The British monarchy, according to the Victorian writer Walter Bagehot, “is commonly hidden like a mystery, and sometimes paraded like a pageant.”
The mystery has diminished since his day. So has the monarch’s power. But the pageantry, in an era of instant worldwide communication, is even more widely observed, and it was on full display on Saturday in London as King Charles III was crowned.
The coronation procession and the centuries-old ceremony at Westminster Abbey are the centerpiece of a three-day holiday weekend in Britain that also includes street parties, outdoor lunches and a concert on Sunday on the grounds of Windsor Castle. Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Take That performed.
Here’s a selection of the best photographs from the coronation weekend.
Part of the crowd for the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle.
Lionel Richie onstage in front of the castle.
Some in the crowd were watching the royal family, as well as the show.
A boy painting his mother’s face during a street party in Richmond, in southwestern London. More than 3,000 such parties were planned across the country.
At the party in Richmond, the food included cupcakes decorated with images of King Charles III.
Outside St. James’s Church in Clerkenwell, a neighborhood closer to the center of London, there was music and dancing.
Another Richmond street party featured a coronation-themed bake-off.
This square in north London held a gathering in its communal garden.
A stall at one of the Richmond street parties.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla waving from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after they were crowned.
King Charles III and Queen Camilla traveling along the Mall to Buckingham Palace after their coronation at Westminster Abbey.
The Red Arrows, the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force, flew overhead after the coronation.
Rain-soaked crowds gathering to watch the ceremony on big television screens in St. James’s Park in London.
King Charles III was crowned in Westminster Abbey in London.
A gun salute in London as Charles was crowned.
Watching the coronation ceremony on a screen in Hyde Park in London.
King Charles III wearing St. Edward’s crown during his coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
Among those attending were Prince William, the king’s elder son and heir; William’s wife, Catherine, Princess of Wales; and their younger children, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
Waiting in St. James’s Park on Coronation Day.
A procession accompanying King Charles III and Queen Camilla toward Buckingham Palace marching past demonstrators with anti-monarchy signs.
Marching in London on the day of the coronation.
King Charles III leaving Buckingham Palace on his way to Westminster Abbey.
The Diamond Jubilee State Coach being escorted along the Mall to Westminster Abbey.
Standing guard outside Buckingham Palace before the coronation of King Charles III.
Watching a procession down the Mall before the coronation ceremony.
Police officers with demonstrators holding up anti-monarchy signs shortly before the procession began on the Mall.
Preparing for the procession.
A street artist mopping water from his chalk drawing of King Charles III on Friday near Trafalgar Square in London.
Camping out along the Mall the day before the coronation.
Police officers gathering near the Mall.
Coronation souvenirs on sale near Parliament in London.
A coronation-related display in a shop window in central London.
Union Jack flags hanging over Oxford Street in London to commemorate the coronation.
Taking selfies in front of a replica of St. Edward’s crown in London.