World stands still as King Charles III is crowned alongside wife

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Charles III on Saturday finally met his date with destiny after a lifetime as heir to his late mother Queen Elizabeth II, as he was officially crowned king in the first coronation in Britain since 1953.

At 12.02pm, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby placed the solid gold St Edward’s Crown on Charles’s head as a sacred and ancient symbol of the monarch’s authority.

Cries of “God Save the King” rang out from the 2,300-strong congregation at Westminster Abbey and trumpet fanfares sounded at the climax of the solemn religious confirmation of his accession.

Outside, ceremonial gun salutes blasted out across land and sea while bells pealed in celebration at churches across the country.

The build-up to the Christian ceremony of prayer and praise — steeped in 1,000 years of British history and tradition, with sumptuous robes and priceless regalia — has been mostly celebratory.

But even before Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 75, left Buckingham Palace for a rainy procession to the abbey, police arrested dozens of protesters using new powers rushed onto the statute book to crack down on direct action groups.

The anti-monarchy movement Republic — which wants an elected head of state — said six of its organisers were detained, while climate activists Just Stop Oil said 19 of its number were held.

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