How To Host A Coronation Party

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Are you going to host an English party for the coronation? If you’re an Anglophile like I am, you are probably excited about the upcoming coronation of King Charles lll! His coronation will be the first that most of us can remember.

Photo Getty Images.

Throwing an English themed party for the Coronation can be as simple as a cup of tea and shortbread, or as elaborate as an Afternoon tea party!

scottish shortbread.
Coronation mug from Edward Vlll. (The Coronation never took place)

From a Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle, to street parties in the far reaches of the globe, Britons and Anglophiles will be celebrating this once in a lifetime event.

Big ben.

Having lived in London in my twenties, I developed a love for all things British. Working in pubs, and restaurants, visiting the countryside of Yorkshire for shooting weekends, and Devon for beach getaways, made me fall more in love with my English roots.

Scottish shortbread Queen Elizabeth Coronation Plate.
This commemorative plate was from Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953.

I made shortbread and tea, and woke up at 4 am when I was in college so I could watch Lady Diana marry the Prince of Wales, now King Charles lll.

Buckingham Palace.

I recorded Kate and Prince William’s wedding, and had an evening “tea party” complete with hats and a full cream tea for a dozen friends.

Afternoon tea scones with jam.

When Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, my daughters invited friends over for an early morning tea and warm scones and clotted cream. So you can imagine I’ll be ready for the Coronation as well! For more information about the Coronation, scroll to the bottom of the post.

A commemorative mug for Edward Vlll's coronation. Obviously, he abdicated AFTER this was in the shops.
A souvenir mug from Edward Vlll’s coronation that never took place.

What should you serve at Coronation party?

What you serve for a Coronation party depends on a few things…


King Charles’s Coronation will take place on Saturday, May 6th in the morning. Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation was at 11:15 and lasted around 3 hours. The official Coronation website has not listed the exact time, but it will most likely be around that time.

Beefeater at the Tower

The time of your party will depend on where you’ll be watching from. Since I’m on the west coast of the US, I usually have to wake up really early, or record any event that takes place in London. If you’re on the east coast, you’ll be watching it a bit later. If you’re recording the Coronation, you can plan your English party any time you wish.

Guardsman at the Tower.


The first Coronation party idea is breakfast! If you’re going watch live, you can serve breakfast. Buckingham Palace just release the recipe for Coronation quiche which I have adapted for American kitchens. One of my favorite versions of eggs Benedict is eggs Royale, which I first had in London. It’s perfect for a special ocassion breakfast or brunch.

Eggs Royale; English muffins topped with smoked salmon, soft poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce.

The easy one minute Hollandaise means that if you can poach an egg, you can make Eggs Royale in the same amount of time it takes you to toast the muffins and poach the eggs. Of course you could also opt for a Scotch pancakes, or something as simple as soft boiled eggs with toast “soldiers”.

Egg Soldiers.
Soft boiled eggs with toast “soldiers”. Photo courtesy of Christina’s Cucina.


Queen Elizabeth’s 1953 Coronation luncheon featured none other than Coronation chicken salad, a lightly curried chicken salad with chutney and dried fruit.

Coronation chicken salad.

There are two ways to serve it, on a bed of lettuce or field greens, or as a filling in tea sandwiches. (We’ll get to those in a minute!) Or you could have savory sausage, apple and sage hand pies or a cottage pie (shepherd’s pie). A good pub lunch might include the easy ploughman’s lunch, sausage rolls or a steak pie.

Steak pie.
Steak pie. Photo courtesy of Christina’s Cucina.

Afternoon Tea

A classic afternoon tea would be a perfect way to celebrate. First let’s clear up a few tea misconceptions! Don’t call it “High Tea”. As much as it sounds elegant, “high tea” is just the opposite. It’s generally used to mean “dinner” or “supper” and while tea would definitely be served, (it is always served in Britain), it consists of heartier dishes.

tea sandwiches.

Start with pretty tea cups! I love using mismatched tea cups which are easy to find at jumble or yard sales. This tiered stand is lovely for a tea or dessert buffet.

tea sandwiches and pretty mug.

I’m excited to be partnering with The Bee’s Knees British Imports for the Coronation! Take 10% off of any order with the code GIRLEATS. You can see their collection of fabulous mugs and tea cups here.

Here is a beautiful coronation mug .

afternoon tea sandwiches

Of course you must start with the perfect cup of tea!

The bottom of the tiered tea stand always holds the tea sandwiches. Cucumber sandwiches are a must, smoked salmon is a lovely addition, and Coronation chicken salad makes a great filling for tea sandwiches. If you’re having a lot of people for tea and don’t have enough china, these vintage paper plates and tea cups are a great idea!

Coronation chicken salad.

More Tea Sandwich Fillings

Afternoon tea egg salad sandwiches.

The second tier always has the scones. Unlike American scones, British tea scones are light and fluffy, not too sweet, and the perfect vehicle for the all-important jam and clotted cream (or clotted cream and jam)! If you prefer a savory scone, try these fluffy cheese scones.

tea scones with jam and cream.

Lastly, the top tier of the tea stand always contains little dainties, petit fours and tarts.

Top tier of the tea stand.

Here are some ideas for the “top tier” of the tea stand.

Pink raspberry macarons. Photo courtesy of Aleka’s Get Together.
mini eclairs. A Mummy Too.
Mini eclairs. Photo courtesy of Emily Leary.
vegan macarons. Mad About Macarons.
Vegan raspberry macarons. Photo courtesy of Jill Colonna; Mad About Macarons.

Cocktail Party

Other option for a Coronation party is a cocktail party. Of course, you’ll want to serve the Queen’s favorite cocktail, Dubonnet and Gin as well as the celebratory Kir Royale. A Pimm’s Cup or Gin & Tonic are classic English drinks. Inexpensive silver trays are a lovely way to serve drinks or hors d’oeuvre.

dubonnet and gin.

Hors d’Oeuvres

As far as appetizers and hors d’oeuvres, you can serve this smoked trout mousse. It is a recipe I got from a friend in Nottingham more than 40 years ago. smoked salmon cheesecake is an impressive addition to any cocktail party.

More passed hors d’oeuvres

smoked salmon vol au vents.
Zucchini Pancakes with lemon chive cream


If you’re watching later in the afternoon or evening, you could serve pasta with smoked salmon. Even though it doesn’t sound English, it’s a dish that I had on more than one occasion in London. It’s elegant and very easy. Of course, it’s hard to beat a classic roast beef or roast lamb with English mint sauce

Houses of parliment.

Dessert Party

Lastly, if you’re going to watch with a group later, and just want to serve English or British desserts. Here is a list of delicious possibilities.

berry trifle
Macaron and berry trifle. Photo courtesy of Jill Colonna

Lemon posset

Summer pudding

Matrimonial cakes

Eton mess

Chocolate biscuit cake (the Queen’s favorite cake)

Chocolate biscuit cake.
Chocolate biscuit cake. Photo courtesy of Christina’s Cucina.
Fruit tart top shot.
Queen Elizabeth Coronation plate.

Decorating for a Coronation Party

The decorations are the best part! There are so many fun things you can buy online. Start with some festive bunting with King Charles, or this beautiful bunting in felt. What about cupcake liners with the Union Jack or fun photo props? You can go totally “British” and use a Union Jack tablecloth or paper goods, or opt for the tea party” look. The Bee’s Knees has a selection of Coronation items as does Amazon.

What is a Coronation?

The last British coronation was King Charles’s mother, Queen Elizabeth ll on June 2nd, 1953. As with the Platinum Jubilee, the festivities will happen across Great Britain, and indeed the Commonwealth, the weekend of May 6th, 7th and 8th.“A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch’s head.” (wikipedia) Also a religious ceremony, the head of the Anglican church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will conduct the service and anoint the new king’s head with holy oil.

Westminster abbey.
Westminster Abbey

Even though the crown technically passed to Charles the moment his mother, Queen Elizabeth ll died in September, King Charles’s coronation will take place on Saturday, May 6th at Westminster Abbey.

Horse guards on the Mall.
Life Guards on The Mall.

The Archbishop will place the five pound, solid gold, St. Edward’s crown upon the new monarch’s head. The first coronation, that of William the Conqueror, took place in Westminster Abbey over 900 years ago. King Charles lll will be the 40th monarch to be crowned in Westminster Abbey. Camilla, the Queen Consort, will also be crowned. Source: BBC, King Charles lll.

english phone box.

Who will be at the Coronation?

This is a state occasion, so the government determines who attends. Heads of state from around the world and Commonwealth will be in attendance. While Queen Elizabeth ll’s Coronation had over 8,000 guests in attendance, King Charles’s coronation is expected to have less than half that number. For more about the Coronation, visit the official Coronation website.

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  1. What a fun post! I had already decided last week on making chicken salad tea sandwiches, your scones and clotted cream with hot tea while watching the coronation. My husband is from Edinburgh and I’ve never made scones. Our granddaughter, 3 years old will be helping as well. I’m looking forward to trying them!!

      1. Oh how I would love to be in London for the coronation. To feel the excitement and experience the special atmosphere. Thank you for all the recipes Christina! I enjoy your newsletter as well as Jill’s

  2. Will be watching high in the Rockies.
    Moka pot coffee
    Tommy’s margaritas (look it up)
    Bagels with cream cheese and lox
    After a bit:
    Burritos with pico de gallo

  3. Being on the East Coast, I’ll be up at 6 am to watch the Coronation. Being so early we will have dippy eggs and soldiers with a pot of tea and maybe a little prosecco. Later in the day it will be coronation chicken salad and coconut and jam tarts for afters.

  4. Will be joining our Daughters of the British Empire to celebrate. You have given me lots of great recipes and I know it will be a fun day, sad that we are not all there to celebrate in person.
    Thanks for all the great ideas for such a special day.

  5. I can’t wait to watch! Wish I could be there to experience all the excitement! I will be making Coronation chicken, Christina’s scones & Brodies tea for my husband & I!

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