The king was crowned the nation’s monarch and he prayed to be a “blessing” to people of “every faith and belief.”
Charles became the 40th reigning sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, the nation’s coronation church since 1066, when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, placed St Edward’s Crown on his head.
The historic moment, watched around the world, was a fulfillment of the king’s destiny but followed the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, last September after 70 years of reign.
In a moving moment, the Prince of Wales became engaged to his father the King, kissing him on the cheek and touching St Edward’s Crown.
As William knelt before Charles, who held his son’s hand between his palms, the future monarch said: “I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge to you my loyalty and faithfulness and truth which I shall bring to you as your liege man of life and Element. May God help me.”
The King’s younger son, the Duke of Sussex, was among the gathering, sitting two rows behind his brother with the Duke of York’s family, and was seen watching intently the coronation.
And minutes later, as the congregation was invited to pay homage to the new monarch, Harry was seen joining the other royals around him in saying the words: “God bless King Charles. Long live King Charles. May the king live forever.”
The coronation was a deeply religious ceremony steeped in symbolism, and her prayers took up the theme of ‘called to serve’, an attribute associated with the late Queen who pledged her life to the Commonwealth.
Before the coronation, the Archbishop delivered a homily to the 2,300 guests, a gathering of world leaders, celebrities, British politicians, foreign royalty, everyday heroes and the royal family.
Mr. Welby began by telling the congregation: “We are here to crown a king and we crown a king to serve.
“What is given today is for the benefit of all. Because Jesus Christ announced a kingdom in which the poor and oppressed are freed from the chains of injustice. The blind see. The injured and broken will be healed.”
Speaking to Charles and Camilla, Mr Welby said: “The weight of the task entrusted to you today, Your Majesties, is to be endured only by the Spirit of God, who empowers us to give our lives to others.
“With the anointing of the Holy Spirit is released to the king what no ruler can ever achieve by will, politics, war, or tyranny: the Holy Spirit draws us to love into action.”
Charles said a king’s prayer, the first time a monarch had spoken aloud to God during a coronation, and he touched on the sovereign’s duty to serve all communities.
He told the Abbey: “God of mercy and mercy, whose Son was not sent to be served but to serve, grant grace that in thy service I may find perfect liberty, and in that liberty the knowledge of thy truth.
“Grant that I may be a blessing to all your children of every creed and persuasion, that together we may discover the ways of kindness and be led into the paths of peace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”
In the stillness of the Abbey, Mr Welby held St Edward’s Crown aloft over Charles and, having placed it on his head at 12.02, said ‘God save the King’ – words repeated aloud by the congregation.
The archbishop had adjusted the position of the crown for a few seconds before it was comfortably seated, even crouching briefly to check that it was properly positioned on the king’s head.
A fanfare was played and the abbey bells pealed for two minutes after the coronation, with gun salutes from nearby Horse Guards Parade, the Tower of London and salute stations across the country and from warships at sea.
Volleys were heard at Hillsborough, Cardiff and Edinburgh castles, at Stonehenge and on HMS Lancaster, which had sailed to Sudan to help British citizens and others flee the fighting in Khartoum.
For a change, the controversial “Homage of the People” element of the service was toned down following widespread criticism of the new element.
Mr Welby “invited” a demonstration of support from the community, rather than an “appeal” to those at the Abbey and elsewhere to swear allegiance to the King.
The Queen was then crowned with Queen Mary’s Crown, with Camilla publicly anointed in a break with tradition.
During the coronation, the Queen was seen brushing her hair away from her face.
Earlier, the Diamond Jubilee Coach of Charles and Camilla arrived at the Abbey after a procession from Buckingham Palace, amid an escort of the Sovereign, provided by the Blues and Royals and Life Guards of the Household Cavalry, in their gleaming breastplates and plumed helmets, and led by the Household became a band of cavalry cavalry regiments.
The entry of the monarch and his wife through the west door was heralded by a fanfare from four state trumpeters of the household cavalry, and the abbey congregation stood in unison.
A grand ceremonial procession was drawn up before the King and Queen, with representatives of all elements of the nation’s ceremonial and spiritual life.
There were bearers of Orders of Chivalry and Valor, Heralds of the College of Arms in their colorful tunics, senior clergymen associated with the monarchy, and the glittering coronation regalia worn by leading figures.
St. Edward’s Crown was worn by General Sir Gordon Messenger, Lord High Steward of England.
Dressed in their lavish and unwieldy robes, the King and Queen walked in single file with Camilla ahead of Charles through the abbey’s nave while the hymn I Was Glad As They Said Unto Me was sung.
The coronation service began with a new element when the King was greeted by 14-year-old Samuel Strachan, senior chorister of the Chapel Royal Choir, St James’s Palace.
The chorister, who attends the City of London School, saluted the monarch in the name of the ‘King of kings’ – a nod to Jesus Christ – and Charles replied: ‘In his name and by his example I will no longer be served but will serve .”
Before the king took the oath – making a series of promises, including maintaining the law of the Protestant-Reformed religion in Britain – the archbishop prefaced Charles’s declaration – another first.
He told the congregation the Church of England, which is led by the King, will seek to foster an environment where “people of all faiths and beliefs can live freely” – echoing the words of the late Queen and Charles.
Charles was anointed with holy oil in secret, shielded by the anointing screen.
The Dean of Westminster will have poured oil from the ampoule – an eagle-shaped vessel – into the coronation spoon – the oldest object of the coronation regalia.
With his fingers the archbishop will then have anointed the king on his hands, chest and head.
Thousands of royal fans have gathered in central London to celebrate the king’s coronation.
As anticipation grew Saturday morning, a group of Republicans were arrested around 7:30 a.m. more than four hours before the coronation service began.
Footage on Twitter showed Graham Smith, chief executive of anti-monarchy group Republic, being arrested by police in St Martin’s Lane, Westminster.
Protest group Just Stop Oil also said around 13 protesters were arrested in The Mall, as well as five in Downing Street.