Much excitement. Image: Archi Banal
Much excitement. Image: Archi Banal

Pop CultureMay 6, 2023

Everything you need to know about King Charles’s coronation tonight

Much excitement. Image: Archi Banal
Much excitement. Image: Archi Banal

Yes, it will be long and weird. No, Meghan will not be there. Yes, we will be covering it. 

What’s all this about a coronation then? 

Despite them both having the name “coronation” in the title, both being set in England, and both having Dame Joanna Lumley in the cast list, The Spinoff understands that the coronation has nothing to do with Coronation Street. Instead, we have strong reason to believe that a coronation is “the formal investiture of a monarch with their regal powers” in a highly elaborate and extremely traditional ceremony at Westminster Abbey, 

The formal coronation ceremony begins at 11am UK time (10pm NZT), but Charles will leave for the Abbey 40 minutes earlier. The coronation ceremony involves the Recognition, the Anointing, the Oath, the Crowning and the Homage, which coincidentally is the same order as my birth plan. The coronation will be followed by a formal procession back to Buckingham Palace, and once there, members of the royal family will appear on the balcony and wave.

A coronation is all about tradition and pageantry, and we can expect to see lots of people in uniform walking in time (including members of the New Zealand defence force), plenty of horses and heaps of hats. The event will cost Britain £100m, despite Charles deliberately scaling down the event to reflect the cost of living crisis. This means the king will travel in only one carriage made from solid gold, while the other one will have electric windows. 

This family loves a balcony (Photo: Getty Images)

Surely that’s not the end of all the fun?

Like Deidre once said to Ken Barlow, no way José. On Sunday, British communities are encouraged to enjoy a “Coronation Big Lunch” (a “let them eat quiche” type thing), while in the evening, the palace will hold a coronation concert featuring a dazzling array of well-known British stars like Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Andrea Bocelli. 

What drama will people be looking out for? 

Number one is old mate Prince Harry. Attending sans wife Meghan, Harry may be destined to sit in the naughty chair, which is probably located next to the portaloos and three rows behind Ant and Dec. Charles has also promised a stripped down royal family (only figuratively, nobody will actually be nude as far as we know), so expect to discover who his faves are when they appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony. 

We will be rubbernecking hard for all the classic celebrities like Mr Bean, Posh and Becks, and Ant and Dec. But also… Dynamo? Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones?? Nick Cave??? “I am not so spectacularly incurious about the world and the way it works, so ideologically captured, so damn grouchy, as to refuse an invitation to what will more than likely be the most important historical event in the UK of our age,” Cave wrote in response to criticism of his attendance. “Not just the most important, but the strangest, the weirdest.”

As for the New Zealand contingent, keep your eyes peeled for prime minister Chris Hipkins, National party leader Christopher Luxon, governor-general Dame Cindy Kiro and Kingi Tūheitia Pōtatu Te Wherowhero VII. Richie McCaw, Willie Apiata and Abdul Aziz are also attending as New Zealand representatives. Fingers crossed we see Hipkins scoff down those last two sausie rolls just as the crown is placed on Charles’s royal noggin. 

Who will air the coronation in NZ? 

TVNZ is going extremely hundies with 1News Presents: Their Majesties’ Coronation airing from 7pm on TVNZ 1, TVNZ+ and From the TVNZ studio, Melissa Stokes and Daniel Faitaua will be “give viewers a front row seat to all the excitement and ceremonial proceedings unfolding from London.” TVNZ’s Europe correspondent Mei Heron will be reporting live on the events from the UK, while mysteriously billed “other members” of the 1News team will pop in to help celebrate. We want our king Daniel Corbett or nothing.

Newshub is taking a slightly more subdued approach. Three will have live coverage of the king’s coronation from 7pm, with Europe correspondent Lisette Reymer and Newshub reporter Alexa Cooke reporting live from London. 

Not for me thanks, what else should I watch? 

During the coronation TVNZ2 is airing an epic run of Booze Patrol, the ninth Fast and the Furious movie, and then Grown Ups. Whakaata Māori have family-friendly fantasy movie Pil’s Adventures, followed by absurdist tragicomedy The Day Will Come. As the crown descends on Charles’ royal scalp, why not celebrate by watching a person get their head flattened by two giant ice blocks in Saw 4 on Duke? Or head over to Bravo, where ungodly things will be taking place in an elevator in Fifty Shades Darker? 

As for your streaming options, we asked Chris Schulz, editor of our Rec Room newsletter, for his picks: “Watch The North Water for some chilly Arctic bad times led by an incredible Colin Farrell performance. Play ‘Spot That Landmark’ during the family-friendly apocalyptic yarn Sweet Tooth which was shot in and around Auckland. Get amongst Barry and Succession which are in their final seasons, and wind up their stunning runs on the exact same day.

“Or do as I recently did and indulge in Enes Yilmazer’s ridiculous YouTube travel show where the ‘real estate enthusiast’ tours grossly overpriced and often ghastly mega-mansions well outside any budget.” You heard the man!

What’s my favourite website doing tonight?  

Just as we have done for past live television events such as the vaxathon and Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, The Spinoff will be delivering rolling updates of all the weird and wonderful coverage from 7pm. Content is king, they say, so be sure to pledge your allegiance by checking back and refreshing furiously through the night – or go and live your life and check back in tomorrow morning for a recap of the whole illustrious event. 

Keep going!