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A Crown for King Charles III

The United Kingdom has a new king! King Charles III will be crowned on May 6.

King Charles in uniform inspecting a line of soldiers holding up swords.

Max Mumby—Indigo/Getty Images

Charles, then a prince, inspects cadets at a military school in England in 2015.

The United Kingdom (U.K.) has a new king! King Charles III will be crowned on May 6, 2023.

King Charles does not need to be crowned to be a king. In fact, he became king when his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died on September 8, 2022. But every new king or queen in the U.K. is crowned. It’s a tradition that goes back more than 1,000 years.

In the U.K., a king or queen is crowned at a ceremony called a coronation. Coronations take place at Westminster Abbey in London, England. King Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla, will travel to the coronation in a black and gold, horse-drawn carriage. This type of carriage is used only for special events. People will gather to watch the carriage as it goes by.

Will King Charles actually get a crown? Sort of. The royal family has a collection of jewels and other valuable items, including more than one crown. During the ceremony, a crown will be placed on the king’s head. The crown was made in 1661. It is the same crown that was placed on Queen Elizabeth’s head in 1953, at her coronation.

Around 2,000 people will be at the coronation. This includes Charles’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, as well as William’s family. For everyone else, the ceremony will be broadcast and live streamed in many parts of the world.

You can see photos having to do with the coronation in the slideshow below!

© WPA Pool/Getty Images; © Altezza/; Isabel Infantes—AFP/Getty Images; Oli Scarff/Getty Image; Hulton Archive—Hulton Royals Collection/Getty images

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, Bequest of Mary Clark Thompson, 1923 (24.80.523);, © Alex/; Animation Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

In the U.K., the king owns all the mute swans that swim in the country’s rivers and other open waters! (A mute swan is a species of swan.)    

The king also owns all “royal fish” in the country’s waters. These fish include sturgeons, whales, and dolphins.

Stay Out of My Castle!

© Bigmouse108—iStock/Getty Images Plus

When you think of a king, you might think of a castle. Do kings and queens really live in castles? Yes! In the U.K., the royal family has many homes, including palaces and castles. The first castles were built in Europe more than 1,000 years ago. These early castles weren’t made to be fancy. They were built to protect the people who lived there. 

In medieval times, which lasted from about 500 to 1500, kings and lords (people from wealthy families who owned land) built castles. For hundreds of years, Europe was a place where people often fought over control of land. That meant that lands were often invaded. Over time, castles got bigger, stronger, and easier to defend. Here are some common castle features.

The Moat

Many castles were surrounded by a ditch called a moat. Sometimes the ditch had water in it. When the bridge was up, the moat was hard to cross.

The Wall

A stone wall called the curtain wall surrounded the castle. This wall was very thick and high enough that it could not be climbed with a ladder.

The Keep

The keep was the highest tower in the castle and was usually the strongest part of the whole property. When enemies attacked, people often went to the top of the keep for protection.

The Towers

Many castles had towers at their corners. From the high windows of these towers, guards could see enemies approaching and prepare for battle.

Spiral Staircases

Many castles had narrow spiral staircases. If you have ever seen a spiral staircase, you know they take longer to climb than regular stairs. If the enemy got into the castle, these staircases would have slowed them down.

King Charles

Members of the royal family including Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth stand on a balcony together.

Chris Jackson—Chris Jackson Collection/Getty Images

For many years, the United Kingdom was ruled by Queen Elizabeth, who is at the center of this photo. Today, her son Charles (who stands next to her in the photo) is the king. You can read more about King Charles III at Britannica School.

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Part of speech:



: a ceremony in which a crown is placed on the head of a new king or queen

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