King Charles is busy preparing for his big coronation day on May 6. It’s a little less than two months away, but that doesn’t mean he gets to sit back and merely wait for them to place the crown on his head. No, alongside Camilla, Queen Consort, the king is fulfilling his royal duties throughout the country.
On Wednesday, King Charles and Camilla visited Colchester to mark its newly approved city status. The King was heckled by several people upon arrival, but also greeted with love by many others.
One greeting, in particular, left royal fans raising their eyebrows. Despite promising to continue many royal traditions and customs, it seems as though Charles is doing his best to push the monarchy into a more modern age – and the greeting he gave some of his royal fans was somewhat surprising.
The plans for King Charles and Camilla’s coronation are in full swing. It will be the first royal coronation to take place in the UK for over 70 years, and it’s set to be a big one. Yet though Buckingham Palace has revealed a lot of details regarding the historic event, some things still seem problematic.
King Charles & Camilla coronation – celebrities say no to perform
On the big coronation day, May 6, the public will get together and celebrate in their respective towns and cities all across the country. The day after, on May 7, a special Coronation Concert will be held at Windsor Castle, which the BBC will broadcast. The public is invited to the grounds, and can apply for tickets to the big coronation party.
The Palace website says the concert “will bring global music icons and contemporary stars together in celebration of the historic occasion.”
“Attended by a public audience including volunteers from The King and The Queen Consort’s many charity affiliations, the concert will see a world-class orchestra play interpretations of musical favorites fronted by some of the world’s biggest entertainers alongside performers from the world of dance. The performances will be supported by staging and effects located on the Castle’s East Lawn and will also feature a selection of spoken word sequences delivered by stars of stage and screen, it says.”
Several choirs are set to perform during the big festival at Windsor. But the big question mark on everyone’s minds is who the major artists will be.
Last year, when Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, a large concert outside Buckingham Palace saw stars such as Brian May of Queen, Duran Duran, Rod Stewart, Andrea Bocelli, and Diana Ross performing.
“I wouldn’t panic quite yet”
However, now just months away from King Charles’ coronation, there’s been no official word on who will be the main acts. As per reports, several A-list stars have already declined the monarch.
Reports state that Elton John, Robbie Williams, Harry Styles, and the Spice Girls all have said no to performing at King Charles’s coronation concert on May 7. Previously, it was reported that both Adele and Ed Sheeran had declined a spot on the bill at the historic show.
Though time is running out, royal expert Christopher Andersen – author of The King – says there still is plenty of time for the Palace to arrange an A-list lineup.
“As far as lining up performers for the coronation concert, I wouldn’t panic quite yet,” Andersen told Fox. “Joss Stone is a friend of the younger royals and can usually be counted on. There is also a long list of American pop stars chomping at the bit to perform.”
Andersen added that the artists who performed during the Queen’s Jubilee last year would most likely be asked to perform again. One he believes would love to perform in front of the new king is none other than the “The Queen of Pop.”
“They’d be crazy not to ask Madonna, who has a massive 40th-anniversary tour this summer, and I’m sure wouldn’t mind the opportunity to perform for the king,” Christopher Andersen explained.
“So, plenty of options. People are reading way too much into what really amounts to scheduling conflicts. It’s highly doubtful that anyone would turn down the invitation to perform at the coronation… It’s a singular moment in history, and, frankly, just too massive a gig!”
Elton John and Harry Styles are both embarking on world tours, which is most likely why they declined the offer.
Queen Elizabeth might make Charles’ coronation ‘less appealing’
Another artist originally tipped to appear was Australian pop star Kylie Minogue. She has declined, though according to reports, not for the same reason.
“Kylie has been an honorary Brit for many, many years and admires the Royal Family and everything that they do. But she is also a passionate Australian and has read the room in a country that could very soon become a republic,” a source told the Daily Mail.
Speaking to Fox, royal expert Shannon Felton Spence argued that Charles’ coronation is expected to be different to Queen Elizabeth’s was, not least with regards the size. Charles’ celebration won’t be as big, a matter that will be reflected in his concert. But no matter what, Felton Spence argues that the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration and the coronation will be a ‘tough act to follow.’
“The popularity of the queen was in the zeitgeist; it was part of the fabric of British culture,” Shannon Felton Spence said.
“She was a cultural icon, especially in her later years. The king does not have that same appeal. At least not yet.”
The Royal Family has many duties to attend to before the coronation takes place. March 14 will mark a particularly special day as the annual Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey is held.
Royal family set to gather for Commonwealth Day
For the Royal Family, it’s their first major joint appearance of the year. King Charles and the Queen Consort will be joined by Prince William and Kate – the Prince and Princess of Wales – Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, and Prince Edward and Sophie – the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
During the service, King Charles will deliver the Commonwealth Day Message from the Great Pulpit. He will later host a Buckingham Palace reception for the Commonwealth Secretary-General, High Commissioners, Foreign Affairs Ministers, and other members of the Commonwealth community.
The Commonwealth Day Service has a very special place in the Royal Family’s hearts, but is also of greater significance due to the events of recent years.
The occasion became somewhat famous for being Harry and Meghan’s last formal royal engagement before they stepped down as working royals in March 2020. Moreover, it marks the first Commonwealth Day Service since the Queen passed away, although she didn’t attend last year given her ailing health.
Besides the Commonwealth Day, King Charles, Camilla, and the rest of the royals have plenty more engagements to attend to. Some might seem more glamorous than others, but ultimately, the presence of the royals is always significant, always appreciated … at least by most.
Earlier this week, King Charles and Camilla visited Colchester, located in the southeast of England.
King Charles’ latest engagement has royal fans talking
In November last year, Colchester was awarded city status during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, so Charles and Camilla had journeyed there to celebrate that. However, not everyone seemed delighted about their visit. The debate about the monarchy’s pros and cons has been ongoing for years, and it appeared that those who are not so supportive of the UK having a king and queen were also out in force.
“Why are you wasting our money?” one protester shouted when Charles and Camilla arrived at Colchester Castle’s grounds, as reported by Sky.
“Don’t you believe in democracy, Charles?” another asked.
“Answer your critics, Charles,” a third yelled.
King Charles didn’t respond to those criticizing him; instead, he greeted those there to welcome him and his wife. In doing so he caused quite the stir online, and all for being … well, happy.
On the official Instagram account of the Royal Family, a short clip from King Charles’ and Camilla’s visit to Colchester was posted. It showed Charles greeting the many fans who had gathered on the sidewalk – and at one point in the video, he could be seen not shaking a person’s hand, but giving it a fist bump!
“So wonderful to celebrate with Colchester today as they mark their new City status!” the caption to the post read.
“He’s such a cool cat”
The sweet moment saw several followers react online.
“Loved how the King fist bumped someone in the crowd,” one person commented.
“Fist bump by The King! How wonderful!!” a second wrote.
“He’s such a cool cat,” a third added, with a fourth commenting, “What a beautiful visit and celebration! Very much looking forward to the coronation.”
It’s not the first time that King Charles’ hands have been the talk of the town. In recent years, details about his fingers have left some royal fans speculating that he might be ill.
Pictures of his hands appearing red and swollen have been spreading across social media, but the King has reportedly lived with them like that for years. In 2012, while visiting Australia, he even joked about them, saying they were his “sausage fingers.”
Indeed, Charles’ fingers appear to have been that way for many decades. In the 1980s, when Prince William was born, Charles reportedly wrote about it in a letter to a friend.
“I can’t tell you how excited and proud I am. He really does look surprisingly appetizing and has sausage fingers just like mine,” Charles is quoted as saying in the Howard Hodgson biography Charles, The Man Who Will Be King.
What do King Charles’ red, swollen fingers say about his health?
Even the Queen once commented on her firstborn son’s hands, describing them as “interesting.”
“The baby is very sweet and we are enormously proud of him. He has an interesting pair of hands for a baby,” a letter from Queen Elizabeth read.
“They are rather large, but with fine long fingers quite unlike mine and certainly unlike his father’s. It will be interesting to see what they become. I still find it hard to believe I have a baby of my own!”
However, one doctor has raised his concerns concerning King Charles’ swollen fingers.
Speaking with the Daily Star, Dr. Gareth Nye, Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, explained that while “loads of conditions” could lead to swollen fingers, some are said to be more likely than others.
One possibility could be oedema or fluid retention.
“Oedema is a condition where the body starts to retain fluids in the limbs, normally the legs and ankles but also in the fingers, which causes them to swell,” Nye said. “Oedema is a common condition and mostly affects people over the age of 65 as the ability for fluid control is restricted.”
“Most likely a sign of his age”
He added: “To see if this is the cause, pressing the swollen area for about 15 seconds would cause a depression in the area.”
Moreover, the doctor said King Charles’ swollen fingers could also be a sign of arthritis, a common condition for people over 60. It commonly affects three main areas in the hand – the thumb joint or either joint in the fingers.
While Nye further explained that causes might include a high salt diet, blood pressure medication can also lead to swelling. Yet despite all possibilities, he states that King Charles’ “sausage fingers” are not a sign of a significant health issue for the newly announced British monarch.
“There certainly aren’t any immediate health concerns to be concluded from swollen fingers and is most likely a sign of his age;” Dr. Gareth Nye told the Daily Star.