Queen Elizabeth II was the last monarch to be crowned in England in 1953, but that’s soon to change. The Coronation of King Charles III is coming up on May 6th – 7th, and plenty of activities will be happening all over London to celebrate this momentous occasion. From fancy five-course dinners to glitzy balls, here’s our list of 10 things to do in London during the Coronation weekend.
(WA= Wheelchair Accessible)
Image Courtesy of Love and London
Do what Brits do best and hit the pub
First on our list of things to do in London during the Coronation weekend is head to the pub. Pubs across England and Wales have been given the green light to serve customers for two hours beyond their usual opening times to commemorate the Coronation. It’s no secret that Londoners love hitting the pub, so the fact that we’ll be able to celebrate by simultaneously sinking a few extra pints around the country beyond when the bell normally rings for last orders feels extremely, well, on-trend and very British. Look at our guide on gorgeous London pubs to see which ones are worth swinging by.
Image Courtesy of Westminster Abbey
Watch the Coronation procession first-hand
There have been 38 coronations at Westminster Abbey since 1066 and 29 monarchs crowned, which is soon to be 40, with King Charles’ coronation also taking place there in May. Although the general public can’t be inside the Abbey whilst the coronation is taking place, you can line up along the procession route anywhere to get a first-hand look. Find a spot between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey to wave your flags high and wish His Majesty The King a long and happy reign. You can also secure a place at Victoria Memorial to see the Royals wave from the famous Buckingham Palace balcony at the end of the ceremony.
If you’re also in London before or after Coronation weekend, you could book a guided tour of Westminster Abbey to feel closer to the action. However, it’s worth noting that to prepare for the festivities, it’ll be closed to visitors and worshippers from 25th April and will re-open on Monday 8th May.
Westminster Abbey | WA | 6th May 2023
Image Courtesy of Galvin at Windows
Galvin at Windows five-course Coronation dinner
Galvin at Windows on the 28th floor of London Hilton Park Lane is celebrating the Coronation in style with a special five-course menu curated by Head Chef Marc Hardiman. Each course pays homage to the King, including a baked cheesy egg dish, supposedly his favourite meal. There’s also a seasonal veggie dish which is an ode to his love of nature.
Coronation Dinner at Galvin at Windows | Mayfair | WA | 1st – 7th May 2023
Image Courtesy of The Rubens at the Palace
Enjoy a quintessential afternoon tea
Next on our list of things to do in London during the Coronation weekend is to enjoy royally-themed afternoon tea. It doesn’t get much more British than afternoon tea, and what better way to commemorate the new King of England than by indulging in one of the best in the city? There are many spots where you can enjoy a delicious afternoon tea, but the jubilant Coronation-themed afternoon tea at The Rubens at the Palace, overlooking Buckingham Palace, is perhaps the most on-trend with the weekend’s festivities.
Alternatively, Biscuiteers is serving up a Coronation Afternoon Tea with plenty of patriotic sweet treats and a DIY icing workshop where you can get creative and ice your own biscuits. Plus, kids can also come along to this one.
Coronation Afternoon Tea at the Rubens at the Palace | Westminster | WA | 1st May – 1st August 2023
Image Courtesy of The Royal Family
Head to a local street party to celebrate the Coronation
On the Sunday of Coronation weekend, everyone is encouraged to participate in The Coronation Big Lunch, where neighbours and communities come together to socialise and celebrate the crowning of the new King. There will also be plenty of street parties happening around the country, and most of these are also expected to take place on Sunday. To find out which street parties are happening near you so you can get in on the fun, head to the government’s interactive map of coronation events and type in the postcode of the area you’re hoping to find one in/near.
Image Courtesy of The Ritz
Head to The Ritz’s grand Coronation ball
If you want to go all out and celebrate in style, head to The Ritz, where they’re hosting a decadent five-course dinner with live entertainment from the BBC Big Band. There will be a Champagne and canapé reception with entertainment from a String Quartet, followed by a five-course dinner crafted out of seasonal British ingredients and wine pairings headed by Executive Chef John Williams MBE and his team. The evening will continue with a performance by the BBC Big Band, a talented group of 19 musicians, where you’ll have the opportunity to dance into the night on the famous Ritz dance floor. To book, you’ll need to submit an enquiry on the event information page.
The Ritz | Piccadilly | WA | 6th May 2023
Image Courtesy of Claridge’s
Hit up Claridges’ themed Coronation event
Claridge’s is one of London’s most famous and prestigious hotels, so it’s no surprise they’re hosting many exciting events for the Coronation weekend. They’re showcasing some of the most memorable royal moments in Claridge’s Coronation Archive Windows on the hotel’s ground floor, including excerpts from Queen Victoria’s diary and cocktail cards created for the coronations of King George VI in 1937 and Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Claridge’s Coronation Archive Windows will be open to view in the hotel’s lobby throughout May. Alternatively, look at booking a stay here to really be amongst the hustle and bustle.
Claridge’s | Oxford Street | WA
Image Courtesy of Design My Night
Head to Neverland for a Bottomless Pimms Weekender
Japanese-themed bar Neverland is hosting a special bottomless Pimms weekender where you can enjoy tasty food, patriotic vibes and unlimited drinks at your own pergola table, cabana or roomy sofa. There will also be many games like beer pong, table tennis and shuffleboard, alongside many summertime treats and cocktails. You can book tickets in advance via this link.
Neverland | Wandsworth Bridge | 5th – 8th May 2023
Image Courtesy of Time Out London
Explore Georgian fashion at Kensington Palace
We’re taking it back in time on our list of things to do in London during Coronation weekend with this Crown to Couture event at Kensington Palace. Fashionistas will love this one; you’ll be able to see the power of dress in the Georgian era. Crown to Couture will feature more than 200 objects on display, like the world-famous Silver Tissue Gown worn at the court of Charles II and the Rockingham Mantua, one of many objects from Historic Royal Palaces’ Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection. Secure tickets in advance on their website to avoid disappointment. If you plan to visit in May, note that the Palace will be closed on May 6th for the celebrations.
Crown to Couture | Kensington Palace | WA | Until 29th October 2023
Image Courtesy of Mayfair London
Enjoy a Secret Garden Party at Grosvenor Square
Last on our rundown of things to do in London during the Coronation weekend is this secret garden party right in the heart of the city. On the 6th and 7th of May, Grosvenor Square is throwing a free Coronation Garden Party, just five minutes from Bond Street station. The square will be transformed into an enchanting garden to commemorate the crowning of King Charles III. You can expect the ceremony to be shown on the big screen, many food and drink stalls to keep you well fed and hydrated and endless amounts of patriotic vibes. Plus, it’s free to visit, so this is not one to miss.
Coronation Garden Party | Mayfair | WA | 6th – 7th May 2023