Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz had set sail for England on 17 August 1761 after a proxy wedding ceremony to King George III of King of Great Britain and Ireland. She landed at Harwich on 7 September and was dutifully married to him in person the following day.
Just two weeks later, on 22 September 1761, she and George were crowned together. George had only become King the year before, following the death of his grandfather, King George II, on 25 October 1760.
From Westminster Hall, King George and Queen Charlotte walked along a canopied and railed platform to the west door of Westminster Abbey. The procession was rather long, and many peers and peeresses attended in their velvet state robes, carrying their coronets. The Archbishop of Canterbury walked almost immediately before Charlotte.
Charlotte walked underneath a canopy of cloth of gold with a silver bell on each corner. This was carried by sixteen barons of the Cinque Ports. The principal train-bearer was the Countess of Northumberland. Her mother-in-law, Princess Augusta, and six assistant bearers had waited for Charlotte in the Painted Chamber of the Palace of Westminster. Her train-bearers wore “cloth of gold glittering with silver and sequins.” It was later written that Charlotte wore a “stiffenbody’d Robe silver embroidered [with gold] Tissue Petticoat, Diamond Stomacher, Purple Velvet Sleeves Diamds, Pearls as big as Cherrys, Girdle, Petticoats Diamds, Purple Velvet Surcoat & Mantle with Ermine and Lace, Purple Velvet Cap, only one string of Diamds & Crown Aigrette, Fan Mother of Pearl, Emerald, Rubys & Diamds.”1 The coronation crown and other regalia were carried before her. She nearly outshone the King’s procession.
King George was crowned with St. Edward’s Crown as the peers placed their coronets on their heads. After the ceremonies surrounding the King, they moved on to Charlotte. She was also anointed and crowned before taking her seat of state beside her husband. She bowed to her husband as she passed him. They changed their coronation crowns to their state crowns before the procession returned to Westminster Hall for the grand banquet.
According to one spectator, the King and Queen “both eat like farmers.”2