VP Dhankhar arrives at Westminster Abbey for King Charles coronation

London: Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar and his wife Dr Sudesh Dhankhar arrived at Westminster Abbey to represent India at the historic crowning ceremony of King Charles.

The Service will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, with faith leaders and representatives of the Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish communities processing through the Abbey ahead of the service.

Dhankhar and his wife will be seated alongside other Commonwealth Heads of State at the ceremony.

Westminster Abbey has been the site of every British Coronation since that of William The Conqueror in 1066 and King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla, will follow in the footsteps of this grand tradition in a service themed “Called to Serve”.

On Friday, Dhankar interacted with King Charles at a reception soon after his arrival here to attend the majestic Coronation ceremony.

Dhankhar will join an estimated 100 Heads of State and government from around the world invited to the historic crowning of Britain’s new monarch.

“VP Jagdeep Dhankhar @VPIndia joined leaders of the Commonwealth countries at a special event hosted by H.M. King Charles III at the Marlborough House, London. Exchanged views with Commonwealth leaders on making the institution of the Commonwealth stronger and more focused,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

Besides 100 Heads of State, guests attending will include members of the royal family, as well as international representatives from 203 countries alongside community and charity champions.

The majestic ceremony, complete with gilded carriages and regalia last witnessed 70 years ago when Charles’ late mother Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in June 1953, will also have representation from a number of Indian-origin professionals.

British Indian chef Manju Malhi has been invited among 450 British Empire Medal (BEM) winners for her work with an old age charity.

Also invited is Sourabh Phadke, a graduate of the Prince’s Foundation’s Building Craft Programme and the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts – set up in Dumfries House, Scotland, by Charles as the Prince of Wales with a vision to provide holistic solutions to challenges facing the world.

Among other young people associated with the former Prince of Wales’ charity initiatives invited to his elevation as King include Gulfsha, who was awarded the Prince’s Trust Global Award in 2022 in recognition of her exceptional determination and achievements demonstrated through her participation in the charity’s ‘Get Into’ programme in India.

From Canada, Indian-origin Jay Patel is also among the invitees to the Abbey on Saturday for completing the Prince’s Trust Canada’s Youth Employment programme in May 2022.

In addition to the guests seated in the Abbey, 400 young people representing charitable organisations nominated by the King and Queen Camilla and the UK government will watch the Coronation Service and Processions from inside St. Margaret’s Church at Westminster Abbey.

The overall guest list will also include members of Parliament, former British Prime Ministers, representatives from the church and other faiths, representatives from the country’s defence services and Nobel Prize Winners.

There will also be several celebrities in the congregation including American singer-songwriter Lionel Ritchie as an Ambassador of the Prince’s Trust and Kelly Jones, the lead singer of the band Stereophonics, also for her association with the Trust.