Humanists UK to attend Coronation

6 May, 2023

Our Chief Executive Andrew Copson is attending the Coronation today, along with other representatives of civil society, at the invitation of the UK Government.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 110,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson said:

‘This invitation reflects the changing demographics of the UK and is a welcome recognition of the good work humanists do in our communities and the life of our society.’


Humanists hold a variety of views around the monarchy and generally agree that there shouldn’t be an established church, especially given only 12% of British adults now say they belong to the Church of England. Humanists UK has argued for any future Coronations, if they occur, to be secular occasions.

It is increasingly the case that humanists are included in UK public life, with the humanist approach increasingly treated equally to the major world religions by the state. This includes national occasions.

Since 2018 a humanist representative has been invited to take part in the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Westminster, alongside a small number of religious leaders. Humanists also participate in national and local remembrance services across the UK. A Humanists UK celebrant represents humanists at the National Service of Remembrance for Wales; the Chair of Northern Ireland Humanists represents humanists at the national Remembrance Day Ceremony in Northern Ireland; and Humanist Society Scotland are represented by its Chair at Scotland’s national event at the Stone of Remembrance.

In July 2021, our Chief Executive led the national memorial ceremony in the Blossom Memorial Garden in Stratford, organised by NHS England, to remember NHS workers who had died during the pandemic. Humanists UK has also been officially invited to participate in other national ceremonies including the dedication of the National Memorial to the Victims of Overseas Terrorism, the annual Memorial Event for Humanitarian Aid Workers, the Annual Day of UN Peacekeepers, the Royal British Legion’s ‘Great Pilgrimage 90’ Ypres commemorations, the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

Having been invited to attend for several years, in 2023, for the first time, Humanists UK participated in the main programme of the UK Commemoration for Holocaust Memorial Day. Our President, Adam Rutherford, read from the diary of a Holocaust victim and lit a candle.

For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Public Affairs Manager Karen Wright at or phone 07534 248 596.