Hot on the heels of King Charles III’s glittering Coronation on Saturday 6 May, came Sunday’s eclectic—and, at times, surreal—Coronation Concert, which saw a 20,000-strong crowd descend on the grounds of Windsor Castle to celebrate the monarch. On the line-up? Everyone from Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Take That to Tiwa Savage and Nicole Scherzinger, with special appearances from the likes of Tom Cruise, Joan Collins and Ncuti Gatwa. Below, all the moments you might have missed from the historic event.
There was truly something for everyone in the performances
DJ Pete Tong kicked off proceedings with Rudimental’s “Feel the Love”, before Olly Murs arrived to belt out “Dance with Me Tonight” surrounded by a jiving dance troupe. Then came virtuosic pianist Lang Lang; a regal Tiwa Savage; opera legends Andrea Bocelli and Bryn Terfel; Paloma Faith in a voluminous fuchsia gown; and a Take That reunion. The offering was wide-ranging to say the least.
A host of famous faces paid tribute to the King
There was everyone from Stella McCartney, honouring the King’s commitment to conservation, to Kermit the Frog successfully sneaking into the royal box, but also countless A-listers who appeared in the pre-filmed interludes to the show, from Joan Collins and Hugh Jackman to Tom Jones, Richard E Grant, Tracey Emin, Tom Cruise, Pierce Brosnan and Winnie the Pooh. One of these segments also, hilariously, nodded to the new monarch’s love of dancing.
Then, the King followed through, dancing to Lionel Richie
The most effusive reception was reserved for—who else?—the incomparable Lionel Richie. He rocked out to “Easy Like Sunday Morning” in a sequinned silver jacket while flanked by a barnstorming saxophonist, then followed up with “All Night Long”, which had members of the public and the royals—including King Charles himself—dancing out of their seats.
CORONACIÓN DE CARLOS III 🇬🇧
Lionel Richie en el escenario en el concierto en homenaje a la coronación del Rey.#CoronationConcert #Coronation #LionelRichie #KingsCoronationpic.twitter.com/ccCH9oLzTU
— Abel Rdz (@AbelRaul6) May 7, 2023
The Coronation choir got the crowd on their feet, too
The 300 amateur singers from community choirs across the country who make up the newly formed Coronation choir came together to sing Emeli Sandé’s “Brighter Days”. Seeing them all signing out one of the final verses was genuinely heartwarming. Later on in the evening, the virtual Commonwealth choir also made an appearance, introduced by the luminous Sonam Kapoor.
Coronation Choir singing Brighter Days #CoronationConcert pic.twitter.com/QXIkQbNjDT
— Farrukh (@implausibleblog) May 7, 2023
Nicole Scherzinger paid tribute to a Disney princess
The Pussycat Dolls’s lead singer chose a Disney classic for her Coronation Concert performance: Lea Salonga’s “Reflection” from the original Mulan. Yes, you read that right.
Ncuti Gatwa and Mei Mac lit up the stage
The newly crowned Doctor Who and the magnetic star of My Neighbour Totoro joined forces for a sweeping tribute to Romeo & Juliet, with the support of five royal institutions: the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal College of Art, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Opera House, and the Royal Ballet. The pair’s performance of Act I Scene V was accompanied by magical light projections, a rendition of “Somewhere” from West Side Story and dancers including the ever graceful Francesca Hayward.
Prince William gave a surprisingly emotional speech
“I want to say a few words about my father, and why I believe this weekend is so important,” the Prince of Wales began, upon reaching the stage. “As my grandmother said when she was crowned, Coronations are a declaration of our hopes for the future. And I know she’s up there, fondly keeping an eye on us. She would be a proud mother. For all that celebrations are magnificent, at the heart of the pageantry is a simple message: service. My father’s first words on entering Westminster Abbey yesterday were a pledge of service. Because for over 50 years, in every corner of the UK, across the Commonwealth and around the world, he has dedicated himself to serve others, both current and future generations, and those whose memory must not be neglected. Pa, we are all so proud of you.”
“Pa, we’re all so proud of you”
Prince William addresses crowd and his father King Charles at Coronation concerthttps://t.co/sLtkZLETZG pic.twitter.com/byWW2yi1C3
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 7, 2023
Katy Perry brought the house down
Is there anything more surreal than hearing Katy Perry croon “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag…” in a giant metallic ballgown with Windsor Castle looming behind her? The pop star who Prince William admitted to being most excited to see also performed “Roar” as a projection of a lion floated above the stage; caused the castle to be lit up in the colours of a rainbow when singing “after a hurricane comes a rainbow”; and told the audience: “I got to bring my mum! She’s so happy to be here! We get to stay at Windsor Castle!”
Katy Perry performing “Roar” orchestral version at the #CoronationConcert .
— Katy Perry Today (@todaykatyp) May 7, 2023
If the Coronation belonged to Prince Louis, the concert was Princess Charlotte’s
The youngest member of the Wales clan stole the show at the Coronation with his yawning, whispering and waving to the crowds, but the concert, sadly, was deemed past the five-year-old’s bedtime. Enter: his older sister Charlotte, who gamely sang along to “Roar”; grooved to Lionel Richie’s greatest hits; clapped through Take That’s set; and pointed proudly at her father when he took to the stage. Simply adorable.
Princess Charlotte singing along to Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ at the #CoronationConcert 😍 pic.twitter.com/9gILakGXVr
— Belle (@RoyallyBelle_) May 7, 2023
This story originally appeared in British Vogue.