When King Charles III gets crowned on May 6, it willmark the U.K.’s first coronation of a monarch in 70 years. Ceremonial, celebratory and community events will color the long weekend, with London being the epicenter of the action. The city will come alive as crowds gather to witness this momentous occasion.
For travelers looking to join in the festivities, there are countless ways to soak up the atmosphere, from visiting Westminster Abbey, the site of the ceremony, to participating in the many parades and events. Several of the city’s most prestigious hotels also have curated their own royal celebrations.
Here are six ways to commemorate the coronation in style:
Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, London
With its postcard-perfect location overlooking Hyde Park, this luxury London hotel is in a prime position for the coronation celebrations. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, the hotel’s destination restaurant, will honor the affair with a creative menu of reinvented dishes served at British coronation banquets throughout the years, with an optional wine pairing.
The Royal Cooking Menu will be available from May 1 until June 1, giving you ample time to experience this unique culinary offering. From April 17 until May 14, The Rosebery tea room will serve a coronation afternoon tea inspired by British heritage.
The front façade of the Five-Star hotel also will be illuminated blue — the color selected for His Majesty’s coronation emblem — and will provide a royal backdrop for Instagram-ready photographs.
Towering above the city in London’s tallest building, Shangri-La The Shard will host a Royal Jewels & Gin Experience. First, take a trip to the Tower of London to admire the crown jewels, followed by a visit to a local distillery for a private gin tasting — the gin martini is rumored to be King Charles’ drink of choice.
Then partake in the festivities at the hotel’s 52nd-floor GŎNG Bar, which will host a coronation afterparty with royal décor, a DJ, bites, cocktails and breathtaking city views. Down on the ground floor, Bar 31 will throw a street party, live stream the event and serve Britain’s favorite dishes like coronation chicken (it features a curry cream sauce) alongside tea and Pimm’s. Stay the night and you will receive commemorative welcome amenities, including a crown or tiara and Union Jack-themed pastries in your room.
The Mayfair landmark, often referred to as the “annex of Buckingham Palace,” will offer a series of special royal moments with a focus on the hotel’s own 200-year history of crown celebrations. The hotel’s archivist Kate Hudson has unearthed mementos of coronations throughout the years, which you can see at the Coronation Archive Windows, on Claridge’s ground floor.
Relics include pages from Queen Victoria’s diary and cocktail cards created for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Claridge’s artist-in-residence, David Downton, will also unveil a new color portrait of King Charles III to sit in the hotel’s Talking Heads Gallery.
For those with a sweet tooth, the hotel’s chocolate crest cake will have an extra regal touch, embellished with gold leaf for the coronation week. The hotel’s newest bar, The Painter’s Room, will also create a drinks menu reflecting the monarch’s love of his Highgrove Garden, focusing on floral, botanical and sustainable ingredients.
Steps from Buckingham Palace, The Stafford has a royal tie: its classic English Carriage House once served as a stable that housed the nobility’s thoroughbreds in the 18th century. To observe the coronation, the Four-Star hotel plans to throw a street party in The American Bar’s courtyard on May 6.
At noon, enjoy music, outdoor games and a spread that will include an oyster bar, a slow-roasted free-range pig, vegetable and halloumi skewers, and housemade sugar doughnuts. Hopefully, the elusive British sunshine will make an appearance for the festivities, too.
Soak up the royal delights of the British countryside and the capital city in one unique experience. The Town and Country package includes two nights at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane and two nights at Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, breakfast for two at each hotel, and transportation between the two locations.
Starting in London near Buckingham Palace, you can head down to witness the ceremonial changing of the guards or, with the help of the hotel’s expert concierge, enjoy special access to the international exhibitions at No.9 Cork Street Faller by Frieze, a favorite of Charles III.
Next, swap the Big Smoke for tranquility and nature in the idyllic English countryside and see the ancient domain where Henry VIII met his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. At Four Seasons Hampshire, tour the stunning grounds, participate in equestrian activities and enjoy a royal afternoon tea in the estate’s historic Drawing Room overlooking the lush landscape.
Already well-known for its opulence and grandeur, The Dorchester will take luxury celebrations to the next level by re-creating the iconic decorations used during Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953. Its façade will be adorned with dramatic drapes along the balconies and gold accents on the windows, bringing a regal ambiance to the surroundings. The hotel’s newly renovated Promenade will also be decked out with the same lavish decorations, making it just the place to relax with a cup of tea while enjoying the fun.
In addition to the decorations, executive pastry chef Michael Kwan has curated a coronation-themed afternoon tea. The grand selection includes delicate cakes, sandwiches and English sparkling wine fit for a king (or queen).