More than 850 local heroes invited to coronation of King Charles

Another 400 young people also nominated to attend by monarch, Queen Consort Camilla and UK government

A banner celebrating the forthcoming coronation of King Charles III, in Russell Square, central London. Getty
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More than 850 community and charity representatives from across the UK have been invited to the coronation of King Charles III.

Invitations to the May 6 service at Westminster Abbey in central London have been extended to more than 450 British Empire Medal recipients in recognition of their contributions.

Among them is 13-year-old record-breaker Max Woosey — known as “the boy in the tent” — who raised more than £750,000 ($930,000) for North Devon Hospice by camping in his garden for three years.

Some 400 young people representing charities will also be able to watch the coronation service and procession from the adjacent St Margaret’s Church.

They were nominated by King Charles, Queen Consort Camilla and the UK government.

The BEM recognises the achievement or contribution of service to the community in a local area.

Many recipients attending the coronation were “instrumental in providing services and support to their local communities during the Covid-19 lockdowns”, Buckingham Palace said.

Max, of Braunton, Devon, south-west England, first pitched his tent in March 2020 with the aim of raising £100, inspired by his neighbour and friend Rick Abbot, who died of cancer the previous month.

He went on to set a Guinness World Record for the biggest sum raised by camping, with the proceeds paying for 16 community nurses in north Devon.

Grandfather John Anderson, 72, from Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, north-east Scotland, who was honoured for his community work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, has also been invited.

The retired firefighter helped set up a call centre where people with Covid-19 could call for a food parcel and have it delivered to their home. He later established a community food pantry in Fraserburgh.

On being invited to the coronation, he said: “It’s quite a privilege because I won’t see another one and I’ve never seen one.

“There’s a lot more higher up people than me, film stars, lords and ladies … to be asked is quite an honour.”

Buckingham Palace said the 400 young people invited to the “special private viewing” of the coronation at St Margaret’s Church represent a range of charities.

Half are involved with The Prince’s Trust, The Prince’s Foundation, children's charity Barnardo’s, the National Literacy Trust and the Ebony Horse Club, after these organisations were chosen by Charles and Camilla.

The other 200 are from the Scout Association, Girlguiding UK, St John Ambulance and the National Citizen Service, and were nominated by the government.

These four organisations are providing stewarding, route lining and first aid services on coronation day across London.

The 400 guests will also be able to see the coronation procession leaving Westminster Abbey at the end of the service.

St Margaret’s is known as “the Church on Parliament Square” and is a 12th century place of worship.

It is understood that this is the first time St Margaret’s has been used to host young people at a coronation, Buckingham Palace said.

The late queen Elizabeth II was a royal patron of the Scout Association, Girlguiding UK and Barnardo’s, and the king and queen consort are involved with many of the organisations invited to St Margaret’s.

Updated: April 07, 2023, 11:01 PM