PEOPLE Celebrates King Charles' Coronation in New Special Edition

After the historic May 6 coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla, we take a look at the royal celebration and the monarch's life in a new special issue

PEOPLE's new collector's edition, The Coronation of King Charles

King Charles and Queen Camilla's coronation was rich with history, heavy with fanfare, and above all, a family affair.

The crowning ceremony took place at London's Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023 and marked the moment Charles finally wore the crown after 70 years of faithful service to his mother Queen Elizabeth.

In honor of the historic event, PEOPLE is publishing a special issue devoted to the royal celebration and the King and his life.

We look back at the coronation through a royal family album of glorious images, from the moment Charles was crowned and Prince Louis stole the show, to Charles and Camilla's balcony appearance to greet the thousands of people gathered outside Buckingham Palace.

There's also a short history of the long-held ritual of coronation, a look inside Charles' first few months as monarch and his journey to the throne.

PEOPLE's special coronation issue
PEOPLE's special coronation issue

Related:Queen Camilla's Coronation Dress Designer Shares New Photos of Gown — And Reveals How to See It in Person

"I think it's something that dawns on you with the most ghastly, inexorable sense," a 20-year-old Charles told BBC radio in 1969, the same year as his investiture to formally become the Prince of Wales. "I didn't suddenly wake up in my pram one day and say, 'Yippee.' But I think it just dawns on you, you know, slowly, that people are interested in one, and slowly you get the idea that you have a certain duty and responsibility."

The new issue tells Charles' story, from his childhood years, serving in the Royal Navy and his wedding to Princess Diana, through to his life as a father and the rekindling of his relationship with Camilla, 75.

Complete with early life pictures, the 100-page special offers an intimate portrait of the new monarch through a series of photos from his 74 years, including the first-ever photo released to the public.

Related:King Charles Poses with Heirs Prince William and Prince George in New Coronation Portrait

DANIEL LEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images King Charles and Queen Camilla at Covent Garden
DANIEL LEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images King Charles and Queen Camilla at Covent Garden

Taken a month after Charles' November 1948 birth and shortly before his christening, the black and white image shows his mother, the then-Princess Elizabeth, gazing at him in a bassinet.

There's also details of his first haircut and close bond with the Queen Mother, as well as the KIng's love of outdoor pursuits such as skiing, sailing and polo — and even qualifying as a helicopter pilot.

Throughout the issue, insiders, royal historians and authors open up to PEOPLE about the monarch and share their unique insights.

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Handout/Chris Jackson/Getty for Buckingham Palace King Charles and Queen Camilla
Handout/Chris Jackson/Getty for Buckingham Palace King Charles and Queen Camilla

We also take a look at the evolution of Queen Camilla, and how she emerged to earn a place in royal history.

Queen Camilla's journey reached a pinnacle in February 2022 when Elizabeth stated it was her "sincere wish" that she be titled "Queen Consort" when the time came, after it was previously announced at the time of Charles and Camilla's 2005 wedding that she would be known as "Princess Consort."

"It had to come from the Queen herself," an insider told PEOPLE.

PEOPLE's new collector's edition The Coronation of King Charles, is available now.

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