This coming weekend, King Charles III will be crowned at Westminster Abbey in a traditional British display of spectacle and ceremony. The event conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury on May 6 will begin an extensive, three-day celebration across London and the wider UK.
King Charles III formally ascended the throne on September 8, 2022, the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, making this coronation the first of its kind in 70 years. Although millions are expected to observe this event, its cost has come under scrutiny as the UK faces its worst cost-of-living crisis in generations.
Buckingham Palace has not disclosed the exact cost of the coronation. However, King Charles sought a “smaller, less expensive, and more representative” ceremony as part of his plans for a scaled-down monarchy, so the coronation will be less elaborate than the late queen’s ceremony. According to estimates reported by the BBC, the weekend’s celebrations will cost between £50 million and £100 million ($63 – $125 million).
The UK government and the British taxpayer fund the occasion; with the Buckingham Palace also contributing an undisclosed share. A YouGov poll showed that 51% of Brits do not think that the UK government should pay for this event, while 18% remain undecided. Moreover, the U.K. economy is already facing a burdensome cost-of-living crisis amid the pandemic. The public holiday called to mark the event on May 8 is likely to cost the U.K. economy a further £1.36 billion in lost productivity.
Despite this, UK Hospitality, a trade association for the hospitality industry, believes that the king’s coronation could bring a £350 million boost to the UK economy. Combined with Britain’s two additional May bank holidays and Eurovision Song Contest, the occasion could generate a total economic boost of £1 billion.