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Why are Ant and Dec at the coronation? The celebrities invited to King Charles’s service at Westminster Abbey

Ant and Dec and Lionel Richie will be among the celebrities attending King Charles’ coronation at Westminster Abbey on Saturday.

About 2,000 guests have been invited to the crowning of Charles and his wife Camilla – a fraction of the more than 8,200 people attending Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953.

But the 11am service, which will be followed by the coronation procession, will nonetheless see quite a few A-listers from the arts and entertainment world taking part in the historic event.

Here are the celebrities you should look out for during what Buckingham Palace described as “a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry”.


The Repair Shop‘s Jay Blades revealed on his Twitter and Instagram accounts on Tuesday that he had been invited to the coronation.

He is co-chairman of the Heritage Crafts Association – a charity that aims to safeguard craft skills – of which the King is president.

Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin, who played Tricia Armstrong in Coronation Street, has also tweeted a video of herself opening up the special envelope containing the invite.

TV presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will join young people who have been supported by the Prince’s Trust at the coronation this weekend.

The pair will attend the event at Westminster Abbey in their capacity as goodwill ambassadors, a role they took up in 2021 after some two decades working with the charity.

Best known for fronting shows including Saturday Night Takeaway, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Britain’s Got Talent, Ant and Dec have hosted The Prince’s Trust Awards 10 times and recently collaborated with the charity on a course to make the media industry more accessible.

Also among the attendees will be British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, who as a global ambassador for the trust has helped guide its work in Africa and across the world.

There will also be an appearance from American singer-songwriter Lionel Richie, who was named chairman of the trust’s global ambassador group in 2019 with the aim of helping to develop its global remit on issues including youth education and unemployment.

Who else has been invited?


Almost the entire UK Royal Family will attend the ceremony.

Nine-year-old Prince George will become the youngest future king to play an official role at a coronation after being named one of his grandfather’s four pages of honour.

He will be tasked with carrying the King’s robes alongside Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, 13, Nicholas Barclay, 13, and Ralph Tollemache, 12, who are all sons of the King’s friends.

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, confirmed in March that he will attend the coronation, although the Duchess of Sussex will remain in California. The coronation falls on the day of their eldest son Archie’s third birthday.

The Duchess of York will also miss the service. She said on Good Morning Britain that she “can’t have it both ways” because she is divorced, but she is expected to attend a private family celebration after the ceremony.

Family and friends of the Queen Consort

One divorcee who will attend is the Queen Consort’s ex-husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, 83. A friend told the Sunday Times of their enduring friendship: “They are joined at the hip. He arranges so much for her.

“They have lunch together the whole time. He’s right in there. He was always, and still is, Camilla’s co-conspirator.”

Her three grandsons, Gus and Louis Lopes, 13, Freddy Parker Bowles, 13, and her great-nephew, Arthur Elliot, 10, will be her pages of honour.

Her younger sister Annabel Elliot, 74, and her friend the Marchioness of Lansdowne, 68, will support her during the service as ladies in attendance.

Her son, Tom Parker Bowles, 48, and daughter, Laura Lopes, 45, and close friends will also join.

Foreign royals

Members of foreign royal families will be invited to the ceremony in a historic break with tradition. Centuries-old convention had stated that a coronation should be a sacred ceremony between a monarch and their people in the presence of God.

Hoever, Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco are the first foreign royals to confirm they will be going to the ceremony.

Others who have confirmed their attendance include King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Dragon King of Bhutan Jigme, Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and his wife, Queen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck.

Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko of Japan will represent Emperor Naruhito at the ceremony.

UK politicians

Uproar erupted among MPs and peers earlier this year when it was announced just 20 MPs and 20 peers would enter a ballot for a place at the ceremony.

That number has reportedly since been expanded but far fewer than the 800 MPs and 910 peers who were invited to the late Queen’s coronation will make the cut.

Rishi Sunak and all his predecessors are expected to be there, alongside Cabinet ministers, and Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer.

First Minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf, has accepted an invitation despite being a republican and having promised to speak at a pro-independence rally in Glasgow on the same day, which he now will not do.

Sinn Féin’s leader in Northern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill, has received criticism from some by accepting her invitation to the ceremony. She said she would go to advance “peace and reconciliation” despite being “an Irish republican”.

Foreign leaders

Joe Biden, will not be attending the service but Washington has been at pains to deny the move is a snub. First Lady Jill Biden will instead represent the US.

French president Emmanuel Macron announced earlier this month that he will be there to show his “friendship, respect and esteem” for the UK.

Germany and Italy will send their presidents, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Sergio Mattarella, rather than heads of government Olaf Scholz and Giorgia Meloni.

Chinese vice-president Han Zheng, who presided over a civil liberties crackdown in Hong Kong, is also on the King’s guest list. The move has been branded “outrageous” by Conservative MPs.

Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese and Pakistan premier Shehbaz Sharif have both said they are going.

Some Commonwealth leaders are not expected to be in attendance due to growing rifts over the colonial past, despite Queen Camilla’s decision not to wear the Koh-i-Noor diamond.

But the prime ministers of the current 15 Commonwealth realms are all expected to have been invited, including the New Zealand’s PM, Chris Hipkins, and the Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau.

Leaders from Iran, Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Syria and Venezuela have not been invited.

Everyday heroes

More than 850 community and charity representatives from across the UK have been invited to the coronation.

Invitations to the service itself have been extended to more than 450 British Empire Medal recipients in recognition of their contributions.

Among them is record-breaker Max Woosey, 13, dubbed “the boy in the tent”, who raised more than £750,000 for North Devon Hospice by camping in his garden for three years.

Some 400 young people representing charities will also be able to watch the coronation service and procession from the adjacent St Margaret’s Church.

The coronation of King Charles III

Here’s a full timetable of the coronation, including when Charles will actually be crowned, and details of the concert.

The ceremony has taken an astonishing amount of preparation, with Operation Golden Orb – decades in the planning – bringing in snipers and police officers from across the country to aid security. The coronation will also feature the biggest military procession in 70 years, no small feat of logistics, but still intends to be the most sustainable ever.

But the event has not been without controversy. The option for the public to pledge allegiance to the new monarch sparked resistance, including from i‘s own Stefano Hatfield, and the new King’s relationship with his second son will be under fierce scrutiny, with Jennie Bond blaming his emotional illiteracy for the breakdown of their relationship.

This week, The i Podcast looks at whether King Charles III could be the last monarch of a Commonwealth realm which was born from the British Empire and funded by the proceeds of slavery. Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Acast | Wherever you listen

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