Are you eagerly anticipating the coronation of King Charles III but unable to secure a spot at Westminster Abbey? Don’t lose hope just yet! There are public screenings of the event across central London and various chances to catch a glimpse of the newly crowned King and Queen in person along the procession route.
Where to watch the coronation procession
In contrast to Queen Elizabeth’s long procession route (5 miles), King Charles’ route will be much shorter (1.3 miles). This has raised fears that it will be almost impossible to get a glimpse of the royal couple on coronation day because of the huge crowds. However, If you’re really eager to experience the pomp and pageantry of the coronation procession firsthand, there are several viewing areas along the route that you can choose from.
Saturday morning update: It’s already very full along the procession route
Here is a complete timetable, to make it easier to plan your day:
Coronation Timetable on May 6
- 05:00 – Big screen viewing areas open in London’s parks.
- 06:00 – Public viewing areas open along the route.
- 07:15 – Guests at the Abbey start to arrive.
- 07:30 – BBC’s official coronation broadcast begins.
- 09:30 – Official dignitaries arrive at the Abbey.
- 10:20 – The King and Queen’s procession sets off.
- 10:53 – The King and Queen arrive at the Abbey.
- 11:00 – The service begins.
- 12:00 – The King is crowned.
- 13:00 – The newly crowned King and Queen head back.
- 13:40 – The Mall is opened up for the general public.
- 14:15 – The King and Queen appear on the Palace balcony.
- 14:30 – The flypast – a squadron of Red Arrows will fly over Buckingham Palace.
The coronation procession route
The procession will commence at 10:20 am on May 6, 2023, starting at Buckingham Palace and proceeding down The Mall towards Westminster Abbey. King Charles III and Queen Camilla will be carried in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach, pulled by six majestic Windsor Grey horses.
The King’s Procession will then proceed along The Mall, through Admiralty Arch, and past the south side of King Charles Island in Trafalgar Square before turning onto Whitehall. It will then continue down Whitehall, along the east and south sides of Parliament Square, before finally arriving at Westminster Abbey.
After the coronation ceremony, the royal couple will return to Buckingham Palace around 13:00 as part of a larger ceremonial procession known as ‘The Coronation Procession.’
If you want to catch a glimpse of the procession in person, there are several viewing areas available along the route:
Westminster Abbey & Whitehall
The area outside of Westminster Abbey is ticketed, but if you get there really early you can secure a good spot along Whitehall.
The Mall is another opportunity for the public to see the procession.
The King and Queen Consort, accompanied by members of the royal family, will make an appearance on the balcony to conclude the day’s events.
Important: The capacity of the public viewing areas above (marked in purple) is very limited, and police will close them off as soon as they are full. Based on our experience from the Platinum Jubilee, these areas are not that large and will fill up very quickly right after they open at 6 AM in the morning on Saturday. Unless you’re prepared to stand for several hours waiting for the procession to begin, it’s better to aim for a good spot in one of the public screening sites.
Advice for families with children watching the coronation
If you’re planning to bring your children to central London to watch the coronation on Saturday, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure the best experience for your family. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Be prepared for huge crowds: The procession route will fill up quickly with thousands of royal well-wishers desperate to get a glimpse of the King and Queen (the public viewing areas open at 6 AM on Saturday morning). In other words – not the ideal place if you have young children in tow.
- Bring snacks, water, and activities: As you wait for the procession to pass, keeping your children occupied and comfortable is essential. Bring snacks, water, and something to entertain them, such as colouring books or games.
- Dress appropriately: It’s a special day, so make the most out of it and dress up! At the same time, make sure everyone is wearing comfortable clothing and shoes, as you may be standing for a long time.
- Watch it on a big screen: Due to the high number of people expected along the official coronation route, it will be challenging for children to see anything. Instead, consider watching the coronation on one of the big screens located in Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park (open from 5 AM).
- Watch them on the balcony: Even if you can’t see the procession up close along the route, you’ll still get a chance to see King Charles III and Queen Camilla on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. After the procession has passed, the Mall will be open to the public. Be quick to secure a good spot, and bring binoculars!
What’s the ideal spot for families to watch the coronation?
Our advice for families with young children: Forget about finding a good spot along the route (it’s going to be crazy busy), and focus instead on finding a good place in front of the big screens in St James’s Park or Green Park. So prepare a picnic (and the possibility of rain), let the kids relax on the grass and watch the coronation without too much stress.
Once the procession has passed on its way back to Buckingham Palace you’ll be right next to the Mall from where you can see the royal family on the balcony as tiny figures in the distance (if you’re lucky).
Where to watch the coronation on big screens in London
Here are the official spots to watch the coronation on a big screen in central London:
1. Hyde Park – Main location with 4 big screens
Hyde Park is one of London’s largest and most popular parks, and on May 6 it will be the site of four large screens scattered around the park. This location has the most viewing options, so it’s a great choice if you want to find a less crowded spot. To get there, the nearest tube station is Hyde Park Corner on the Piccadilly line. If you’re bringing children, there are plenty of play areas and cafes around the park so that you can make a day out of it.
Screens 1 and 2 are located on the Old Football Pitches south of the Serpentine and close to South Carriage Drive. Screen 1 is facing west while Screen 2 is facing east. The Cockpit, Screen 3, is located on the north side of the Serpentine near the Norwegian War Memorial. Finally, Screen 4 is located on the Boathouse Lawn on the north side of the Serpentine, next to the boathouse.
2. Green Park – One big screen at the Broad Walk
Green Park is a smaller park compared to Hyde Park but is still a great option if you’re looking for a more central location. The park is open 24 hours a day, and there will be one large screen at the Broad Walk for the coronation screening. The nearest tube station is Green Park on the Jubilee, Victoria, and Piccadilly lines. The park has many open spaces, so it’s perfect for children to run around and play.
3. St James’s Park – One big screen near Marlborough Gate
Park St James’s Park is in the heart of London, just a stone’s throw away from Buckingham Palace. The park is open from 5:00 am to midnight all year round, and there will be one large screen near the Marlborough Gate for the coronation screening. The nearest tube stations are St James’s Park on the District and Circle lines and Westminster on the Jubilee, District, and Circle lines. This location is great for families as there are plenty of benches and grassy areas for children to play.
What time will the big screen areas open?
You can access the Hyde Park screening site from 5 am on Saturday 6 May. However, the BBC broadcast will not start until 07:30 am. If you arrive at 5 am, the screens will probably not be turned on and some facilities (such as food and drink kiosks) may not be open.
For the latest up-to-date official guidelines, we recommend checking the official event page.