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Eco-friendly King Charles plans carbon-neutral coronation

Monarch may tell Commonwealth leaders and other royals they can stay at home as event expected to be small-scale

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King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla following the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey on Monday. Photo: Andy Stenning/WPA Pool/Getty Images

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla following the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey on Monday. Photo: Andy Stenning/WPA Pool/Getty Images

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla following the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey on Monday. Photo: Andy Stenning/WPA Pool/Getty Images

King Charles is planning a “low-carbon” coronation next year and could tell Commonwealth leaders they do not need to attend, in order to cut the number of aircraft heading to London.

Buckingham Palace is expected to announce a date in May or June for the event, which will be on a noticeably smaller scale than the late queen’s coronation in 1953.

The plans are still at an early stage because nothing was discussed in detail before Queen Elizabeth’s death, and palace officials have months to thrash out the guest list.

Royal sources confirmed that deciding who will be invited will be a “balancing act” between keeping the carbon footprint down and adhering to protocol.

The king has spent decades drawing attention to climate change and is expected to use a state visit to France next month – the first of his reign – to highlight a scheme to plant millions of trees in Africa.

Those close to him say he would not want to turn his coronation into an event on the scale of his mother’s funeral, which brought dozens of private jets to London.

One source familiar with the king’s thinking said Commonwealth leaders and members of foreign royal families could be invited but told attendance would be left to their own discretion. Alternatively, they could be urged to travel on scheduled flights.

More than 60 members of foreign royal families attended the queen’s coronation.

One source said: “The coronation will happen less than a year after the queen’s funeral, so the message that may well be sent out is that ‘We’ve seen you all quite recently, so don’t feel obliged to go to the trouble of coming all this way again so soon’.”

Queen Consort Camilla will carry on using her privately owned Wiltshire home to give her “an escape from royal life”

The same source added: “The king, as well as his religious and state advisers, will be very aware that the coronation will be coming off the back of a very difficult winter for people and they will not want the event to be discordant with the mood of the nation.

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“The king is, by nature, quite a frugal person whenever he is able to be and I would expect he will want the coronation to focus more on the spiritual elements than the more showy parts.”

The king did not have any say over the guest list for his mother’s funeral, which was the biggest ever gathering of world leaders on British soil, because it was the late queen’s prerogative.

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The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is pulled on a gun carriage past Buckingham Palace

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is pulled on a gun carriage past Buckingham Palace

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is pulled on a gun carriage past Buckingham Palace

And while he believes it was entirely appropriate for the international community to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-serving monarch, he does not believe his coronation merits such a large turnout.

Meanwhile, Queen Consort Camilla will carry on using her privately owned Wiltshire home to give her “an escape from royal life”, despite her change in status.

Camilla bought her six-bedroomed property, Ray Mill House, after her divorce from Andrew Parker Bowles, her first husband, 25 years ago, and cherishes her time there with family and friends in a more relaxed setting than royal residences allow. The house is a short distance from the king’s private residence, Highgrove, in Gloucestershire.

The king now has the use of Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and Hillsborough Castle, outside Belfast, although many other royal residences, including St James’s Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House, now belong to him in his capacity as monarch. He has also inherited the Balmoral and Sandringham estates, which were privately owned by the queen, and he already owned a large cottage in Wales as well as Highgrove.

The couple are currently staying on the Balmoral estate, where the queen died earlier this month, and where the king is likely to spend time at Birkhall, the large house on the estate that he inherited from the Queen Mother.

Sources describe Birkhall as his “true home” and the property he would keep if he were allowed to have only one residence.

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]


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