King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla's Coronation: Everyone who's performing (and everyone who said no)

Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Nicole Scherzinger, and Tom Cruise are among the American celebrities set to appear at a Sunday concert honoring the new king

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla's Coronation: Everyone who's performing (and everyone who said no)
Lionel Richie, King Charles III, and Katy Perry Image: The A.V. Club

After roughly eight months (and one Ticketmaster snafu), King Charles III’s and Queen Consort Camilla’s official coronation—and the Katy Perry concert that comes with it—will finally come to pass on Saturday, May 6. The Westminster Abbey ceremony will reportedly gather 2,100 guests, including members of the British Royal family (sans Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, who will remain in California with her kids), foreign heads of state, and representatives from 203 different countries. Ten thousand members of the public—who obtained tickets through a public ballot system—will also be invited to attend.

Beyond a hefty guest list, the weekend festivities will also include a concert hosted by Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville featuring “global music icons” and “contemporary stars.” Artists like Take That—playing their first live show in four years—Paloma Faith, Steve Winwood and Olly Murs will represent the Brits; guitarist Steve Winwood will perform with a Virtual Choir comprised of singers located across 40 different commonwealth countries. North London performer Freya Ridings is also set to sing, accompanied on piano by classical composer Alexis Ffrench; Dame Joan Collins also reportedly has a role in the ceremony. Sir Tom Jones, adventurer Bear Grylls and former Strictly Come Dancing professional Oti Mabuse will provide pre-recorded sketches for the concert, while newly-minted Doctor Who Ncuti Gatwa will perform excerpts from Shakespeare alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company. The Royal Ballet, Royal Opera Chorus, and Royal College of Art are also reportedly collaborating on staging a number from West Side Story.

As far as “global music icons,” a host of American stars have also been slated to perform. Of the artists scheduled to travel across the pond, two are American Idol judges: Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls is also slated to sing a number from Disney’s Mulan alongside esteemed Chinese pianist Lang Lang, while actor Tom Cruise will also be part of the ceremony. Even Winnie-the-Pooh made the billing (the Pooh of A.A. Milne’s original stories, not the axe-wielding public domain Pooh of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, one would hope). Adding to the classical music mix, Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli and Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel will perform a duet, while Nigerian “Queen of Afrobeats” Tiwa Savage will bring her own style to the event.

Rounding out the lineup are two special guests: Lucy, a 13-year-old blind pianist whose sublime Chopin performance on Channel 4's The Piano won her the competition, and the specially-assembled Coronation Choir, a group of 300 singers spanning diverse backgrounds. The Choir’s array of performers includes a troupe of RNLI sea shanty singers, an LGBTQ+ choir, a Gaelic choir from the Western Isles of Scotland, Hull’s NHS choir (a group comprised of NHS healthcare and social care workers), and a Wales-based refugee choir. The group will perform along with the Virtual Choir; a documentary on the Coronation Choir’s preparation process—titled Sing For The King: The Search For The Coronation Choir—will air on BBC One May 5.

Not every star whose presence was requested, however, jumped at the idea of a coronation performance. Those who declined an invite to perform include Sir Elton John (a close friend of both Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II, John cited scheduling conflicts), The Spice Girls, and Robbie Williams. Harry Styles and Adele also both passed on performing at the coronation, months after both stars reportedly declined offers to perform at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

The Coronation concert will be broadcast live on May 7 via BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.

Join the discussion...