Inside Operation Golden Orb – the secret plans for Charles and Camilla’s coronation


Prince Charles is planning a scaled back coronation that will see the number of guests reduced to a maximum of 2,000 people, compared with the more than 8,000 dignitaries that attended the Queen’s ceremony in 1953

Charles' ceremony will include a maximum of 2,000 guests, compared with more than 8,000 in 1953
Charles’ ceremony will include a maximum of 2,000 guests, compared with more than 8,000 in 1953

Prince Charles’ coronation will be dramatically different to the Queen’s lavish ceremony almost 70 years ago, reports suggest.

Plans are reportedly being drawn up, under the codename Operation Golden Orb, for the moment Charles is crowned King alongside Queen Camilla.

The Prince of Wales is said to be hoping for a shorter and ‘far cheaper’ coronation than his mother’s, which cost £1.57million – the equivalent of £46million today.

The number of guests at the service will reportedly be slashed by three quarters compared with the Queen’s coronation in 1953.

One royal insider said Harry and Meghan may not even join Charles on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the historic event.

The future King is expected to make sure his coronation is more representative of different community groups and faiths.

Prince Charles and Camilla will be crowned side-by-side at his coronation
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This is part of his vision of a modern ‘slimmed-down’ monarchy, a royal source told the Mail on Sunday.

The Queen’s ceremony on June 2, 1953 was influenced by Britain’s global empire at the time.

Although the empire was in decline, the UK still had more than 70 overseas territories when the Queen was crowned.

It was only in 1997 that Prince Charles himself declared the ‘end of the Empire’ when Hong Kong was transferred to China.

The Queen’s coronation in 1953 cost £1.57million – the equivalent of £46million today
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Many of Britain’s former territories are now part of the Commonwealth, which the future King will lead when he ascends the throne.

Some 2,000 troops from the Commonwealth and 500 from the ‘colonies’ took part in the Queen’s coronation parade, which involved a total of more than 40,000 armed forces personnel.

More than 8,000 dignitaries, including representatives from British protectorates overseas, were taken to Westminster Abbey in the procession.

The Queen had to change her outfit several times during the ceremony, which was viewed by an estimated 277 million people across the world and lasted more than three hours.

The Queen was joined by her family and maids of honor on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after her ceremony
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Charles’ service will be a more scaled back affair, with a maximum of 2,000 guests, the Mail on Sunday reports.

A source told the newspaper: “It will be a slimmed-down Monarchy on display throughout. I wouldn’t be surprised to see just Charles and Camilla, Kate and William and their children on the Buckingham Palace balcony afterwards.”

An insider said there are ‘binders and binders’ of paperwork on the accession and coronation, although Clarence House denied any detailed plans had been drawn up.

More than 40,000 troops took part in the Queen’s coronation procession
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The Coronation service was rewritten in recent years to modernize the language and shorten the event.

Although it will be an Anglican service, there will be a place for other religions and Christian denominations.

Charles previously showed his embrace of other religions in Britain by saying he would like to be known as ‘Defender of Faith’ – instead of ‘Defender of the Faith’.

The costs of the ceremony will be met by the taxpayer and Charles is said to be keen that it should be ‘good value’.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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