British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced Sunday there would be a public holiday to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III next year.
Sunak said the bank holiday would fall on Monday, May 8, following the coronation two days earlier.
Charles, 73, automatically became monarch in September on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Days later, he was formally confirmed as the new King of the United Kingdom in a ceremony at St. James’ Palace.
The British government said in a statement that the move was in line with the bank holiday that accompanied the late Queen’s coronation in 1953. The day off would be an opportunity for families and communities across the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate, it added.
“The Coronation of a new monarch is a unique moment for our country,” Sunak said. “In recognition of this historic occasion, I am pleased to announce an additional bank holiday for the whole United Kingdom next year.
“I look forward to seeing people come together to celebrate and pay tribute to King Charles III by taking part in local and national events across the country in his honour.”
Buckingham Palace announced last month that the King’s coronation would take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London, the location of every coronation since 1066. Since William the Conqueror, all but two monarchs have been crowned there. Edward V died before he could be crowned and Edward VIII abdicated.
The service will be a more modern affair than previous royal coronations and will “look towards the future,” the palace said in a statement. It added that the occasion will still be “rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.”
The occasion will also see the Queen Consort crowned in a similar but smaller ceremony.
Experts say Charles’s coronation will be a significantly more subdued event than his mother’s, with arrangements influenced by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis in the UK.
It’s fairly common for the government to proclaim bank holidays around royal occasions. This year, Britons have received two extra days – one for the late monarch’s funeral on September 19 and previously in June to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.