While King Charles III’s coronation was organised with great pomp and show, many prominent figures missed the once-in-a-generation ceremony.
Notable among them were US President Joe Biden who did not travel to London. Instead US first lady Jill Biden led the American delegation, reported CNN.
However, Biden congratulated the King and Queen, noting the “enduring friendship” between the United Kingdom and the United States in a tweet.
Prince Harry, the King’s younger son, travelled to the UK from the US, his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, stayed home with their two young children.
The leaders of Russia, Belarus, Iran, Myanmar, Syria, Afghanistan and Venezuela were not in attendance because they were not invited, according to Reuters.
Britain’s King Charles III has been crowned in a once-in-a-generation royal event witnessed by hundreds of high-profile guests inside Westminster Abbey, as well as tens of thousands of well-wishers who gathered in central London despite the rain.
While Charles became King on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II last September, the coronation on Saturday was the formal crowning of the monarch.
The appearances of Princes Andrew and Harry on coronation day were the talk of the moment. Harry was seen getting into a car on his own following the conclusion of the service at Westminster Abbey.
Harry stepped down as a working member of the royals in 2021, and the coronation marks the first time he’s been seen publicly with family members since the release of his memoir, “Spare.”
In 2022, Andrew was stripped of his military titles and charities, Buckingham Palace announced, after a judge ruled a sexual abuse civil lawsuit against him could proceed.
Meanwhile, King Charles and Camilla emerged on the Buckingham Palace balcony to greet the crowds lining the Mall.
The King and Queen were joined on the balcony by other working royals including Charles’ siblings, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie and Princess Anne.
William and Catherine, the Prince and Princess of Wales, were also present, along with their children – George, Charlotte and Louis, reported CNN.
Prince Harry was not there, however – he appears to have parted from the family after the ceremony. Prince Andrew was also not present on the balcony.
The coronation ceremony was the hottest ticket in town, with scores of foreign dignitaries, British officials, celebrities and faith leaders gathered in the Westminster Abbey.
Still, the congregation, while including some 2,300 people, was much smaller than it was in 1953 when temporary structures had to be erected within the abbey to accommodate the more than 8,000 people who attended.
About 100 heads of states from around the world travelled to London for the occasion. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel all attended the service, as did French President Emmanuel Macron.
Dozens of members of foreign royal families also came. Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia and King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, as well as Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco, the King and Queen of Jordan, Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein and Rania Al Abdullah and Japan’s Crown Prince Akishino and Crown Princess Kiko of Japan.
Many celebrities also made an appearance, including US singers Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, Australian musician Nick Cave, actresses Emma Thompson, Maggie Smith, Joanna Lumley and Judi Dench, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and broadcaster Stephen Fry, reported CNN.
Meanwhile, international leaders congratulated King Charles III and Queen Camilla on their coronation.
French President Emmanuel Macron said King Charles III and Queen Camilla are “friends of France.” “Proud to be by your side on this historic day,” he tweeted in French.
President of the European Council Charles Michel extended his “best wishes” to King Charles III and Queen Camilla in a tweet, adding that the council appreciates the King’s dedication to environmental efforts. “EU-Great Britain friendship,” he tweeted.
Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin congratulated the King and Queen on Coronation Day, “a very important day for many across these islands.”
“We will continue to work in support of the bonds of friendship between our peoples and the strong connections we share,” he said.
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said “it was a great pleasure and honour” to be at the coronation in London.
“On behalf of Finland, we extended Their Majesties our very best wishes for a long and successful reign,” he tweeted.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni tweeted in Italian: “The ancient Cosmatesque mosaic in Westminster Abbey, on which today the throne was placed for the coronation of King Charles III, was masterfully created by Italian craftsmen some eight centuries ago.”
“Today it is still there to amaze the world, and to tell the story of the historic and fruitful cooperation between Italy and the United Kingdom, which we are sure with King Charles III – who once again reminded yesterday that he loves Italy – will further strengthen, as we have already begun to do with PM Rishi Sunak,” she said. (ANI)