How King Charles and Queen Camilla Will Make Royal History at Their Coronation This May

The royal couple are set to be crowned at Westminster Abbey on May 6, and they'll be put in the history books as they set a new record

The coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla will be the first of the 21st century — but that's not the only reason it will hit the history books.

At the May 6 coronation, Charles, 74, and Camilla, 75, will be the oldest King and Queen Consort crowned in British history. Charles was only 3 when his mother Queen Elizabeth II acceded the throne in 1952 when she was 25, and she would go on to reign for a record-breaking 70 years.

According to Sky History, the oldest British monarchs to be crowned before King Charles ranged in age from their late fifties to their mid-sixties. The three eldest monarchs to come before him are King William IV, who became sovereign at age 64 in 1830, King Edward VII, who rose in rank at age 59 in 1901, and King George IV, who took the throne at age 57 in 1820.

Meanwhile, Queen Camilla breaks the record previously held by Queen Alexandra, who was 58 when she was crowned as Queen Consort in 1902, and Prince George, who was 49 when his wife Queen Anne acceded in 1702, according to Westminster Abbey records.

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

While Queen Elizabeth II was just 25 when her father died, making her the new monarch, she is far from the youngest U.K. sovereign to take the throne. Mary, Queen of Scots, was just 6 days old when she became queen in 1542, while the youngest king was Henry VI, who was 8 months and 26 days old at the time of his accession in 1422.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall sit during State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster on May 18, 2016 in London, England. The State Opening of Parliament is the formal start of the parliamentary year. This year's Queen's Speech, setting out the government's agenda for the coming session, is expected to outline policy on prison reform, tuition fee rises and reveal the potential site of a UK spaceport.
Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty

Charles became the longest-serving heir apparent in British history back in April 2011 and the longest-serving Prince of Wales, the traditional title held by the heir to the throne, in Sept. 2017. (Charles was invested as the Prince of Wales by his mother in 1969 at Caernarfon Castle when he was 20.)

"He's one of the first people in the family to end up making the most of that role," his son Prince Harry told the BBC's Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70.

queen elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Philip. Hulton Archive/Getty

The countdown is on to King Charles and Queen Camilla's coronation, which will see the royal couple crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Abbey on May 6. Buckingham Palace continues to release more information about celebrations and the three-day bank holiday weekend, and the latest update was all about the coronation ceremony music.

"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.

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.

King Charles III attends a site in Wiltshire where Ukrainian recruits are being trained by British and international partner forces in south-west England
King Charles. Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

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Buckingham Palace previously said that King Charles and Queen Camilla's crowning ceremony 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.

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