Prince Charles Coronation Music – Classical Music


When will Prince Charles become king?

Prince Charles has been heir apparent to the throne of Britain since the age of three. Under the rule of common law Rex nunquam moritur (“The King Never Dies”), Prince Charles will become king upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. The Membership Council will proclaim that he is king, but the monarch does not have to be crowned to become king or queen. The Parliament will then be recalled so that the parliamentarians take an oath of allegiance to the new sovereign.

Will Charles become King Charles III?

Charles is free to choose his own title as monarch and therefore cannot become Charles III. For example, King Edward VII was once known by his first name Albert. Charles’ given names are Charles Philip Arthur George, so he can choose to become King George VII, King Philip or King Arthur.

When will the coronation take place?

The official coronation of Charles will not take place until several months after the accession, after a period of mourning. The Queen’s coronation took place on June 2, 1953, more than a year after her accession on February 6, 1952.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, after the Queen’s coronation in 1953

What is the format of the coronation likely to be?

Unlike the recent weddings of Princes William and Harry, which were semi-state and private occasions respectively, Charles’ coronation will be a full state occasion and therefore funded by the UK government. The coronation will take the form of an Anglican service held at Westminster Abbey, as it has for 900 years, but space is likely to be made for other religions and Christian denominations to reflect a more modern sensibility. .

What music was played at the Queen’s coronation?

Among the hymns and hymns played before and during the Queen’s coronation in 1953 were:

Chaconne of king arthurHenry Purcell (grass arrangement)
trumpet air – Jeremiah Clarke
Imperial CrownWilliam Walton
‘Jupiter’ from The planetsGustav Holst
Regalia Procession: ‘Oh Most Merciful’ – Charles Wood
Procession Regalia: Litanies for 5 voices – Thomas Tallis
Pump and circumstance Steps – Edward Elgar
Greensleeves – arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams
Nimrod‘ from Variations of puzzles – Edward Elgar
Music for the Royal FireworksGeorge Frederic Handel
I was happy –Hubert Parry
Zadok the Priest‘ from Coronation hymns – George Frederic Handel
Gloria in Excelsis – Charles Villiers Stanford

There were also a number of firsts, including:

Processional – Arthur Bliss
Orb and Scepter –William Walton
Behold, O God our defender –Herbert Howells
O taste and see –Vaughan Williams
Te Deum by William Walton
Coronation March – Arnold Bax

What music is likely to feature in Charles’ coronation?

It’s a safe bet that Charles will want to honor previous monarchs and his mother with many of the same selections as above. A lifelong classical music fan, he also named some of his favorite classical pieces in an interview for Classic FM in 2020, including wagnerit is Siegfried Idyll, refrains of Bachit is Passion according to Saint MatthewParry’s “Wedding March of the Birds” The Birds of Aristophanes, Chopinthe two piano concertos by Richard Straussit is Last four songs, and the Piano Concerto in E flat op. 89.

During an interview for Radio 3 private passions in 2018, Charles listed several other favorites: Creed from the Russian Orthodox Liturgy, which was sung at his wedding to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; the last movement of Beethovenit is Fifth Symphony; Haydnthe Cello Concerto No. 1 from; and Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg.

It is also likely that several new works will be commissioned for Charles’ coronation, as they were for Queen Elizabeth, and will reflect a diverse and modern UK.

Who will be the performers?

Charles is a patron of many British musical institutions, orchestras and choirs, so it stands to reason that musicians associated with these bodies may well be featured at the coronation. His musical patronages include: The Bach Choir, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, English Chamber Orchestra, Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus, Purcell School, Royal College of Music, Royal Conservatoire Scotland, the Royal Opera House and Chorus, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Photo of Prince Charles: Dan Marsh


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