King Charles III formally crowned: A recap of the monarch's coronation day

For more than a thousand years, England’s kings and queens have come and gone from their gilded throne.

But each time that bejeweled scepter is passed, history is made. And one such moment happens today, as King Charles III makes his way to Westminster Abbey to have that solid gold, gemstone-laden St. Edward’s Crown set upon his 74-year-old head.

No question the royal family is navigating rough waters. Many of its current and former subjects both question the institution’s relevance and demand an accounting for centuries of colonial rule. Others still are caught up in the unending personal scandals swirling around the divorced, multi-racial and sprawling clan. 

But for one moment, that all can perhaps be set aside in order to take in an exquisite and decorous pageant inimitably crafted by one of the planet’s oldest monarchies. 

Here are all of Charles' moving moments from the historic day.

More:Everything that happened at King Charles III's coronation

King and queen return to Buckingham Palace for balcony appearance

Following the official crowning at Westminster Abbey, King Charles and Queen Camilla rode in a gold carriage back to Buckingham Palace, where they were greeted with a royal salute.

Charles and Camilla appeared on the palace's balcony to greet their subjects. They were joined by some family members, including Prince William, Duchess Kate and their three children. Prince Harry, who stepped down as a senior member of the royal family in 2020 and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Duchess Meghan, was not among them. Neither was Prince Andrew, who stepped back from royal duties in 2019 after controversy over allegations of sexual assault and involvement with late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Charles smiled and waved to cheering crowds standing in the rain before he headed back inside the palace with his family − though Charles and Camilla briefly returned to the balcony alone to wave again to the crowd, then stood around for a moment while waiting for the page boys to carry their trains back inside. They'll next convene for formal portraits and a private family lunch.

'God Save The King': Attendees sing as Charles' procession exits Westminster Abbey

Britain's King Charles III departs following his Coronation Ceremony inside Westminster Abbey in central London, on May 6, 2023. - The set-piece coronation is the first in Britain in 70 years, and only the second in history to be televised. Charles will be the 40th reigning monarch to be crowned at the central London church since King William I in 1066. Outside the UK, he is also king of 14 other Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Charles made his way slowly out of Westminster Abbey, flanked by the Bishop of Bath and Wales and the Bishop of Durham, as well as several pages carrying his robes, including grandson and second in line to the throne, Prince George. He wore the Imperial Crown along with the purple velvet Robes of Estate. Those in the abbey stood to sing the National Anthem, "God Save The King."

King Charles and Queen Camilla formally crowned

The Archbishop of Canterbury placed the St. Edward's crown atop the king's head, pausing to ensure it was placed correctly.

King Charles III sits as he is crowned with St. Edward's Crown by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby during the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey, London, Saturday, May 6, 2023.

King Charles will wear two crowns during the ceremony: St. Edward's crown and the Imperial State Crown. The former crown will only be used for ceremony purposes before being switched out for the Imperial Crown, or Tudor Crown, for the procession back to Buckingham Palace.

Queen Camilla was next to be crowned. The archbishop placed Queen Mary's Crown atop her head. Camilla chose to be adorned with the headpiece, marking the first time a queen consort will be crowned with an already existing crown. Queen Mary's crown was created in 1911 for Queen Mary's coronation but was customized for Camilla with new diamonds that belonged to Queen Elizabeth.

Screens cover King Charles during anointing

Charles re-wore historical coronation robes in an effort to practice sustainability: He arrived to the abbey in robes first made for King George IV in the 1800s, and atop that, the same robes his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, wore for her coronation in 1953.

During the ceremony, he removed the heavy robes he wore upon arrival and donned a white tunic made for his grandfather George VI’s coronation in 1937. He stepped behind a three-sided screen held up by pages while he was anointed with holy oil, a private and sacred part of the coronation process.

King Charles III looks on during the ceremony of the coronation at Westminster Abbey, in London, Saturday, May 6, 2023.

He then donned the Imperial Mantle, a glittering embroidered robe, atop the Superturnica, a gold coat made for George V in 1911.

More:King Charles III's coronation oil has special connection to late mother Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles makes coronation oaths

King Charles III arrives at Westminster Abbey in central London on May 6, 2023, for his coronation.

Inside Westminster Abbey, the king knelt as he placed his hands on the Coronation Bible and agreed to a series of oaths, vowing to uphold the law and the Church of England.

"The things which I have herebefore promised I will perform and keep, so help me God," he said, kissing the Bible.

Returning to his seat, Charles signed the coronation oaths. He then moved again to kneel to deliver the King's prayer. "Grant that I may be a blessing to all thy children of every belief and faith," Charles read.

King Charles, Queen Camilla arrive at Westminster Abbey

King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort traveling in the Diamond Jubilee Coach, built in 2012 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, at Buckingham Palace ahead of the coronation on May 6, 2023, in London.

King Charles and Queen Camilla arrived via carriage to Westminster Abbey five minutes ahead of schedule and waited in the carriage for a short time. Camilla exited the carriage first and had several pages carry the long train of her robes to keep them out of the rainy street. Charles followed, flanked by several pages including Prince George.

What to expect from coronation day, and beyond

Coronation day began early for those watching in the U.S., around 4 a.m. EST, or 9 a.m. local time, when live TV coverage began, focusing on those lining London’s procession route and guests filing into the fabled abbey. 

Just after 5 a.m. EST (10 a.m. local time), King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla made their way from Buckingham Palace in the Diamond Jubilee Carriage to Westminster, where the coronation ceremony began at 6 a.m. EST (11 a.m. local time). By noon local time, Charles wore that 444-jewel-packed crown.

What followed next was an assortment of pomp and circumstance, from a longer carriage ride back to the palace to a military jet fly by. The festivities then spill into Sunday, when Britons are being encouraged to host their own “Big Lunches” with friends and neighbors, while the royal crew caps their partying day with a private concert at Windsor Castle featuring Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.

Contributing: Marco della Cava, Elise Brisco

Read all our King Charles coronation coverage:

Biggest moments: Charles and Camilla crowned, royal family appears on balcony

The balcony:See who greeted the crowd with Charles and Camilla (not Harry)

King Charles III formally crowned: A recap of the monarch's coronation day

Queen Camilla looks regal: She is also crowned at King Charles III coronation

Prince Harry: Royal attends but misses balcony palace moment

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis: See the royal grandchildren on coronation day

Prince Harry and Prince William: Look back their complicated relationship

Coronation photos: See all the best photos from the ceremony and procession