BBC announces special coverage and programming for King’s Coronation


The BBC has announced its special coverage and programming to celebrate the Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort across television, radio, BBC News, iPlayer, Sounds and online.

King’s Coronation

The Coronation on Saturday 6 May will be the centrepiece of live coverage with ceremonial events including the Westminster Abbey service broadcast across the BBC.

On the day, Kirsty Young will be in a studio at Buckingham Palace and JJ Chalmers will speak to members of the military as they prepare for one of the largest parades in living history.

Huw Edwards will provide commentary as the doors of Westminster Abbey open and Sophie Raworth will be outside speaking to guests as they arrive, Clare Balding will provide commentary for the ceremonial route, and Anita Rani will join the gathered crowds.

Across BBC Radio and Sounds, Martha Kearney will be in the studio, Eleanor Oldroyd will report live from Westminster Abbey and there will be expert insight and analysis from BBC Royal Correspondent Jonny Dymond.

Mishal Husain and James Naughtie will report from different parts of the processional route, giving listeners a sense of the anticipation, pageantry and atmosphere as it happens.

The Coronation of King Charles III and The Queen Consort will be fully accessible with a signed version on BBC Two.

There will also be accessible coverage for people who are blind or partially sighted on Red Button, hosted by Petroc Trelawny.

iPlayer first

In line with the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II which saw millions tune in to television for the first time, the BBC will be at the forefront of technology with proceedings on iPlayer streaming live from multiple locations in Ultra High Definition and High Dynamic Range.

On Sunday 7 May, the Coronation Concert will see the biggest and brightest stars take to the stage in celebration of the occasion. For BBC Television and iPlayer, Kirsty Young will return to anchor the special live broadcast, this time within the grounds of Windsor Castle, where the concert will take place that evening on the castle’s East Lawn.

Clara Amfo and Jordan Banjo will be backstage with the artists who will perform in front of 20,000 members of the public, including guests from various affiliated charities. The concert will see a world-class orchestra play a host of musical favourites alongside world-class entertainers and performers.

Ahead of the event, BBC Radio 2 will capture the atmosphere of the concert live from Windsor Castle, with Zoe Ball speaking to the performers, while Dermot O’Leary will be amongst the crowds.

Other specially-commissioned programming across BBC television and iPlayer, includes the documentary Charles R: The Making of a Monarch, Stitching for Britain and Sing For The King: The Search for the Coronation Choir.

Tim Davie, Director-General, says: “The BBC is very proud to bring landmark events and major historical moments to audiences across the UK and beyond. We will be delivering the full glory of the Coronation with all the quality, ambition and excellence that our teams are globally renowned for.”

Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer, said: “The Coronation is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to mark history with an unparalleled breadth of programmes.

“We will have something to enthral all audiences from the pageantry to the procession and the concert, and bring everyone together to celebrate and to share in the significance of the occasion.”

Kirsty Young said: “I’m very happy indeed to be part of the BBC’s Coronation coverage, as our cameras capture history in the making.

“Ceremony, spectacle and a right royal celebration – it’s got all the ingredients of a weekend worth watching.”

Huw Edwards said: “Few broadcasters have the privilege of working on a Coronation and I’m delighted to be involved. People will be relying on the BBC for coverage of what promises to be a memorable weekend.”

Martha Kearney said: “It’s remarkable to think that William the Conqueror was the first monarch to be crowned in Westminster Abbey.

“But there weren’t any Norman microphones. More than a thousand years later I’m thrilled to bring the ceremony to radio listeners round the country and the world.”

Zoe Ball said: “What a thrill it is to be part of Radio 2’s coverage of the Coronation concert – speaking to all the stars before they take to the stage for what will be such a fabulous celebration.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing who Dermot and I bump into at Windsor Castle and bringing all the backstage magic to our listeners live on Radio 2.”

There will also be specials of BBC favourites; Countryfile, Songs Of Praise, Bargain Hunt, The One Show, EastEnders, Antiques Roadshow and Coronation Kitchen.

On Radio and Sounds, Radio 2’s The King and I will hear stories from those who have met The King over the years, Radio 3 will reflect with a programme of traditional repertoire and new commissions and a special Desert Island Discs will feature on Radio 4.

BBC News will provide comprehensive coverage with live presentation from Westminster Abbey and contributions from correspondents across the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world.

There will be reporting across the BBC’s Local Radio network as we hear from those taking part in the weekend’s events including The Big Lunch. BBC Radio Wales will broadcast King and Country: How Wales Made a Monarch, BBC Radio Nan Gaidheal will bring audiences the ceremony in Gaelic, and BBC Radio Ulster and Foyle will reflect local plans across output.

Children’s output will feature the Coronation on Newsround explaining the history and significance of the occasion and there will be a special episode of Blue Peter. Meanwhile, in education, BBC Teach will create a video-led assembly pack for primary schools to mark the Coronation.