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Celebrations for the Coronation of HM King Charles III & Queen Camilla

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Queen Camilla, in Westminster Abbey, on Saturday, 6th May 2023, was celebrated in Church of Ireland parishes and cathedrals, and by guests representing the Church and others across society in the Abbey.  The following is an historical record of the occasion and our role within it.

The Coronation Service

For the first time in the history of the British coronation service, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the Most Revd John McDowell, presented and retrieved the Sovereign’s Orb.  Several other guests from Church of Ireland and other denominational backgrounds were invited and present for the service.

Archbishop John McDowell reflects on the day in this interview below:

His Majesty King Charles III, along with Her Majesty Queen Camilla, was crowned King, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of their other Realms and Territories.  A review of the day can be read here.

Westminster Abbey, which is formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, was first consecrated as a place of worship in 1065 under the patronage of King Edward the Confessor.  The Revd Adrian Dorrian talks through his role in the Abbey, its history, and Coronation Day in this audio interview.


The Abbey’s first recorded Coronation was that of King William the Conqueror as King of England in 1066 although the ceremony itself dates back almost a further century to 973 when King Edgar and his wife, Queen Aelfthryth, were crowned in Bath Abbey.

Among many visitors to London in the crowd was Canon Derek Kerr who has also shared his recollections and thoughts on the new reign.


Special cathedral services

Service of Thanksgiving in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh (2nd May)

Coronation Eve Service at Belfast Cathedral (5th May)

Coronation Vigil Service in St Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry (5th May)

Service of Celebration in St Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry (10th May)

A recording of the Service of Thanksgiving in Armagh is available in the video below:


Local celebrations

Coronation celebrations in the Diocese of Connor

Coronation–related events in the Diocese of Down and Dromore

Celebrations at the Cathedral Youth Club, Londonderry

A listing of Coronation celebrations across Northern Ireland



In advance of the Coronation, the Liturgical Advisory Committee published a number of prayers for use in parishes in Northern Ireland intending to mark the occasion.

The material includes two prayers for the King, one of which has been used at Coronations over the centuries (this prayer is available in traditional and contemporary language), a prayer for Queen Consort, and a short series of intercessions.


Royal Visit to Armagh

Prayers and a blessing were led by the Church Leaders Group in the presence of the King in St Patrick’s Cathedral when the King visited the Hill of Armagh on Thursday, 25th May 2023.  A report can be read here.

The Dean of Armagh, the Very Revd Shane Forster, greeted His Majesty with remarks in the Cathedral and Archbishop John McDowell recorded the following welcome message.

A selection of photos from the Hill on the day:

To view further galleries of photos from the royal visit, please visit the following websites. Photography can be reproduced according to purchasing and copyright terms and conditions – please contact the respective agency before proceeding further:

Press Association photography

PressEye coverage of Armagh visit

With thanks to Brian Lawless, Michael Cooper and Kelvin Boyes for their coverage.

Commemorating the life of HM Queen Elizabeth II

Readers may also be interested the Church of Ireland’s collective response in the United Kingdom’s period of national mourning following the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which included a visit by the new King to Belfast Cathedral for a Service of Reflection on Tuesday, 13th September 2022.

A full page with associated articles recording this time can be found this link.

Church of Ireland Press Office

Tel: (028/048) 9082 8880
Duty mobile: +44 (0)7774 295 369




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