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Britain is urging parties to voluntarily supervise the coronation


LONDON — Buckingham Palace is planning a weekend of community events and volunteerism to mark the coronation of King Charles III, to emphasize the monarchy’s ties to the nation as Britain crowns a new sovereign for the first time in 70 years.

The plans were revealed on Saturday when the palace released the schedule for the three-day coronation weekend, which will begin with the coronation of Charles and Camilla, the queen consort, on Saturday, May 6.

The ceremony at Westminster Abbey is preceded by a procession from Buckingham Palace to the Abbey. This is followed by another procession, in which Charles and Camilla are joined by other members of the royal family, and an apparition on the palace balcony.

But there will be more to the weekend than crowns, sceptres, and ermine robes.

With the coronation, the palace wants to show that the monarchy still plays a role in a multicultural nation grappling with a cost-of-living crisis, budget cuts and a wave of strikes by public sector workers.

While there was widespread respect for Queen Elizabeth II, as evidenced by the tens of thousands of people who waited hours to pass by her coffin after she died in September, there is no guarantee that the reverence will be passed on to her eldest son.

The coronation will be a solemn service presided over by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, but the palace is also planning a weekend of events that will highlight the different communities and cultures that contribute to modern Britain.

The palace is asking neighborhoods across the country to participate in the “Coronation Big Lunch” on Sunday, May 7 — the latest incarnation of the block parties that have become a staple of major royal celebrations.

That evening there will be a concert at Windsor Castle featuring a choir of amateur groups from all over the UK, including refugee choirs, National Health Service choirs, LGBTQ singing groups and deaf sign choirs. The ‘Coronation Choir’ will perform alongside another choir made up of singers from across the Commonwealth who will perform virtually during the televised concert which will also feature as-yet-unknown headliners.

During the concert, venues across the country will be illuminated with projections, lasers and drone displays.

The following day, the palace invites people from all over the country to participate in “The Big Help Out,” encouraging them to volunteer in their own communities.

“The Big Help Out will encourage people to volunteer for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas,” the palace said in a statement. “The purpose of The Big Help Out is to use volunteerism to bring communities together and create a lasting legacy of volunteerism from the coronation weekend.”

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