The True Story Behind the Coronation of King George III and Queen Charlotte

queen charlotte king george iii coronation
King George III & Queen Charlotte's CoronationCourtesy of Netflix

Just days before King Charles III's coronation took place in the United Kingdom last weekend, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story dropped on Netflix, featuring a British coronation of its own—that of King George III (played by Corey Mychlreest) and Queen Charlotte (India Amarteifio).

The show offers a fictionalized version of the crowning, but what really happened?

Two weeks after George and Charlotte were married, their joint coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on September 22, 1761.

engraved ticket for the coronation ceremony of george iii in westminster abbey' 1761 1906 artist george bickham
Engraved ticket for the Coronation ceremony of George III.Print Collector - Getty Images

Per the church, "They came from St James's Palace to Westminster Hall in sedan chairs. They then walked from the Hall to the Abbey starting at 11.00am, passing crowds of spectators who lined the route. The procession and ceremony were so long that they were not crowned until 3.30pm, and the lavish coronation banquet in the Hall followed."

Their walk took over an hour, according to historian Robin Eagles, who writes in a History of Parliament blog: "Normally, the walk between the Hall and Abbey would take around two minutes but such were the numbers of those involved that it was an hour and a half before the king and queen finally arrived in church."

In an account of their coronation, "A Faithful Account of the Processions and Ceremonies Observed in the Coronation of the Kings and Queens of England: Exemplified in that of Their Late Most Sacred Majesties King George the Third, and Queen Charlotte: with All the Other Interesting Proceedings Connected with that Magnificent Festival," edited by Richard Thompson (yes, that is the real 46 word long title, and you can read it online), the procession and the ceremony are detailed in great depth.

The six key parts of the coronation service occurred, and like King Charles III, King George III was anointed as the anthem "Zadok the Priest" was sung in the congregation. The coronation ceremony reportedly went on for six hours (unlike in Queen Charlotte, where viewers get only a minute-long scene). A year later, Allan Ramsay completed the couple's coronation portraits showing the royals in their coronation robes. (See King George III's here, and Queen Charlotte's here.)

Overall, King George III and Queen Charlotte's coronation would not look too unfamiliar from the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.


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