Unless you’ve been living under a pile of crumpets, you probably know that the coronation of King Charles III is set for Saturday, May 6. The crowning of the country’s sovereign will be no small ordeal. It’s a three-day celebration that will include parties, a concert, and, of course, the symbolic ceremony, which hasn’t taken place since 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned.
The weekend of royal events won’t be cheap. It’s expected to cost around $125 million (100 million pounds). Shockingly, that’s the price tag for a scaled-back version of the formalities. The protocol will be shortened in length, and there won’t be quite as many attendees as in the past. Only about 2,000 invites were sent out—compared to over 8,000 who were welcomed when Queen Elizabeth II took the throne. That decision was made by Charles himself, out of respect for the cost-of-living crisis impacting the country.
With inflation still high, and ongoing labor strikes impacting millions, Brits are under a lot of financial stress. So scaling back the procedures would be a good look . . . if only it looked scaled back.
But it absolutely does not. Up until now, the 1953 coronation was the most expensive one ever. At the time, it cost 1.57 million pounds, which would be equivalent to around 56 million pounds today. King Charles III is expected to about double that cost, though much of that will cover security measures, which are far more complex than they were 70 years ago.
The millions will, of course, come from British taxpayers. And according to a YouGov poll, most people don’t think they should. Some critics believe the royal family should pay the tab themselves. And they almost certainly could. A recent investigation by the Guardian revealed that King Charles III’s personal fortune rings in at around 1.8 billion pounds, though it’s almost impossible to calculate it fully.
Still, if the event weren’t a total spectacle, Great Britain’s royal fans likely wouldn’t be happy. This is an important moment in history for the royal family—and for any commoner who gives a royal hoot about royal happenings.
There will absolutely be those who comment on the supposed poor taste of all the hoopla; still, it can’t be overlooked that the historical moment will also bring in a much-needed boost for U.K. businesses. According to U.K. Hospitality, the celebrations are expected to give bars, hotels, restaurants, and other local businesses around a 350-million-pound bump in revenue.
So while the spectacle will be, well, a spectacle, it will also be a splendid spending spree, old mate.