Queen Elizabeth II was serenaded by choristers from the Westminster Abbey Choir.
King Charles III’s musical feting comes from Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and a congregation of British pop stars including Take That and Olly Murs.
The first-ever official coronation concert, held on the grounds of Windsor Castle a day after King Charles and Queen Camilla received their honors, might not have wrangled massive British star power such as Elton John or Adele. But with “Downton Abbey” star Hugh Bonneville as host and a nod to King Charles’ affection for classical music with the inclusion of Andrea Bocelli, Chinese pianist Lang Lang and Welsh baritone Sir Bryn Terfel on the itinerary, the Sunday ceremony charmed the royals as well as the 20,000 fans who secured tickets for the inaugural public event at the castle.
Here are the best moments from the majestic concert here.
A lighted outline of a lion head hovered above the stage as Katy Perry, wearing a gold gown fit for Cinderella, descended the staircase singing an orchestra-backed rendition of “Roar.” The song sounded grand and was a fitting sentiment for the newly crowned king.
Perry added vocal flourishes and dramatic arm movements in her performance, clearly relishing the opportunity to participate, and even gave a Celine Dion-esque chest bump as “Roar” wrapped.
Always engaging, Perry told the crowd she brought her mom to the weekend of royal events and stayed in Windsor Castle before dedicating “Firework” to King Charles. Her rendition was lovely, putting even more emphasis on its inspirational lyrics. Perry works with the King’s British Asian Trust in its fight against child-trafficking. In her performance, she thanked him for “being a firework for so many other people.”
Perry worked the stage as she would any concert, pointing at the crowd, which heartily bounced along and waved their Glo-sticks. Obligatory shots of pyro outlines the stage (the song is called “Firework,” after all) as Perry smiled and took a final curtsy, secure in the knowledge that she nailed the once-in-a-lifetime gig.
Take That, British pop music royalty from the ‘90s, closed the show by leaving the crowd with a heap of positivity.
The trio of Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald, all nattily clad in black suits, kicked off their three-song performance with the on-the-nose “Greatest Day” and called out British singer Calum Scott to join them onstage (sorry, Robbie Williams fans).
The group’s bouncy “Shine,” from their 2006 comeback album “Beautiful World,” featured a parade of dancers in gold sheaths to add some visual oomph to the stage.
But they were soon overshadowed by the military drummers and numerous choirs including nurses, doctors and other workers from the U.K.’s National Health Service who filed behind the trio for a massive production of Take That’s 1995 anthem, “Never Forget.”
The expressions on the faces of Barlow, Owen and Donald, who sounded robust in their harmonizing, indicated that they indeed will always remember the honor of performing for a newly crowned king.
As a marquee name on the bill, it was no surprise that Lionel Richie was the first act to perform two songs. He started quietly, sitting at a black baby grand piano in white tails, to unfurl The Commodores’ classic, “Easy.”
“Sounds good, huh?” he asked rhetorically as the crowd swayed and sang along.
Richie, the consummate showman, encouraged his guitarist as he ripped out one of the most recognizable solos in music before popping up from the piano to finish the song next to his spirited sax player. But there was no way Richie was leaving England without offering the obvious party song for a night designed to celebrate.
“All Night Long (All Night)” served its purpose, prompting everyone, including the Royal Family, to stand, dance and “fiesta forever.”
Andrea Bocelli and Sir Bryn Terfel
Given its omnipresence in pop culture, it’s difficult to remember that “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for their musical “Carousel.”
But Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and bass-baritone Welsh opera singer Sir Bryn Terfel offered a mighty version of the uplifting song. Backed by an orchestra, their voices boomed as the pair shared stratospheric notes. Their performance also included the first onstage pyro during the concert – but their vocals proved fiery enough.
The Nigerian singer-actress dubbed the Queen of Afrobeats added a majestic presence to the stage in her shimmering emerald gown with a flowing train.
Performing “Keys to the Kingdom,” her contribution to Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” album, Tiwa Savage was flanked by two musicians who provided a percussive breakdown to her vocals.
A beaming Savage leaned toward the crowd, pointing at them as she sang the song’s closing words, “See how the sun and moon bow for you?”
Though Steve Winwood has earned much recognition in his 50-plus-year career – his time fronting Traffic and Blind Faith among them – his 1986 worldwide smash, “Higher Love” will always be his signature song.
Looking professorial in his black suit and round glasses, Winwood took center stage as he was backed by both a live choir and, on the video screen wrapping the top of the stage, the Virtual Commonwealth Choir. With voices chiming in from around the world, including Pakistan, Ghana, Australia, Sri Lanka and Rwanda, the song soared. A cutaway to Princess Charlotte and Prince George showed the youngsters waving their British flags and half-mouthing the lyrics, proving “Higher Love” continues to resonate.
Lang Lang and Nicole Scherzinger
In an interesting pairing, Chinese pianist Lang Lang backed Nicole Scherzinger – best known for her tenure in the Pussycat Dolls – in a performance of power ballad “Reflection” from Disney’s “Mulan.”
While her song choice was questionable, Scherzinger emoted mightily while singing, her arm pumps matching Lang Lang’s flair at the piano keyboard. Scherzinger, in waist-enhancing blue gown, eked every ounce of drama from the song, prompting Lang Lang to rush over and take a bow with her at the end of the catwalk.
Set on a circular stage built in front of the castle – “the royal family’s back garden for more than 1,000 years,” joked host Bonneville – the concert’s first major performer, Olly Murs, amped the crowd early. Skipping across the stage in a white suit jacket adorned with a giant flower, the British singer/TV personality weaved around a pack of dancers as he belted his effusive doo-wop-pop hit, “Dance With Me Tonight.”
British singer-actress Paloma Faith dropped in with the energetic “Lullaby,” her 2018 dance-music collaboration with DJ Sigala. As Faith and her three backup singers pumped their fists while lasers shot around them onstage, the camera cut to viewing parties throughout the U.K., with shots of revelers in Sheffield, Blackpool and Cambridge among the stops. Faith also made a bold fashion statement in her bright red dress and black arm-length gloves, looking glamorous as she bounced through her beats.