Charles Is Crowned King in Ancient Ceremony With Modern Twists

History, of course, had been made already: Charles ascended to the throne upon the death of the queen. But the coronation sanctifies a monarch’s rule and, through a national celebration, aims to bind the sovereign to the people.

If Elizabeth’s coronation was one of the world’s first mass-media events, its black-and-white images transmitted globally by the BBC, this was the first coronation of the digital age, shared by spectators on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook.

“I am just intrigued,” said Zoë Boyce, 24, as she waited on a blanket in a park with a friend, Sarah Chappell, 23. Ms. Boyce insisted she was “not a big fan” of the monarchy, but said, “I think you can appreciate it without supporting it.”

“It’s just a day in history isn’t it?” Ms. Chappell added.

There were discordant notes. Hours before the service began, the police arrested the head of Britain’s most prominent republican movement, Graham Smith, and others who had planned to protest in Trafalgar Square, along the procession route.

Mr. Smith said this past week that the anti-monarchists would chant and brandish placards saying, “Not My King,” but would not disrupt the proceedings. Yet the police, armed with a much-disputed new law that allows them to crack down on demonstrations, rounded up Mr. Smith and others, well before Charles appeared.

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