Picnics and treats, free workshops and tours, plus a very special World Record attempt! Enjoy the bank holiday weekend celebrating King Charles III's coronation
Enjoy a royal day out in Greenwich this coronation bank holiday weekend, and discover a place that's been home to royalty for more than 500 years.
The National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House are hosting a series of free events marking the coronation of King Charles III, including royal-themed tours, picnics on the lawns and fun family workshops.
Free tours and talks will run throughout the long weekend in the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House. There will also be an opportunity to step back in time to the reign of Charles II and meet a 17th-century astronomer, cartographer and rope-maker. The Royal Observatory will also be running a series of talks and demonstrations, open to everyone with a ticket to the Observatory.
On Monday, Sea Cadets in Greenwich will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the ‘World’s Largest Boatswain’s Call Lesson’. Sea Cadet units across the country will be taking up the challenge, with hundreds of cadets set to gather on the lawns outside the Queen’s House. Will they set a new record? Come to Greenwich to find out!
Book free tickets
Talk: The Early History of the National Maritime Museum
11am, 1pm and 3pm | National Maritime Museum | Meet by the Parkside entrance near the café
The National Maritime Museum was opened by the King’s grandfather, George VI, two weeks before his own coronation. He was accompanied by the 11-year old Princess Elizabeth (pictured), one of her earliest official engagements as heir to the throne. Join this 25-minute talk to learn more about the first few years of the National Maritime Museum’s history.
Workshop: Coronation Drawing
11am-1pm, 2-4pm | National Maritime Museum RE:THINK Space
Join artist Nicole Mollett for this drop-in drawing workshop in the National Maritime Museum. You'll draw your own decadent beast inspired by Royal Museums Greenwich's collection of golden carvings of heraldic beasts and mythical creatures.
Workshop: Royal Drawing
11am-12pm, 2-4pm | Queen’s House
Join a drop-in drawing workshop, focusing on the royal portraiture in the Queen’s House, including Queen Anne in her coronation robes.
Talk: Britain's Sailor King
11am | National Maritime Museum
Learn about King William IV and his connections with the sea in this 25-minute talk in the Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery.
Talk: Queens Consort
11am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm | Queen’s House
The Queen’s House was built for Anne of Denmark, Queen Consort to James I, and Henrietta Maria, Queen Consort to Charles I. Learn about these and other Queens Consort, including Queen Camilla, in these 20-minute talks.
1pm and 3pm | National Maritime Museum | Meet by the Parkside entrance near the café
Join this 25-minute talk to learn more about the first few years of the National Maritime Museum’s history.
Workshop: Step into the 17th Century
All day | National Maritime Museum
Step back in time to the world of Charles II with three 17th century visitors. An astronomer, cartographer and ropemaker will share the knowledge and traditions of the 1600s, hosting a series of demonstrations in the grounds of the National Maritime Museum.
Pick up a free paper trail from the main entrances for fun family activities.
Workshop: Make your own crown!
10-10.45am | 11.30am-12.15pm | 1-1.45pm | 2.30-3.15pm | 4-4.45pm | National Maritime Museum
Make a crown fit for a king and learn more about the royal history of Greenwich in this free craft workshop. Meet at the Re-Think Space, near the Parkside entrance of the National Maritime Museum
10.45am, 12.45pm | Queen’s House
Talk: Frederick's Barge
Princes travelled in style along the River Thames! Discover more about this royal form of transport and find out more about the barge built for Frederick, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of George II. The talk begins by the barge itself, located on the ground floor of the National Maritime Museum below the Great Map.
Talk: The Court of Henrietta Maria
11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm | Queen’s House
The Queen’s House was completed between 1629 and 1638 for the Queen Consort of Charles I, Henrietta Maria. Learn more about Henrietta Maria’s court, her role as a patron of the arts and her relationship with the Queen’s House.
Talk: RMS Queen Mary
1pm | National Maritime Museum
Learn about the luxury ocean liner and its rival the Normandie. The talk begins near the paddle wheel on the ground floor of the National Maritime Museum.
Talk: The Royal Observatory
1.15pm, 2.30pm | Royal Observatory
Discover the history of the Royal Observatory and find out more about the monarchy's connections with John Harrison and the search for Longitude.
Talk: How the last King Charles did it
3pm | National Maritime Museum
Step back in time to Coronation Day 1661 and see the pomp and pageantry through the eyes of Samuel Pepys. Meet in the Tudor and Stuart Seafarers Gallery.
10.45am, 3.45pm | Queen’s House
Talk: Sunk by a Royal Yacht
Learn about the tragic collision between the Royal Yacht Alberta and the schooner Mistletoe. Meet in the Voyagers gallery near the Parkside Entrance of the National Maritime Museum.
Sea Cadets Guinness World Record
3.30-4pm | National Maritime Museum
The Sea Cadets will be attempting to break the Guinness World Record for ‘World’s Largest Boatswain’s Call Lesson’, with between 250 and 300 cadets whistling together on the lawns outside the National Maritime Museum.
Enjoy a special afternoon tea at Cutty Sark or indulge in a Coronation Picnic in the grounds of the National Maritime Museum. Featuring homemade finger sandwiches, Earl Grey-infused scones, macaroons, brownies and cupcakes, plus prosecco and a selection of teas, this is a delicious way to spend the bank holiday weekend.
Members book here
Available Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May. Both the Cutty Sark Afternoon Tea and the Coronation Picnic must be booked at least 48 hours in advance.
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Greenwich's royal connections date back to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (the brother of Henry V), who built his home here in the 15th century. The wide expanse of Greenwich Park is the oldest enclosed Royal Park.
Greenwich was also the birthplace of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and in the 17th century the Queen’s House was built for the Queen Consorts of James I and Charles I.
Charles II meanwhile was responsible for the founding of the Royal Observatory, ordering in 1675 that 'a small observatory within our park at Greenwich' should be built.
The National Maritime Museum was opened in 1937 by George VI (Charles III's grandfather), two weeks before his own coronation. He was accompanied by the 11-year-old Princess Elizabeth on one of her first official engagements as heir to the throne. As Queen, Elizabeth II would visit Greenwich numerous times – including in 2012, when she re-opened historic ship Cutty Sark following a major conservation project.
Entry to the National Maritime Museum and Queen's House is free, and all activities during the bank holiday weekend are also free. You can book tickets online in advance or just turn up on the day. Charges apply for Cutty Sark Afternoon Tea and Coronation Picnics.