How (and when) to watch King Charles III’ coronation if you’re in Houston

You can watch the ceremony, related festivities and special programming throughout coronation weekend on Houston Public Media.


Traffic moves through the decorated Regent Street in central London Friday, May 5, 2023. The Coronation of King Charles III will take place at Westminster Abbey on May 6.

King Charles III’s coronation Saturday will mix of a thousand-year tradition with the streaming age.

The pomp and ceremony will be unmissable for U.K. residents, but what about royal watchers across the Atlantic? There are plenty of options to watch the regalia-heavy event that serves as a formal confirmation of King Charles’ dual role as head of state and titular leader of the Church of England — for those willing to wake up early enough.

While it might seem odd that Americans might want to tune in, there have been large audiences for previous royal milestones, such as the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 and the weddings of their children, William and Harry.

The longevity of the king’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, means that many people alive have never seen a coronation.

Locally in Houston, the British American Foundation of Texas is hosting a viewing party for the coronation of King Charles III May 6. Around 190 guests will gather at Royal Oaks Country Club, including the British Consul General of Texas.

The organization, which was founded in 2006, hosted a similar event for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in 2018.

Kay Thomson, the executive director of the organization, says the event will help raise money for the scholarships and educational opportunities the foundation funds for underserved students across Texas.

“We awarded last week our 1,000th scholarship, which is huge for us, we’re a very small organization," said Thomson.

What time does the Coronation start?

Well, first King Charles and his wife Camilla have to get to the ceremony. That begins with a procession to Westminster Abbey, which will get started at about 4 a.m. CDT.

There’s plenty of ways to watch. Coverage on TV8 starts at 1:30 a.m. and goes until all of the proceedings conclude, which could be until 9 a.m. PBS will also have a livestream for those who want to watch online.

What should I know ahead of time?

The day will be filled with pageantry — the handing over of a rod, sceptre and orb, all medieval symbols of power — and loads of other traditions. Despite that, Charles has slimmed down the event, shortening the procession route and the Westminster Abbey ceremony.

More than 100 heads of state will be in the audience, but President Joe Biden will keep with U.S. tradition and not attend. Instead, first lady Jill Biden will be there.

Continuing coverage through Saturday and Sunday

TV8 will also have special programs Saturday night and on Sunday.

The Coronation: A Day to Remember is a 90 minute recap show and airs at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. That’s followed by a “Charles R.: The Making of a Monarch” at 7 p.m. Then a remembrance of his predecessor, “Queen Elizabeth: A Royal Life – A PBS Newshour Special” at 8 p.m.

The celebration continues on Sunday with the Coronation Concert, with headliners Lionel Richie and Katy Perry. That will be shown on TV8 from 2-4 p.m. Sunday.

Houston Public Media’s Rebecca Noel contributed to this story