Well this is a welcome turnaround isn’t it? Barely a month after we were told that a bank holiday for King Charles’ coronation was ‘highly unlikely’, the allure of an extra day off has proved altogether too tempting – which means that today, the government has confirmed that the UK will benefit from a one-off bank holiday on May 8, 2023. Falling two days after King Charles’ coronation at Westminster Abbey, the May 8 bank holiday means we’ll have two consecutive Mondays off in May, as the early May bank holiday falls on May 1. Dreamy!
The original reason for the unlikeliness of a bank holiday was because the King’s coronation falls on a Saturday (May 6), and previous coronations tended to fall on weekdays (for instance, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation ceremony took place on a Tuesday). However, after calls from MPs across the political spectrum, the government has elected to grant the extra day off across the UK, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirming that Scotland would also enjoy the extra day off.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called it “a unique moment for our country”, and expressed his hope that the nation would “celebrate and pay tribute to King Charles III by taking part in local and national events across the country”. London will no doubt see far more announcements about the specifics of the King’s coronation, but for now the knowledge of an extra bank holiday is plenty to look forward to.
That first week of May is shaping up to be a busy one; aside from the two bank holidays and the coronation itself, local elections will take place across England on May 4. Skilled advocates of the annual leave system will no doubt be eyeing up the opportunity for an extended break using the dual bank holidays, and if nothing else, we’ll hopefully be able to make use of a bout of early spring sunshine to fill the beer gardens and make use of the day!