Visitors will be able to walk on Westminster Abbey’s historic ‘coronation floor’ — but they’ll have to take their shoes off
By Amy Woodyatt, CNN
Those who want to follow in the footsteps of King Charles III will get the chance this summer — but they’ll have to take off their shoes.
Visitors to London’s Westminster Abbey will be invited to walk on the church’s historic “Cosmati” pavement — the spot where Charles’ newly restored coronation chair will be placed for his coronation on May 6 — as long as they strip down to their socks to protect the floor.
The mosaic, a colorful and highly decorative work composed of marble, stone, glass and metal, is the best surviving example of the inlay stonework known as Cosmati outside of Italy, according to the abbey.
Groups of up to 10 visitors at a time will be allowed to walk on the floor on select days between May 15 and July 29, the abbey said on its website, “with everyone asked to remove their shoes to help protect its surface.”
The flooring is positioned in front of the abbey’s High Altar and has been the scene of English coronations since it was commissioned by Henry III and completed in 1268.
However, the pavement itself may not be familiar to many: During the coronations of previous monarchs, including Elizabeth II in 1953 and George VI in 1937, it was covered with a carpet.
Charles, 74, became Britain’s King last year following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
According to Buckingham Palace, his coronation on May 6 will be a more modern affair than previous ones and will “look towards the future.”
The palace added that the occasion will still be “rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will conduct the ceremony, which will see Charles crowned alongside his wife, Camilla, the Queen Consort.
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Max Foster, Sugam Pokharel and Sana Noor Haq contributed reporting.