Britain to hold public holiday for King Charles’ coronation

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A public holiday will be held to mark the coronation of King Charles III in May, eight months after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, the British government said Sunday.

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The national holiday will be held on Monday May 8, two days after the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, Downing Street said in a statement.

The government said that as with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the royal event would be an opportunity for “families and communities across the country to come together and celebrate.”

King Charles, 73, will be formally crowned at London’s Westminster Abbey, following a long tradition dating back more than 900 years.

The monarch’s wife, Queen Consort Camilla, 75, will also be crowned.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it would be “a unique moment for our country.”

“In recognition of this historic occasion, I am pleased to announce an additional bank holiday for the whole United Kingdom next year,” he said, according to the statement.

The coronation traditionally takes place some months after a new sovereign has ascended to the throne, following a period of national and royal mourning as well as intense preparation.

Buckingham Palace has said the coronation will reflect the monarchy’s historic traditions and its modern role.

Charles immediately became king when Queen Elizabeth died on September 8. He also took over as head of state of 14 Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The Queen, who was 96, died at her remote Scottish estate Balmoral after a year of declining health. She was on the throne for a record 70 years.

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