King Charles Reveals the Surprising Item He Wishes He Brought to His Coronation Celebrations

Story by Stephanie Petit 

At a Buckingham Palace reception celebrating those behind the scenes who made the coronation happen, King Charles shared the small thing he’d changeDan Kitwood/Getty Images King Charles and Queen Camilla at the coronation on May 6, 2023© Provided by People

King Charles had the best seat in the house for his coronation, but he wanted to be closer to the stage at the Coronation Concert!

On Thursday, King Charles, Queen Camilla and Princess Anne hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace for those involved in the planning of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in September 2022 and the coronation in May 2023. They welcomed everyone from royal photographers and musical composers to government officials and volunteers to thank them for their contributions in making the historic events happen.

KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/POOL/AFP via Getty King Charles and Queen Camilla participate in the Pearl Sword ceremony on Oct. 18, 2023
KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/POOL/AFP via Getty King Charles and Queen Camilla participate in the Pearl Sword ceremony on Oct. 18, 2023© Provided by People

Neil Walter — who was in charge of parking for Windsor and Maidenhead, where the Coronation Concert was held on the grounds of Windsor Castle the day after the crowning ceremony — chatted with King Charles during the palace reception. According to Hello! magazine, the monarch told Walter that he felt his seat in the royal box was too far away from the stage, where Lionel RichieKaty Perry and more performed some of their biggest hits.

“He said next time he would like to be closer – or bring his binoculars,” Walter told the outlet.

There’s no doubt King Charles has a pair of binoculars handy. He’s been seen using them at horse racing events like Royal Ascot, and with his keen interest in the environment, he likely uses them to spot wildlife.

Stefan Rousseau – WPA Pool/Getty The royal family at the Coronation Concert in May 2023© Provided by People

The concert, which was attended by 20,000 people, took place against the backdrop of Windsor Castle and also featured an impressive display by drones. In addition to the performers, the event was hosted by Paddington star Hugh Bonneville and featured appearances by Tom Cruise, Dame Joan CollinsWinnie the Pooh and more in pre-recorded sketches — some of which revealed little-known facts about the King.

Despite their seats being set back from the stage, the royal family — including Kate MiddletonPrince WilliamPrince George and Princess Charlotte — appeared to have a blast during the show, clapping along to songs and waving Union Jack flags. The royals even joined the rest of the crowd in standing up and dancing along to Richie perform his hit “All Night Long.”

Opera star Andrea Bocelli performed “You’ll Never Walk Alone” as a duet with Bryn Terfel — which Bocelli told PEOPLE was a special request from King Charles and Queen Camilla.

“The King and the Queen Consort have demonstrated their appreciation of art and good music — which are gifts from the heavens, and that, as they lift the spirit, contribute to spreading good. This is per se already a reason for all of us to be excited,” Bocelli told PEOPLE ahead of the concert. “As for my performance, they have indeed specifically requested a song that is very dear to me as well: ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ a touching, intense and evocative score, a true tribute to solidarity.”

King Charles appeared emotional when Prince William took the stage to give a speech to his “Pa.”

“As my grandmother said when she was crowned, ‘Coronations are a declaration of our hopes for the future,’ ” Prince William said, quoting Queen Elizabeth‘s coronation speech from 1953. “And I know she’s up there, fondly keeping an eye on us. She would be a proud mother.”

The Prince of Wales ended his speech by saying, “I commit myself to serve you all. King, country and Commonwealth,” he concluded. “God save the King.”

King Charles and Queen Camilla have continued to undertake many royal firsts since the coronation, including this week when they attended a dinner at Mansion House to recognize the work of the City of London’s civic institutions and Livery Companies, the city’s ancient and modern trade guilds. The King upheld traditions dating back to 1689 surrounding a new monarch’s first visit to the City of London, the square mile established by the Romans as “Londinium” around 43 A.D. that joins 32 boroughs to make up Greater London.

Upon their arrival, King Charles participated in the Pearl Sword ceremony. Representing the authority of the Lord Mayor in the City of London, the monarch was presented with the sword. King Charles then returned the Pearl Sword, confirming the Lord Mayor’s authority when the monarch is not present.

King Charles’ mother performed the ceremony in 1953 following her own coronation and again in 1977 and 2022 to mark important jubilees.

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