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06 May 2024

First anniversary of King’s coronation marked with royal gun salutes across UK

06 May 2024

Gun salutes celebrated the first anniversary of the King and Queen’s coronation on Monday, days after Charles returned to public-facing events following his cancer diagnosis.

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-gun salute in Green Park, next to Buckingham Palace, at noon. An hour later, the Honourable Artillery Company fired 62 volleys from Tower Wharf, next to Tower Bridge.

Both regiments were involved in the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey in 2023 and were responsible for firing the guns to signal the moment the crown touched the King’s head.

On Monday afternoon, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery gunners wore a distinctive dress uniform which included gold braided jackets and busby hats, and had guns in the regiment’s colours.

At 12pm, on the word of command, each of the six guns fired blank rounds at 10-second intervals until 41 shots had been fired, while the Band of the Irish Guards provided musical accompaniment.

Meanwhile, shortly after midday, three guns were collected by the Honourable Artillery Company from Armoury House in Artillery Gardens and then transported to the Tower of London.

At 1pm, on the word of command, 62 volleys were fired, with each round firing from one of the three guns in turn at 10-second intervals.

The number of rounds fired in a royal salute depends on the place and occasion, meaning an extra 21 were fired during the latter ceremony “for the City of London”.

Once the 1pm salute took place, many of the soldiers involved then returned to their day jobs in the City, with their dual role as Army reservists completed.

Further gun salutes took place at Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, Cardiff Castle in Wales and Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, in York’s Museum Gardens, 21 shots were fired by a 4th Regiment Royal Artillery saluting troop, with music provided by the Band of the Royal Yorkshire Regiment.

Last week, the King attended three events as he resumed royal engagements with the public, indicating the positive effect of the cancer treatment he is currently receiving as an outpatient.

On Wednesday, in his second engagement of the week, the King and Queen were presented with the Coronation Roll at Buckingham Palace.

The document follows a centuries-old tradition of creating a handwritten record of a monarch’s coronation, and Charles and Camilla marvelled at the handwritten and lavishly decorated artefact which recorded all the key events from their ceremony.

The King and Queen’s coronation took place on May 6 2023 at Westminster Abbey. Thousands braved the rainy weather to take to the streets to watch their procession in the Gold State Coach.

The occasion brought together around 100 heads of state, kings and queens from across the globe, celebrities, everyday heroes and family and friends of the couple.

The religious ceremony was followed by a weekend of celebrations, including a pop concert at Windsor Castle and the Big Help Out, which encouraged people from across the country to try volunteering in their local area.

On Sunday, the eve of the anniversary, the Archbishop of Canterbury said anointing and crowning the King during the Westminster Abbey ceremony was the “privilege of a lifetime”.

He also paid tribute to Charles’s “openness in sharing his condition” which he said was a “characteristic of his willingness to help and support others”.

“It was the privilege of a lifetime to anoint and crown His Majesty, surrounded by so many of the charities and organisations he supports, as well as hundreds of people who are serving their communities,” he said.

“The coronation weekend inspired millions up and down the country to volunteer, and I’m delighted that the Big Help Out is returning in June, for us to get together and make a difference.

“The past year has presented the King with some great personal challenges. But I have been struck by his continued sense of duty, having recently returned to royal engagements following treatment.

“His openness in sharing his condition has been characteristic of his willingness to help and support others.

“I continue to pray for King Charles, Queen Camilla and the royal family. May God guide, comfort and strengthen them in their service to us all.”

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