It will be a first in history for Prince George to play a special role at the coronation of his grandfather King Charles.
The 9-year-old son of Prince William and Princess Catherine will be a Page of Honor at the coronation, Buckingham Palace announced last week. However, there is more to the story. The participation of Prince George in the coronation ceremony was a first in contemporary royal history for a future monarch, who is second in line to the throne (behind his father, Prince William). The Telegraph reports that George will make history as the youngest future king to participate in an official capacity at a coronation.
Hugo Vickers, a royal author, told The Times before the details were set in stone, “Bringing George in also sends all the right symbolism for the future and gives him something he will always remember.”
When his mother Queen Elizabeth was crowned in 1953, King Charles was only brought inside to watch the investiture portion of the three-hour service, which was highlighted by the moment of crowning. When her father, King George VI, was crowned in 1937, Queen Elizabeth was 11 years old and also observed the ceremony from the Royal Gallery, according to Westminster Abbey.
Following each coronation, Charles and Elizabeth joined other members of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Prince George is probably going to leave in the same manner. Following the crowning ceremony, King Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 75, will make their first appearance on the palace balcony as a united royal family.
It is still unknown whether Prince William, who succeeded his father King Charles as heir apparent in September after the passing of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, will take part in the upcoming coronation.
The four pages serving King Charles include Prince George, and the three grandsons and great-nephew of Queen Camilla will stand by her side. The procession through Westminster Abbey’s Nave will also include the Pages of Honor.
“Involving their own family members in these roles rather than the sons and daughters of aristocrats is a lovely idea. Vickers told The Times that King Charles and Queen Camilla bringing their grandchildren to the coronation ceremony was all a part of the family’s inclusiveness and strengthened their bonds.
The younger twin son of the Marquis of Cholmondeley, who was recently named as Charles’ Lord-in-Waiting, and his wife Rose, who live next door to Prince William and Princess Catherine in Norfolk, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, 13, will sit next to Prince George. Ralph Tollemache and Nicholas Barclay are the other two pages.
The grandsons of Queen Camilla will take center stage to support her on the big day. Freddy Parker Bowles, the 13-year-old son of Camilla’s son Tom Parker Bowles, will be joined by twin brothers Gus and Louis Lopes, the sons of Laura Lopes, Laura’s daughter. Arthur Elliot, Camilla’s great-nephew, will also act as a page.
The Queen Consort also has two granddaughters, Eliza Lopes, 15, and Lola Parker Bowles, 15. The state funeral for Queen Elizabeth in September was attended by all of Queen Camilla’s children and grandchildren.
Prince George’s participation in the coronation has been the subject of private family discussions as his parents balanced the significance of the honor with the potential strain it might place on their son.
According to a representative for Kensington Palace, “We’re all very excited about Prince George’s role in the coronation, it will be an incredibly special moment.”
According to a royal source who spoke to PEOPLE, the Prince and Princess of Wales “are cognizant that he is old enough to understand what’s going on.” However, they are aware that when George returns to school the following week with his classmates, normal life resumes and the events of the weekend are likely to be the topic of conversation.
A representative for the Prince and Princess of Wales tells PEOPLE that “his parents are very excited and delighted that he is a page.” It’s something that his parents have given a lot of thought to and are eagerly anticipating, as is George, I’m sure.