week the Queen declared it was her ‘sincere wish’ that Camilla would be known as Queen Consort when, ‘in the fullness of time’, her son becomes King. 

There is no suggestion that the Queen is unwell – despite coming into contact with Prince Charles two days before he tested positive for coronavirus last week – but her comments started a national conversation about the future of the Monarchy.

Behind the scenes, plans are under way for an overhaul of the only remaining religious Coronation in Europe.

Camilla will be crowned alongside Charles in a Coronation that will be radically streamlined, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. The service at Westminster Abbey will be markedly shorter and cheaper than in the past under plans being drawn up with the codename Operation Golden Orb. (Above, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall in formal attire at the State Opening of Parliament)

Camilla will be crowned alongside Charles in a Coronation that will be radically streamlined, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. The service at Westminster Abbey will be markedly shorter and cheaper than in the past under plans being drawn up with the codename Operation Golden Orb. (Above, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall in formal attire at the State Opening of Parliament)

Last week the Queen declared it was her 'sincere wish' that Camilla would be known as Queen Consort when, 'in the fullness of time', her son becomes King

Last week the Queen declared it was her ‘sincere wish’ that Camilla would be known as Queen Consort when, ‘in the fullness of time’, her son becomes King

The Coronation will happen within a year of Charles's accession and its acknowledgement of the religious and cultural diversity of modern Britain will mark a significant departure from the Queen's Coronation on June 2, 1953, which reflected the nation and empire of the time. (Above, the Queen and  Philip on the day of her Coronation)

The Coronation will happen within a year of Charles’s accession and its acknowledgement of the religious and cultural diversity of modern Britain will mark a significant departure from the Queen’s Coronation on June 2, 1953, which reflected the nation and empire of the time. (Above, the Queen and  Philip on the day of her Coronation)

A source said that it would be ‘shorter, sooner, smaller, less expensive and more representative of different community groups and faiths’.

The Coronation will happen within a year of Charles’s accession and its acknowledgement of the religious and cultural diversity of modern Britain will mark a significant departure from the Queen’s Coronation on June 2, 1953, which reflected the nation and empire of the time.

Prince Philip, as a male consort, was not entitled to be crowned, but instead knelt before his wife during the Coronation and pledged to be her ‘liege man of life and limb’.

The last time a Queen Consort was crowned was in 1937 when the Queen’s mother, Elizabeth, sat alongside King George VI.

This newspaper also understands that Charles wishes to use a new design on the official insignia which appears on postboxes and police officers’ uniforms – choosing the simpler Tudor Crown to replace the current St Edward’s design.

Prince Philip, as a male consort, was not entitled to be crowned, but instead knelt (above) before his wife during the Coronation and pledged to be her 'liege man of life and limb'

Prince Philip, as a male consort, was not entitled to be crowned, but instead knelt (above) before his wife during the Coronation and pledged to be her ‘liege man of life and limb’

The Coronation will happen within a year of Charles's accession and its acknowledgement of the religious and cultural diversity of modern Britain will mark a significant departure from the Queen's Coronation (procession, pictured) on June 2, 1953, which reflected the nation and empire of the time

The Coronation will happen within a year of Charles’s accession and its acknowledgement of the religious and cultural diversity of modern Britain will mark a significant departure from the Queen’s Coronation (procession, pictured) on June 2, 1953, which reflected the nation and empire of the time

The new plans will mark a radical departure from the Coronation of Elizabeth II, who had been Queen for 16 months by the time of her lavish ceremony

The new plans will mark a radical departure from the Coronation of Elizabeth II, who had been Queen for 16 months by the time of her lavish ceremony

More than 40,000 troops were involved in the parade, including 30,000 lining the streets. The ceremony, the first to be televised, lasted more than three hours and required the Queen to make several outfit changes

More than 40,000 troops were involved in the parade, including 30,000 lining the streets. The ceremony, the first to be televised, lasted more than three hours and required the Queen to make several outfit changes

The new plans will mark a radical departure from the Coronation of Elizabeth II, who had been Queen for 16 months by the time of her lavish ceremony. 

A long carriage procession transported more than 8,000 dignitaries to Westminster Abbey where many were accommodated on makeshift benches. 

More than 40,000 troops were involved in the parade, including 30,000 lining the streets. The ceremony, the first to be televised, lasted more than three hours and required the Queen to make several outfit changes.

But seven decades on, guests will be limited to a maximum of 2,000, and the service will be ‘far shorter because you have to consider Charles’s age’, a source said.

There will be far fewer protectorates who will expect to be invited. In 1953 the Queen of Tonga refused to put the cover up on her carriage despite the pouring rain and delighted the crowds by beaming and waving regardless. 

But Tonga is no longer a British protectorate, becoming fully independent in 1970. And Barbados recently dropped the Queen as head of state.

While aspects of the service will be overhauled in favour of reflecting a ‘modern day Britain’, it will remain an Anglican service with the vows not expected to change.

The last time a Queen Consort was crowned was in 1937 when the Queen's mother, Elizabeth, sat alongside King George VI (above)

The last time a Queen Consort was crowned was in 1937 when the Queen’s mother, Elizabeth, sat alongside King George VI (above)

At one time it was reported that Charles wanted to be known as ‘Defender of Faith’ to reflect Britain’s multicultural society, but a source close to the Prince said: ‘Charles will definitely be Defender of THE Faith. There’s been debate over that, but that’s certain.

‘Charles was considered progressive 50 years ago when he spoke about inter-faith dialogue and that will certainly be part of the ceremony. 

He thinks of the UK as a community comprising different communities and you should expect all those communities represented.’

Not only will the number of guests be a quarter of the contingent in 1953, there will also be fewer members of the Royal Family. 

A source said: ‘It will be a slimmed-down Monarchy on display throughout. I wouldn’t be surprised to see just Charles and Camilla, Kate and William and their children on the Buckingham Palace balcony afterwards.’

The organising committee is shrouded in secrecy but several key figures have been driving discussions between the Palace, the Cabinet Office, the Church and the military, among others.

George VI’s 1937 Coronation: The last time a Queen Consort and King were crowned together

The last time a Queen Consort was crowned alongside a King was during the 1937 Coronation of George VI.

The King had acceded the Throne the previous year upon the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. A Coronation date of May 12, 1937 had already been put in place for Edward but when he stepped down to marry Wallis Simpson, the new King kept the same date.

One major change was required, however – to crown his Queen Consort beside him. As Edward was unmarried, the original plans had made no provision for the crowning of a Queen.

The King had acceded the Throne the previous year upon the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. A Coronation date of May 12, 1937 had already been put in place for Edward but when he stepped down to marry Wallis Simpson, the new King kept the same date

The King had acceded the Throne the previous year upon the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII. A Coronation date of May 12, 1937 had already been put in place for Edward but when he stepped down to marry Wallis Simpson, the new King kept the same date

During the Coronation, which wasn’t televised, the King was anointed and crowned, then peers paid homage to him before a shorter and simpler ceremony for his wife’s Coronation.

Both were seen sitting side-by-side at Westminster Abbey and later appeared on the balcony at Buckingham Palace with their daughters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret both wearing little coronets.

It is King George VI’s Coronation which will now provide the blueprint for Charles and Camilla.

When Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953, Prince Philip – as a male Consort – was not entitled to be crowned.

Instead, he kneeled down and pledged to be her ‘liege man of life and limb’.

It was only later, in 1957, that the Queen used Letters Patent to change her husband’s title from Prince Philip of Greece to ‘the style and titular dignity of a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’.

Sir Stephen Lamport, a former private secretary to the Prince of Wales and now Vice Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, has been instrumental in reviewing the plans along with the Duke of Norfolk, whose family have held the job of Earl Marshal in organising major state occasions since 1386.

A Clarence House spokesman said last night: ‘The detailed planning for a Coronation begins at the point of accession. So there are no plans of this nature at this stage.’

But a source said: ‘There are binders and binders of paperwork on the accession and Coronation all stacked up and each has various appendixes. 

‘It’s very complex. The Golden Orb committee used to meet twice a year but now they’re meeting much more frequently, sometimes once a month. Compared to the last Coronation, there will be a lot less fuss.

‘Last time, special green chairs were commissioned and guests were able to have them delivered to their homes afterwards.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (with, centre, Queen Mary). Also pictured, the royal couple's children Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (with, centre, Queen Mary). Also pictured, the royal couple’s children Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey

‘You won’t see that sort of thing this time.’

The Coronation service was first rewritten several years ago to bring the language up to date and vastly shorten proceedings.

Similarly, the antiquated Court of Claims, where the Lords are invited to claim their right to be included in the Coronation, could also be scrapped.

It last sat in late 1952 when it had to consider claims including those from the Lord High Steward of Ireland to carry a white wand; from a number of peers seeking to carry the ‘great gold spurs’; and from the Duke of Somerset to carry the Orb or Sceptre for the new Queen.

After the Coronation, Charles and Camilla are expected to honour the tradition of touring the major cities of the UK.

Scaled down… but Charles will still use a spruced-up Gold Coach during the next Coronation

During the next Coronation, the newly crowned King and Queen Consort will be expected to travel in the Gold Coach.

A team is working to make mechanical repairs to the eight horse-drawn carriage to mark the Platinum Jubilee.

But there will be added benefit to the expenditure because it will make the 240-year-old coach roadworthy for the Coronation.

The Georgian-era vehicle, which weighs four tons and is 24 ft long, has not been used since the Queen rode in it to mark her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

It was commissioned by King George III in 1760 and while it cost £7,562 – the equivalent of £1.6 million today – it was built for style, not comfort.

The Queen once described the bone-rattling journey on her 1953 Coronation aged 26 as ‘horrible’.

‘It’s only sprung on leather,’ she said and ‘not very comfortable’.

Palace officials have realised a major overhaul is going to be needed for Charles, 73, and Camilla, 74, who both require back cushions when seated for a long time on official engagements.

During the next Coronation, the newly crowned King and Queen Consort will be expected to travel in the Gold Coach

During the next Coronation, the newly crowned King and Queen Consort will be expected to travel in the Gold Coach

Unlike a Royal Wedding, where the security costs are met by the taxpayer and the cost of the ceremony is met by the Family, a Coronation is funded by the Government. 

It is estimated that the 1953 Coronation cost £1.57 million – the equivalent to £46 million today.

A source said the next Coronation would be ‘far cheaper’ and it was Charles’s wish that any celebration should be considered ‘good value’. 

It is thought the Palace will be paying particular attention to this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and anything they might reveal about the relationship between the Crown and a much-changed country in the past 69 years.

A source said: ‘The thinking is similar to that of Edward VII’s Coronation. At that point, it had been such a long time since his mother Queen Victoria had been crowned. When Edward came to the Throne, they used the late Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations as a guide.’

A source said: 'It will be a slimmed-down Monarchy on display throughout. I wouldn't be surprised to see just Charles and Camilla, Kate and William and their children on the Buckingham Palace balcony afterwards'

A source said: ‘It will be a slimmed-down Monarchy on display throughout. I wouldn’t be surprised to see just Charles and Camilla, Kate and William and their children on the Buckingham Palace balcony afterwards’

It is thought the Palace will be paying particular attention to this year's Platinum Jubilee celebrations and anything they might reveal about the relationship between the Crown and a much-changed country in the past 69 years. (Above, the Queen with Camilla in the Buckingham Palace Garden on June 3, 2019)

It is thought the Palace will be paying particular attention to this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and anything they might reveal about the relationship between the Crown and a much-changed country in the past 69 years. (Above, the Queen with Camilla in the Buckingham Palace Garden on June 3, 2019)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, courtiers will look not just to the successes of past Coronations but will seek to avoid their failings. 

Queen Victoria’s Coronation was said to be disorganised, with the ring forced on to the wrong finger, while Edward VII’s crown was placed on his head back-to-front.

However, in a world where the entire Coronation will be televised live around the globe, there can be no room for error.

There are also health and safety considerations today that would not have been thought to be an issue 69 years ago.

Then metal scaffolding and wooden benches were erected within the Abbey as thousands of guests were crammed in. 

Extra lavatories were installed to avoid the indignity suffered by Samuel Pepys who was forced to leave during the Coronation of Charles II.

While church attendance has dropped significantly since the last Coronation, a report published in 2016 by religion think-tank Theos revealed that 57 per cent of Britons thought the ceremony should be Christian while only 19 per cent thought it should be multi-faith and 23 per cent thought it should be secular.

Will Charles put the Tudor crown on livery? Prince plans to change the designs of everything from post boxes to police uniforms

When Charles becomes King he is expected to put his own stamp on the reign by changing the designs of everything from post boxes to police officers’ uniforms.

The Royal insignia currently features the Queen’s ERII, for Elizabeth the second, with an image of the St Edward’s Crown.

Charles, however, is understood to prefer the simpler ‘Tudor Crown’ design, where the sides of the crown fall straight down, rather than the more bulbous style which is so closely associated with his mother’s reign, the only one in living memory for most Britons today.

A return to use of the Tudor Crown would also be a fitting link to his grandfather, King George VI, who used the design during his 15 years on the Throne.

The current livery Tudor crown livery

When Charles becomes King he is expected to put his own stamp on the reign by changing the designs of everything from post boxes to police officers’ uniforms. The Royal insignia currently features the Queen’s ERII (right), for Elizabeth the second, with an image of the St Edward’s Crown. Charles, however, is understood to prefer the simpler ‘Tudor Crown’ design (left), where the sides of the crown fall straight down, rather than the more bulbous style which is so closely associated with his mother’s reign

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