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British Royals

Westminster Abbey closes its doors to prepare for a moment of history

Westminster Abbey is now closed to the public as final preparations for the Coronation take place.

The last members of the public to visit the Abbey before King Charles and Queen Camilla are crowned there entered on April 24 2023. The doors were shut to visitors at 3.30 that afternoon and just a few hours later, when tours had finished, they were locked to the public until after the historic ceremony.

Services will be held at neighbouring St. Margaret’s Church until May 2nd when that, too, will close ahead of the Coronation.

Visitors to the Abbey in recent weeks had already seen work going on to get the ancient church ready for the ceremony on May 6 2023.

Giltwork and paintwork was being updated while the famous Coronation theatre at the heart of the Abbey was also being prepared for the service.

The Coronation of King Charles III will be the fortieth of a monarch at the Abbey since 1066. From May 8 2023, Westminster Abbey will open its doors once more and the first visitors to see it as the Coronation church of the new monarch will set foot inside.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.