His Majesty King Charless III will be crowned at Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury on May 6. In the same ceremony, his wife Camilla will trade in the title of Queen Consort for Queen.
For royalists, it’s a momentous occasion – one to be watched on TV or even on the roadside, as fans line the streets for The King’s Procession which will make its way from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.
For everyone else, it’s all about the additional bank holiday, which will fall two days after the coronation on Monday May 8. Either way, it’s history, and if you’re looking for inspiration on how to spend it, here’s what’s happening south (and almost south) of the river.
First things first… the main event
Union Jack flags at the ready: if you want to play your part in this historic anointing of a British Monarch, travel up to Westminster Abbey – the site of all British coronations since 1066 – on Saturday May 6 to watch the procession.
Once the King and Queen have been crowned, they’ll be heading back to Buckingham Palace, so head on over for a glimpse of their waving-on-the-balcony moment.
Then on Sunday 7, a special coronation concert is being staged at Windsor Castle, featuring performances from Lionel Richie and Andrew Lloyd Webber among its all-star line-up. If you didn’t manage to bag a pair of tickets in the ballot, don’t worry: the concert is being broadcast across the BBC.
The Big Lunch
Running across the UK, the Coronation Big Lunch is an idea that stemmed from the team behind Cornwall’s Eden Project.
It encourages neighbours and communities to share a meal together, in this case on Sunday May 7.
It could be a simple cup of tea or a full blown lunch, and it could take place in your garden, on your street or in your local park.
Big Lunch events in south London can be found at St Peter’s Church Streatham, Holy Trinity Church in Clapham and Milkwood Community Park in Herne Hill.
For more Coronation Big Lunches or to download an information pack to help you plan your own, visit: www.edenprojectcommunities.com/the-big-lunch
The Big Help Out
After the Big Lunch comes the Big Help Out. On Monday May 8, The Together Coalition and partnering organisations are encouraging the community to get involved with what is being described as a national day of volunteering.
The event is running in tribute to King Charles III and his life-long dedication to public service, with acts of serving including everything from asking someone whether they’d like a bit of company to getting involved with a community gardening project. You can get involved with The Big Help Out events wherever you live – or organise your own initiative, registering it on the website.
For more information on The Big Help Out and for events near you, visit: www.thebighelpout.org.uk/
Crown-making workshop at Tower Bridge
Make your own crown at Tower Bridge
If you’ve got some little ones (aged 6-10) in your care and you’re looking to get crafty over the coronation bank holiday, take them to Tower Bridge, where a crown-making class will help them make something to wear on the big day.
West Walkway at Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2UP. May 6 – 8, 9:30am – 5pm. Admission: £12.30/£6.20 kids. www.towerbridge.org.uk/coronation-weekend-at-tower-bridge
Find your festive spirit at Battersea Power Station
The glossy walkways of Battersea Power Station are rumoured to be getting into the spirit of the coronation, hanging red, white and blue decorations, and promising a programme of free activities as well as live performances.
Battersea Power Station, London SW11 8BJ. www.batterseapowerstation.co.uk/
Get a royal overdose in Greenwich
If you don’t fancy schlepping up to central London, then head instead to Greenwich.
Here you can take a walk in its royal park before heading to the Fan Museum where a special exhibition Coronations & Celebrations is displaying centuries of fans, including an English fan marking the restoration of the last King Charles almost 400 years ago.
The Fan Museum, 12 Crooms Hill, London SE10 8ER. Until June 24, 11am – 5pm, Wednesday – Saturday. Admission: £5/£3 children. www.thefanmuseum.org.uk/exhibitions/coronations-celebrations
Over at the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) meanwhile, a full programme of royal-themed events is running across the bank holiday weekend.
Look forward to royalty-themed tours of the grounds, a king’s afternoon tea, the Sea Cadets’ Coronation Parade and the chance to listen to the Choral Eucharist in the chapel on Coronation Sunday.
Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, London SE10 9NN. May 5 – 8, times vary depending on event. Admission: FREE or ticketed, check website. www.ornc.org/whats-on/coronation-celebrations/
Treat yourself to Royalle Delights
South Norwood dessert business Royalle Delights is going all out for the coronation.
They are designing themed cupcakes and cookies that might look so pretty you’ll be tempted to save them as a memento, but promise to taste even better. You’ll find them at Clock Tower Market on Saturday May 6.
Clock Tower Market, 8 Station Road, London SE25 5AJ. May 6, 10am – 4pm. Admission: FREE. www.clocktowermarket.com/
Party, party, party…
If you’re looking to let your hair down after the weekend’s formalities, here are some suggestions.
Head to CLF Art Lounge & Roof Garden in Peckham, where Perry Louis and Aitch B’s monthly All About Da Boogie night is tipping its hat to the coronation.
Don’t worry, it will still be a 70s and 80s funk and soul affair, just with, you know, some DJing royalty on the decks.
Cocktails and Dominican food will power you through.
CLF Art Lounge and Roof Garden, 4a Station Way, London SE15 4RX. May 7, 6pm. Admission: FREE. www.clfartlounge.com/
Over at the King’s Arms pub in Wandsworth, a King’s Coronation Party is being held in the pub’s well-kept garden on Sunday May 7. Sip on a glass (or three) of royal punch and boogie to live DJ sets promising a blend of pop, house and electro.
The King’s Arms, 94-96 Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 4LB. May 7, 3pm – 11pm. Admission: FREE. www.kingsarmswandsworth.co.uk/home
Coronation Party at Infernos If you can face the long queue (and the young, rowdy crowd), Infernos nightclub in Clapham is where to see out your coronation celebrations.
Open until 4am, it promises two floors to roam around as you listen to the ultimate party anthems of the last few decades.
Want to control the playlist? Book a private karaoke suite and sing the night away.
Infernos, 146 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7UH. May 7, 10pm – 4am. Admission: £8.50 – £25. www.infernos.co.uk/event/welcome-to-the-ultimate-coronation-party-1306700