King’s coronation route is far shorter than his mother’s in 1953

The return journey will cover 1.3 miles compared to the late Queen’s five-mile expedition around central London which took two hours to complete.

The King’s Coronation Procession stretches to just 1.3 miles – around a quarter of the length of the late Queen’s five-mile celebratory journey.

A newly crowned Charles and Queen Consort will make their way back from Westminster Abbey in the Gold State Coach via the tried and tested route of Parliament Square, along Whitehall, around Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch and down The Mall back to Buckingham Palace.

(PA Graphics)

More than 6,000 members of the armed forces will take part on the day of the coronation – the largest military ceremonial operation for 70 years – staging gun salutes and a flypast, and parading in the processions.

Some 4,000 sailors, soldiers, aviators and other military personnel from across the UK and the Commonwealth will accompany Charles and Camilla on their return Coronation Procession.

Flanking the roads will be more than 1,000 route liners from the British Army, RAF and Royal Navy.

King Charles III coronation
The Queen in the Gold State Coach on the day of her coronation (PA)

The journey will be the reverse of the King and Queen Consort’s route to the Abbey but much shorter than Elizabeth II’s five-mile return expedition around central London which saw the 27-year-old monarch waving to crowds along Piccadilly, Oxford Street and Regent Street.

The grand procession in 1953 took two hours and featured tens of thousands of participants, with the two-and-a-half mile cavalcade taking 45 minutes to pass any given point.

Charles’s shorter route is understood to have been chosen for practical reasons, with a preference for the familiar journey used on many a royal occasion.

The coronation routes in 1953 and 2023
(PA Graphics)

Previous monarchs including Elizabeth II have expressed their dislike for the bumpy, uncomfortable 260-year-old Gold State Coach.

The outward procession, called the King’s Procession, is much smaller in scale and will see Charles and Camilla travel in the modern Diamond Jubilee Coach, which has air con and shock absorbers.

It will feature around 200 members from The Sovereign’s Escort of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment accompanying the monarch and his consort, as well as troops from the three services lining the route.

Major General’s annual inspection of the Household Cavalry
Members of the Household Cavalry on parade during the Major General’s annual inspection of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The Queen’s journey to her crowning on June 2 1953 was 1.6 miles, taking in a slightly longer route than Charles’s by making her way along the Victoria Embankment by the River Thames.

She travelled both there and back in the Gold State Coach.

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