The Exclusive Group That Will Appear On King Charles' Coronation Balcony

As King Charles' May 6 coronation day grows closer, more tantalizing details unfold. We now know what the invitation looks like (even if we're not getting one ourselves) and the formula for the oil with which he'll be anointed (olive oil from Israel, with orange blossom and several fragrant essential oils). Breaking with tradition, the king's coronation will be shorter than the three-hour extravaganza his mother enjoyed, featuring fewer guests and a dress code allowing Parliament members to don business attire rather than blinged-out robes. This all hints that Charles plans to keep his promise of a "slimmed-down monarchy" that's more relatable to the public.

One highly anticipated moment of the coronation day will be the first time the king and Queen Camilla appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. It's traditional for the monarch and their family members to gather there for major occasions such as weddings and the annual Trooping the Colour parade, and one of the few times the public gets to see the royals in one spot. Queen Elizabeth was well known for inviting all her children and grandchildren to join her, making for some fun photo ops (such as the time in 2022 when young Prince Louis covered his ears as the loud military jets flew by). But here, too, Charles is determined to send a message: Being a royal is more than just a birthright; it's a privilege that not everyone is entitled to.

Don't expect to see these royals on the balcony

In keeping with his determination to "slim down" the monarchy, Charles is reportedly limiting his guest list to working royals. According to The Independent and other sources, the 15 people on the balcony will include his siblings Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh, and their spouses. Naturally, William, Prince of Wales, will be there as the heir to the throne, along with his family — including Prince George, who will have a big role in the ceremony as a page. The final honorees are the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, and his sister Princess Alexandra, all relatives of the late Queen Elizabeth. Due to their advanced ages, this will be their last appearance on the palace balcony.

Conspicuously absent will be non-working royals Prince Andrew, the disgraced Duke of York; Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (if he attends at all); and the king's nieces, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice. A source told The Mirror, "There is little room for sentiment. This is a State occasion, not a family occasion, and it is right that only the working members of the family are there at the big public moment."

If this policy continues, the balcony will be even sparser during Trooping the Colour in June. It may take a while to get used to this trimmed-down pomp and circumstance, but we're all still working on remembering to call Charles "king" instead of "prince."