It was a royal night to remember: A magnificent coronation concert staged in the grounds of Windsor Castle, capping a day of street parties and community lunch events across the UK on Sunday in celebration of King Charles III.
A huge roar erupted from the flag-waving 20,000-strong crowd as the newly-crowned King and Queen took their seats in the royal box to watch a star-studded ensemble.
It was an enthusiastically patriotic display that will go down as a highlight of the bank holiday weekend of celebrations in honor of “the artist formerly known as Prince,” as host and “Downton Abbey” star Hugh Bonneville quipped.
CNN – May 8, 2023
The glorious line-up was certainly fit for a King – complete with global superstars, classical music maestros and performers from around the Commonwealth – delighting a buzzing audience from a fabulous Union Flag-shaped stage.
Here’s a look back at all the best bits:
Prince William’s tribute to his ‘Pa’
The Prince of Wales paid a heartfelt homage to his father during the festivities, saying: “Pa, we are all so proud of you.”
Energetic cheers broke out as Prince William walked out on stage. He opened his speech on a humorous note, promising the crowd that unlike concert performer Lionel Richie, he wouldn’t “go on all night long.”
William said he wanted to say a few words about why he thought the weekend’s celebrations were important, recalling what his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, said when she was crowned.
“Coronations are a declaration of our hopes for the future,” the prince said. “I know she’s up there fondly keeping an eye on us and she would be a very proud mother,” he added, as crowds roared once more.
He went on to note “my father’s first words on entering Westminster Abbey yesterday were a pledge of service” before outlining the King’s commitment to service over the years.
Royals dance the night away
Several members of the royal family got their groove on throughout the concert. They could be seen bopping along to the tunes from their seats with Union Flags in hand.
But it was when Richie emerged on stage, dressed in a sequined silver jacket, for a performance of his hits “Easy Like Sunday Morning” and “All Night Long,” that had both the public and King himself on their feet.
Richie later joined the Sunday broadcast of “American Idol” by video link, telling host Ryan Seacrest and their fellow judges: “What a party. It was unbelievable.”
Richie then mused about what could be done “to bring something different to the show,” before the King and Queen wandered into the shot. “I just wanted to check how long you’ll be using this room for?” Charles joked before thanking him and fellow headliner Katy Perry for their performances.
Crowds were thrilled to see two of their favorite little royals, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, sat with their parents, enjoying the spectacle. Sadly, 5-year-old Prince Louis stayed home.
The royals would jump up again once more for the grand finale when “British pop royalty” Take That took to the stage for their first live performance in four years.
They were joined by singer Calum Scott for their track “Greatest Day,” continued with “Shine” and finished up with their classic and delighted the audience with “Never Forget.”