How King Charles Will Honor Father Prince Philip at His Coronation

The King "personally commissioned" the touching tribute to his father, according to Buckingham Palace

King Charles III has arranged for his coronation to include a tribute to Prince Philip.

Buckingham Palace's latest update on the May 6 ceremony was all about the music that will be played at Westminster Abbey, and it was revealed that King Charles personally requested a composition honoring his father. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died at age 99 in April 2021.

"His Majesty The King has personally commissioned the new music and shaped and selected the musical programme for the Service," the palace said in a statement. "At the request of His Majesty, in tribute to his late father His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Greek Orthodox music will also feature in the Service performed by the Byzantine Chant Ensemble," it added.

Prince Philip was born in Greece and baptized in the Greek Orthodox church, converting religions before his wedding to Queen Elizabeth II in November 1947.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Philip and Prince Charles. Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

He played an instrumental role in his wife's coronation in 1953, from organizing the epic investiture as chair of the Coronation Committee and serving as the first person to greet her as Queen after the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Philip. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty

Buckingham Palace previously said that the crowning ceremony of King Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 75, will honor tradition while bringing the religious ritual into the modern era.

"The Coronation will reflect the monarch's role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry," the palace said in the fall.

Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, receives his wings at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, UK, 20th August 1971. On the right is his father, the Duke of Edinburgh (1921 - 2021), who is Marshal of the Royal Air Force.
Peter King/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty

To that end, King Charles has commissioned 12 new pieces of music to be performed at the May ceremony at Westminster Abbey, tapping artists from across the U.K. and Commonwealth with a range of styles. The new music includes a Coronation Anthem by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the powerhouse composer behind The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Evita and more.

"I am incredibly honoured to have been asked to compose a new anthem for The Coronation. My anthem includes words slightly adapted from Psalm 98," Lloyd Webber said in a statement. "I have scored it for the Westminster Abbey choir and organ, the ceremonial brass and orchestra. I hope my anthem reflects this joyful occasion."

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort during the State Banquet at Buckingham Palace on November 22, 2022 in London, England. This is the first state visit hosted by the UK with King Charles III as monarch, and the first state visit here by a South African leader since 2010.
King Charles and Queen Camilla. Chris Jackson/Getty

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The coronation service itself will be sung by The Choir of Westminster Abbey and The Choir of His Majesty's Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, with talent from the Chapel Choir of Methodist College, Belfast and Truro Cathedral Choir. The Ascension Choir, a gospel group, will also perform, as will The King's Scholars of Westminster School.

Music will play a key theme throughout the coronation weekend. Following the formal ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, May 6, the Coronation Concert will also be broadcast live from Windsor Castle on Sunday, May 7.

The palace has said that "global music icons and contemporary stars" will perform alongside a world-class orchestra and dancers. The lineup has yet to be announced.

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