How many people can Westminster Abbey seat for King Charles coronation?

  • london
  • April 11, 2023
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King Charles III has been reigning since September 2022, but his coronation takes place on Saturday, May 6, 2023.

The historic ceremony will be held at Westminster Abbey – where it’s expected that our Royal Family, many foreign royals and dignitaries, and politicians will be present.

However, recent reports suggest that Cabinet ministers won’t be able to bring plus-ones to the occasion, given the Abbey’s limited seating capacity – and the size of the guestlist.

So, just how many people can fit inside Westminster Abbey? Let’s take a look.

What is the capacity at Westminster Abbey?

Westminster Abbey can seat up 2,200 people.

Around 2,000 guests have been invited to The King’s coronation, and the same number were invited to the late Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral last year.

At the latter, guests ranged from political leaders to nobility – including Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco and King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain.

Also, noted celebrities including Sir David Attenborough were in attendance.

The Abbey has seen many major events over the years, including back in 2011 for the wedding of the now Prince and Princess of Wales.

Prince William and Catherine – then known as Kate Middleton – tied the knot in front of more than 2,000 guests, with millions more watching the nuptials on TV.

Surprisingly, the future King chose Westminster Abbey as his wedding location for its intimacy.

At the time of the wedding, Prince William’s private secretary said the pair became the 16th royal couple to marry at the Abbey ‘because of its staggering beauty, its 1,000 years of royal history and its relative intimacy despite its size.’

It is intimate, at least, compared to the 3,500 capacity venue St Paul’s Cathedral where The King – then Prince Charles – married Princess Diana in 1981.

Princess Diana’s 1997 funeral took place at the Abbey and also received 2,000 guests, including former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, US First Lady Hillary Clinton and South African President Nelson Mandela.

Celebrities including Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Mariah Carey, Richard Branson, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman also attended.

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Who is buried at Westminster Abbey?

There are 3,300 people buried at Westminster Abbey, including 30 kings and queens.

Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is not one of them, however, as she was laid to rest at King George VI’s Memorial Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, alongside Prince Philip.

One former monarch buried at Westminster Abbey is King Edward the Confessor, whose opulent shrine stands just behind the High Altar.

King Henry III, who happened to build the church visitors see and visit today, is buried near him.

Queen Elizabeth I is buried there, along with her half-sister, the Catholic Queen Mary I. On the floor beside their tomb is the inscription: ‘Remember before God all those who divided at the Reformation by different convictions laid down their lives for Christ and conscience sake.’

It isn’t just royalty buried there. Other notable figures who have Westminster Abbey as either their final resting place or a tribute to them include:

  • Jane Austen (author of Pride and Prejudice and more)
  • Sir Isaac Newton (scientist who discovered gravity)
  • Noel Coward (famous playwright)
  • Charles Darwin (scientist known for the theory of evolution)
  • Robert Burns (Scottish poet)
  • Laurence Olivier (actor)
  • Olaudah Equiano (Gustavus Vassa) (writer and slave abolitionist)
  • Martin Luther King Jr (civil rights leader)

MORE : Westminster Abbey to close to public next month in preparation for King’s Coronation

MORE : What time is King Charles III’s coronation and will the ceremony be aired live on TV?

MORE : No Cabinet ministers ‘to be allowed a plus one to Coronation’ except Rishi Sunak

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