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The coronation of King Charles III will take place on Saturday 6 May with a bank holiday on Monday 8 May.

Like his mother, the King will be crowned at Westminster Abbey, in the presence of faith leaders, peers, MPs, and foreign heads of state.

Here Sky News looks at what we can expect from the service on Saturday 6 May that will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the events taking place in the following days.

Sunday's Platinum Jubilee Pageant will be led by the Gold State Coach - used for the Queen's coronation in 1953
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The gold state coach was used for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation

What will happen on the day?

The Queen’s coronation took place at 11.15am on 2 June 1953.

Although specific timings have not yet been released, on the day, King Charles will travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey with his Queen Consort, Camilla, in what is known as “the King’s procession”.

Like his mother and father, they are likely to be taken in the gold state coach, which is reserved for coronations and jubilees.

Up to a million people travelled to London to watch the coach along the Mall in 1953.

File photo dated 2/6/1953 of crowds in Trafalgar Square in the rain watch as troops march past on the return from Westminster Abbey after the Queen's coronation. The Queen's coronation, rich in religious significance, was a morale boost for a nation starved of pageantry by the war, and for a day street parties banished the hardship of rationing and shortages and even atrocious, unseasonal weather did not dampen the enthusiasm. Issue date: Thursday September 8, 2022.
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Crowds in Trafalgar Square on the day of the Queen’s coronation

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King coronation details announced

The ceremony will be broadcast live on television, but the number of guests who attend in person is expected to be cut from 8,000 to 2,000.

It is thought it will be shorter than the previous one – lasting just over an hour instead of three.

Peers will wear suits and formal dresses as opposed to ceremonial robes and many of the traditional rituals, including the presentation of gold ingots, will not feature this time.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “The coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.”

Despite speculation that the current cost of living crisis and the King’s desire for a slimmed down monarchy will mean a more muted ceremony, royal sources are adamant that feedback indicated people want to see the best of Britain today, and celebrate the United Kingdom’s rich and unique history.

File photo dated 2/6/1953 of Queen Elizabeth II riding with the Duke of Edinburgh in the State Coach through Trafalgar Square on the way from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey for her coronation. The Queen's coronation, rich in religious significance, was a morale boost for a nation starved of pageantry by the war, and for a day street parties banished the hardship of rationing and shortages and even atrocious, unseasonal weather did not dampen the enthusiasm. Issue date: Thursday September
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The Queen and Prince Philip ride in the gold state coach to Westminster Abbey

There will also be similarities with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last year.

Queen Elizabeth’s son and heir wanted to follow a similar ethos of recognising community heroes and bringing people together, by encouraging street parties on Sunday 7 May and a day of volunteering events on Monday 8 May.

After the ceremony, the King and Queen Consort will be joined by other family members on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to conclude the day’s ceremonial events.

It is still unknown whether Prince Harry and wife Meghan will be among those attending.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth along with members of the Royal Family watches the special flypast by Britain's RAF (Royal Air Force) from Buckingham Palace balcony following the Trooping the Colour parade, as a part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations
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Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family watching the Platinum Jubilee RAF flypast

Six-part ceremony

There are six parts to the coronation – the recognition, oath, anointing, investiture, enthronement and homage.

The recognition sees the monarch stand in the theatre – the central part of the Abbey – and turn to the north, south, east and west to “show himself unto the people”.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will then declare him the “undoubted King”.

This ritual dates back to Anglo-Saxon times.

King Charles III and members of the royal family follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, as it is carried into Westminster Abbey during State Funeral. Picture date: Monday September 19, 2022. Danny Lawson/Pool via REUTERS
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The Queen’s funeral was held at Westminster Abbey

Second is the coronation oath, which will see the King promise to reign according to law, exercise justice with mercy and maintain the Church of England.

He will then be presented with the Sword of State and declare at the altar: “The things which I have here before promised, I will perform, and keep. So help me God”, before kissing the Bible and signing the oath.

The third part – the anointing – follows, which is the process of blessing and consecrating the new monarch with holy oil – the central act of the religious ceremony. The King will remove his crimson robe and sit in King Edward’s Chair.

Fourthly, the investiture is the official crowning.

It will see the King dressed in special robes and presented with the orb, coronation ring, sceptre and rod.

Sitting in King Edward’s Chair, he will be crowned with St Edward’s Crown before the congregation shouts out “God Save the King”.

FILE - In this June 2, 1953 file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II wearing the bejeweled Imperial Crown and carrying the Orb and Scepter with Cross, leaves Westminster Abbey, London, at the end of her coronation ceremony. On Monday Feb. 6, 2017, Queen Elizabeth II marks her Sapphire Jubilee, becoming the first British monarch to reign for 65 years. (AP Photo/File)
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The Queen carries the orb and sceptre during her coronation ceremony in 1953

This is followed by the enthroning, which will see the monarch lifted onto a different throne by archbishops, bishops and “other peers of the kingdom”.

The final stage of the King’s coronation is known as homage.

It sees the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Prince of Wales and other royal blood princes paying tribute to the King by placing their hands between his and kissing his right hand.

**Screen Grab** Queen Elizabeth II wears St Edward's Crown, at the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. This was the view as seen by television viewers immediately after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Fisher, had placed the Crown upon the Queen's head.
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Queen Elizabeth II wears St Edward’s Crown

Camilla to be crowned

The Queen Consort will then also be crowned.

Unlike the wives of Kings, the husbands of Queens do not become King Consorts and are therefore not crowned.

But ahead of her Platinum Jubilee, the Queen announced Camilla would be known as Queen Consort on King Charles’s accession.

King Charles III and the Queen Consort wave as they leave Dunfermline Abbey, after a visit to mark its 950th anniversary, and after attending a meeting at the City Chambers in Dunfermline, Fife, where the King formally marked the conferral of city status on the former town. Picture date: Monday October 3, 2022.

Instead the Duke of Edinburgh “paid homage” to Queen Elizabeth II immediately after the formal coronation – as Prince William and other princes are likely to do this time.

The Queen Mother was anointed and crowned during her husband’s coronation in 1937.

According to the Royal Family’s website: “A Queen consort is crowned with the King, in a similar but simpler ceremony.”

The coronation concert

On Sunday, the day after the coronation, “global music icons and contemporary stars” descend on Windsor Castle for the coronation concert.

Thousands of members of the public will be selected to receive a pair of free tickets, which are up for grabs through a national ballot held by the BBC, which will also broadcast the event live.

Queen guitarist Brian May performs during the Platinum Jubilee. Pic: AP
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Queen guitarist Brian May performs during the Platinum Jubilee concert. Pic: AP

The “world’s biggest entertainers” and world-class orchestras will be supported by a selection of dancers and spoken word sequences delivered by stars of stage and screen.

The Coronation Choir will also perform, created from members of the nation’s community choirs and amateur singers such as refugee choirs, NHS choirs and LGBTQ+ singing groups, in part to make the weekend feel as inclusive and diverse as possible.

The centrepiece of the coronation concert, dubbed by the palace as “lighting up the nation”, will see landmarks across the UK lit up using projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations.

The Platinum Jubilee concert, London, Saturday June 4, 2022. Pic: AP
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The Platinum Jubilee concert, June 2022. Pic: AP

Others will be invited to gather at the Eden Project in Cornwall, for a “coronation big lunch”, overseen by The Big Lunch, an incentive which the Queen Consort has been patron of for 10 years.

Bank holiday Monday dubbed ‘the big help out’

Coronations have traditionally fallen on weekdays, which have been declared bank holidays to allow the public to get involved by either watching on TV or crowding the streets in London.

As King Charles’s coronation will fall on a Saturday, Monday 8 May has been set as a bank holiday in all four nations of the UK.

The day is being billed as “the big help out” and has been set aside for volunteering to help highlight the positive impact volunteering has on communities.

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Organised by The Together Coalition and a wide range of partners such as The Scouts, the Royal Voluntary Service and faith groups from across the UK, the palace said it will be in tribute to the King’s public service and will help “encourage people to try volunteering for themselves”.

The government has already launched a consultation on extending pub opening hours throughout the coronation weekend, meaning pubs in England and Wales could be allowed to stay open until 1am from Friday to Sunday.

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British Army has ‘fallen behind’ and ‘needs investment’ – Defence Secretary Ben Wallace tells Sky News

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British Army has 'fallen behind' and 'needs investment' - Defence Secretary Ben Wallace tells Sky News

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has told Sky News that the British Army has “fallen behind its peer group” and “needs investment”.

It comes after Sky News yesterday revealed a US general privately told Mr Wallace that the UK’s armed forces are no longer regarded as a top-level fighting force.

Defence sources revealed the US general said this decline in war-fighting capability needed to be reversed faster than planned in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

US criticism of UK military ‘will be music to Putin’s ears’ – Ukraine war latest

A convoy of Challenger Two tanks drive along a road during media day at.the British army training ground near the northern German town of Belsen

They told Sky News’ defence and security editor Deborah Haynes this should include increasing the defence budget by at least £3bn a year and halting a plan to shrink the size of the army further.

Mr Wallace agreed on the need for “urgent recapitalisation”, but said the government was already investing £34bn into the army’s equipment plan between now and 2033.

“The criticism of ‘it needs to happen now’ is these things don’t ‘happen now’,” he said. “There’s no magic wand, there’s no factories whirring away like car factories where you just press buttons and they come.

“There are only about two countries on the earth that can sustain almost constant production lines – that’s China and the United States. Of course we can seek to buy from abroad, but then there won’t be a UK defence and aerospace industry and we won’t be able to necessarily give our troops the exact equipment they want, so we always have to make that balance.”

Mr Wallace also said countries across Europe were facing “challenges” with their supply chains, adding: “That is what that new money is going towards and that’s why it is important to send a signal to industry to say we are investing – that’s what we did with the defence command paper in 2020 and we will continue to do so.”

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Speaking in the Commons earlier, his defence minister James Heappey said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt understand the army is “in urgent need of recapitalisation” and “there is a budget coming”.

Downing Street said the PM still believes the British Army is a “top-level fighting force” despite the US general’s warning.

Asked about the US general’s private comments on Monday, the prime minister’s official spokesman said “yes” to Mr Sunak believing that the British Army is a top-level fighting force.

He said the government is “ensuring our armed forces have the equipment and capability they need to meet the threats of tomorrow including through a fully funded £242bn 10-year equipment plan”.

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British army is still ‘formidable’

Former secretary general of NATO, Lord Robertson, also disagreed with the US general’s view.

He said: “The fact is that the British armed forces might have been weakened recently but they are still a formidable fighting force – and I think our country can be proud of them.”

Sky News also asked the Pentagon where it places the British army and whether it is becoming too weak to perform its role as a NATO member.

Defense Spokesman, Brigadier-General Patrick Ryder said: ” The United Kingdom is an exceptionally capable and committed ally in NATO and has been second only to the United States in providing military aid to Ukraine.

“The unparalleled defence and security alliance between the US and the UK continues to promote stability and prosperity worldwide.”

Earlier today, Conservative defence committee chairman Tobias Ellwood said people should be “very concerned” about the armed forces’ current capabilities.

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Tory MP: Army is in a ‘dire state’

The senior Tory called on the government to reverse “swathing cuts” to the army because its equipment has become “obsolete”.

Mr Ellwood said there had been “huge investments” into the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force in recent years, but added: “The army is in a dire state.”

He continued: “Our army is simply too small, we have cut down by 10,000 troops.”

European powers like France and Germany have announced plans to boost defence spending significantly following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.

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Why is the British Army shrinking?

Mr Sunak has yet to make any meaningful pledge to expand his defence coffers, instead pursuing a “refresh” of a review of defence policy that is due to be published on 7 March ahead of a spring budget that will signal whether there is any new money for the military.

The crisis in defence has been a generation in the making following repeated reductions in the size of the three armed services since the end of the Cold War by successive Conservative, coalition and Labour governments to save money for peacetime priorities.

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British Army ‘no longer top level’

In 2020, Boris Johnson, as prime minister, increased defence spending by £16bn – the biggest uplift since the Cold War, but not enough to plug the gaps.

Mr Sunak has so far resisted calls to follow his predecessor, Liz Truss, to lift defence spending to 3% of GDP by 2030 up from just over 2% at present.

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Firefighters and teachers to strike over pay as public sector walkouts continue

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Firefighters and teachers to strike over pay as public sector walkouts continue

Teachers and firefighters are the latest public sector workers to announce they will go on strike in disputes over pay.

The biggest teachers’ strike in years will go ahead after unions said the education secretary “squandered the opportunity” to avoid action – while firefighters have voted overwhelmingly to walkout after experiencing what their union says is a 12% drop in real-terms earnings.

The latest strikes have been announced as Sky News polling suggests support for trade unions is rising, even though walkouts are bringing public services to a standstill.

The teachers’ strike comes after last-minute talks were held by Education Secretary Gillian Keegan on Monday in a bid to resolve the pay dispute before planned strikes this week.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) in England and Wales will now walk out on Wednesday, with more industrial action planned in the following weeks.

Wednesday’s strike is expected to include up to half a million workers, with teachers due to be joined by train drivers, civil servants, university lecturers, bus drivers and security guards from seven trade unions in what will be the biggest day of industrial action in more than a decade.

Government ‘squandered’ chance to avoid strike by teachers

The NEU has announced seven days of strikes in England and Wales in February and March, with the walkout on Wednesday expected to affect over 23,000 schools.

Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, said: “Gillian Keegan has squandered an opportunity to avoid strike action on Wednesday.

“The government has been unwilling to seriously engage with the causes of strike action.

“Real-terms pay cuts and cuts in pay relativities are leading to a recruitment and retention crisis with which the education secretary so far seems incapable of getting a grip.

“Training targets are routinely missed, year on year. This is having consequences for learning, with disruption every day to children’s education.”

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Meanwhile, a headteachers’ union boss has described the talks with Ms Keegan as “deeply disappointing”.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “Parents will have been looking for the government to avert the planned strike on Wednesday.

“Instead, the government continues to talk around the issues rather than putting anything on the table which allows for any meaningful negotiation.”

Mr Barton added: “We are sorry to report that there is therefore no resolution to the dispute and the strike is set to go ahead.”

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said after talks failed: “It is hugely disappointing the NEU is continuing with strike action. These strikes will have a significant impact on children’s education, especially following the disruption of the past two years, and are creating huge uncertainly for parents.

“With talks ongoing on a range of issues, including around future pay, workload, behaviour and recruitment and retention, it is clear that strikes are not being used as a last resort.

“I have been clear today that unions do not need to strike to meet with me. I also reiterated my call to union leaders to ask their members to let headteachers know if they intend to strike, helping schools to minimise the impact on children.”

Firefighters likely to strike for first time in nearly 20 years

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Firefighters vote for strike action

Firefighters also overwhelmingly backed strike action, with 88% voting yes on a 73% turnout, it was announced today.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said it has given the government and employers 10 days to to come up with an improved offer which could be put to a vote of members in an effort to avoid strikes.

The last time there was a nationwide walkout by firefighters was in 2003.

Firefighters have experienced a 12% drop in real-terms earnings since 2010, the union says, while around one in five firefighter jobs have been cut in the same period.

It comes after members rejected an offer of a 5% pay increase in November, which unions argued was below-inflation and would be felt as a real-terms cut by workers.

The FBU argued polling has previously shown there is strong public support for strike action by firefighters, with around three in five people backing action.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “This is an absolute last resort for our members. The responsibility for any disruption to services lies squarely with fire service employers and government ministers.

“Rishi Sunak’s government has refused to make funding available for a decent pay offer to firefighters and control staff.

“Firefighters were among Britain’s COVID heroes who kept frontline services going during the pandemic. The prime minister has badly misjudged the public mood by imposing pay cuts on key workers.”

The strike announcement comes after research by the FBU and the University of Central Lancashire found firefighters are more likely to die of cancer than the general public.

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Teachers’ strike to go ahead after education secretary ‘squandered the opportunity’ to avoid action, union says

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Teachers' strike to go ahead after education secretary 'squandered the opportunity' to avoid action, union says

Talks between the education secretary and the teaching unions have failed and the biggest teachers’ strike in years will go ahead.

Last-minute talks were held by Education Secretary Gillian Keegan on Monday in a bid to resolve a teachers’ pay dispute ahead of planned strikes this week.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) in England and Wales will now walk out on Wednesday, with more industrial action planned in the following weeks.

The strike on Wednesday is expected to encompass up to half-a-million workers, with teachers due to be joined by train drivers, civil servants, university lecturers, bus drivers and security guards from seven trade unions in what will be the biggest day of industrial action in over a decade.

The NEU has announced seven days of strikes in England and Wales in February and March, with the walkout on Wednesday expected to affect over 23,000 schools.

Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, said: “Gillian Keegan has squandered an opportunity to avoid strike action on Wednesday.

“The government has been unwilling to seriously engage with the causes of strike action.

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“Real-terms pay cuts and cuts in pay relativities are leading to a recruitment and retention crisis with which the education secretary so far seems incapable of getting a grip.

“Training targets are routinely missed, year on year. This is having consequences for learning, with disruption every day to children’s education.”

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Firefighters set to strike for first time since 2003 after real-terms earnings ‘drop by 12%’

In a separate comment, Mr Courtney said: “I regret to say that we didn’t hear anything that enables us to say that the strike shouldn’t go ahead on Wednesday.

“There’s no offer from the secretary of state trying to bridge the gap between us.”

Meanwhile, a headteachers’ union boss has described the talks with Ms Keegan as “deeply disappointing”.

Following the meeting with the education secretary, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: “Parents will have been looking for the government to avert the planned strike on Wednesday.

“Instead, the government continues to talk around the issues rather than putting anything on the table which allows for any meaningful negotiation.

“It is deeply disappointing.”

Mr Barton added: “We are sorry to report that there is therefore no resolution to the dispute and the strike is set to go ahead.”

The teachers’ strike was confirmed shortly before British firefighters voted to carry out nationwide action in a dispute over pay.

About 88% of members of the Fire Brigades Union had voted in favour of strike action, on a 73% turnout, the union said.

Its members had rejected a 5% pay offer in November.

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