King Charles’ coronation plans include LGBTQ+ choir performing at Windsor Castle
Buckingham Palace has announced that an LGBTQ+ singing group will feature in King Charles III’s upcoming three-day coronation weekend plans.
On Saturday 6 May, the coronation of King Charles III and his wife Queen Consort Camilla will be held at Westminster Abbey.
The service will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who remains confident in his decision to deny same-sex marriage in the Church of England.
On Sunday, a Coronation Concert will be held by the BBC at Windsor Castle. The concert will feature The Coronation Choir – a diverse group created from the nation’s keenest community choirs and amateur singers from across the UK – including refugee choirs, NHS choirs, LGBTQ+ singing groups and deaf signing choirs.
According to the royal announcement a documentary explaining the formation of the choir will tell the stories of the people representing the many faces and voices of the country.
The Virtual Choir, made up of singers from across the Commonwealth, will appear alongside The Coronation Choir for a special performance on the night.
During the concert, locations across the country will be lit up in a “Lighting up the Nation” segment, which will see the nation joined in celebration by light from projections, lasers, drone displays and illumination.
The Coronation Big Lunch, at which neighbours and community are invited to share food and fun together, will happen on the same day.
Monday will see the public invited to take part in The Big Help Out, which aims to encourage people to volunteer in their local areas in a bid to bring communities together. Thirty national charities already set to take part include the Scouts, NSPCC and the Trussell Trust.
There had been proposals back in the autumn that events on three-day weekend should be scaled back to acknowledge the current economic difficulties many are facing. Now, as reported by Sky News, Monday’s events are central to what “King Charles wants to emphasise” in his reign as the cost of living crisis continues.
The late Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign saw transformative changes in the UK, including major laws that advanced LGBTQ+ rights including the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967 and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act in 2014.
And just like the Queen, Charles has avoided publicly commenting on LGBTQ+ rights.
However, Sir Elton John has previously vouched for Charles, expressing his confidence that he, along with Prince Harry, would use their influence to decriminalise homosexuality in all Commonwealth states.
Same-sex relations remain illegal in many countries once colonised by Britain – many of which now form the Commonwealth.
But Charles’ accession has troubled Republic – a campaign group that wants to abolish the monarchy – with its CEO, Graham Smith, telling PinkNews he believes the royals don’t care about LGBTQ+ people.
“The monarchy is steeped in very deeply conservative attitudes,” Smith told PinkNews.
“The monarch is the head of the Church of England, and just a few months ago the Archbishop of Canterbury said gay sex is still a sin, which is an appalling thing to say. That then emboldens people to support things like conversion therapy.
On 20 January, Welby clarified during a speech – just as the Church of England issued the apology – that, while he would not change its stance on same-sex marriage, the church would let married couples be blessed by priests.
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