Prince George, the eldest son of Prince William and Kate Middleton, will play a prominent role in the coronation of his grandfather, King Charles III, on May 6, Buckingham Palace has announced.
George, 9, is second in direct line to the throne and could one day see himself crowned at the abbey. He has been given the role of Page of Honour to King Charles for the ceremony. George will perform this duty with three other boys of a similar age, from families connected socially with the monarch.
In an announcement issued on Tuesday, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the four pages who will form part of the official king’s procession through the abbey on coronation day are: “His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, Master Nicholas Barclay and Master Ralph Tollemache.”
Traditionally, pages have carried the coronation robe behind the monarch as they process through the abbey, preventing the garment from dragging on the ground.
It has also been announced that Queen Camilla will be accompanied by four Pages of Honour on her procession through the abbey. Their number will be made up from her three grandsons (Master Gus and Master Louis Lopes and Master Freddy Parker Bowles) as well as her great-nephew (Master Arthur Elliot).
The new details come as speculation surrounding the coronation and what form the ceremonial aspects of the day will take is increasing in Britain.
Though save-the-date invitations to the 2,000 guests are expected to have been sent, no official list of attendees has been released.
Buckingham Palace published on Tuesday two images relating to the coronation, one being a new portrait of the king and queen taken by photographer Hugo Burnand.
Burnand took the couple’s wedding photos in April 2005 and will take their official portraits on the day of the coronation itself.
The new photograph shows Chares and Camilla in the blue drawing room of Buckingham Palace wearing matching outfits of the same color.
The second image shows the coronation invitations that guests will receive, designed by artist Andrew Jamieson. These include floral emblems. There is also the motif of what is described by the palace as “the Green Man, an ancient figure from British folklore, symbolic of spring and rebirth, to celebrate the new reign.”
The invitations will all be printed on recycled card, in line with the king’s environmentalist beliefs, and will feature gold-foil detailing.
The news that Prince George has been given a role in the coronation procession comes as speculation has risen over whether his uncle, Prince Harry, will attend the event. There is also the question of whether he will take on any prominent position.
The prince laid bare multiple grievances against his father, the wider royal family and household in his recently released Netflix docuseries and memoir. However, British bookmakers have slashed odds on his making the journey to Britain for the king’s big day.
In March, a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan Markle confirmed that they had received an “email correspondence” from the king’s office about the coronation. However, their representatives will not confirm whether the couple will attend until closer to the date.
May 6 also holds significance for the couple for another reason as it is their son, Prince Archie’s, birthday. He will turn 4 on coronation day.
James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.
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