In January 2023, we invited schools across the UK to take part in an exciting competition to mark the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.
Children and young people from hundreds of schools across the UK have designed their own illustrated Coronation benches, exploring the values that are important to them as we enter the reign of King Charles.
Fifteen winners were selected from more than 1,500 fantastic entries, to be brought to life by professional artists from global public art producers Wild in Art.
Coronation Bench Trail Map
Download the Coronation Bench Trail Map and find all 14 illustrated benches at the Tower of London, specially designed by school children to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III.
The sculptures share some insight into the values and symbols chosen by today’s young people to define the new era, with themes ranging from unity and peace to resilience, kindness and care for the environment.
The winning benches will remain onsite at the Tower of London throughout the summer, before being gifted to the winning schools as a lasting legacy of the Coronation. The winning bench for Northern Ireland is currently on display at Hillsborough Castle.
View the winning designs here and find out more about each one. Share your photos on Twitter @toweroflondon
This bench was created by the Year 7 Art Club at Alderwood Senior School. The students chose to combine themes of royalty and the natural world in their design, as King Charles III is known for his passion for the environment.
The whole school immersed themselves in the design process for the Blythefield bench. They chose different flowers to represent the Commonwealth nations as well as the importance of protecting the world’s natural habitats. They also represented countries specific to the children who attend the school: the costus spectabili for Nigeria; the hibiscus for Malaysia and the waterlily for Bangladesh.
The whole school came together for this project, to create their vision of what they wanted their Coronation bench to represent. They considered their school’s ethos ‘the more we know the more we grow’ and chose a tree to symbolise their hopes for the future.
Students from Corpus Christi Primary School designed a cherry blossom tree in bloom to symbolise growth and new beginnings as the United Kingdom celebrates the Coronation of King Charles III.
Dacre Braithwaite’s design was created by their Coronation Art Club, formed by students in Years 2-6. The children were inspired by King Charles’ first Christmas speech.
As a class of children with Special Educational Needs, the students at Forelands Fields wanted their design to reflect a core school value: inclusion. They wanted to show that people of all abilities and backgrounds should be included in the Coronation celebrations and that they are important for the future.
Fulwell Junior School’s design is based on four values which they chose to reflect the history of the royal family whilst capturing the children’s hopes for the future and the school’s own values: aspiration, resilience, unity and renewal.
Llanishen High School’s design reflects the school ethos of inclusion by using the flags and national flowers of the UK’s four nations. As hearing-impaired students, the children felt this was important to be reflected throughout the whole design.
Loughton School’s Year 3 students worked together to explore some of the challenges the UK is currently facing, and linked these to the values they would like to represent the coming era of a new British monarch.
The Year 4 class at Milnthorpe wanted their design to celebrate the diversity of the world’s people and landscapes. Bright illustrations of people are depicted alongside scenes of cities, countryside and seaside.
Year 5 students worked collaboratively to explore themes of community, the Commonwealth, the environment and the monarchy. A tree is used to represent new beginnings as the crown passes to King Charles III.
The group of children who created Slade Primary School’s design called themselves ‘Unity’ and wanted this to be the value reflected by their ‘living bench’. The nature theme was inspired by the school’s active forest school, garden and allotment which promote positive wellbeing.
As Design and Technology students, the pupils who designed this bench chose to highlight the value of skills such as art, music, electronics, writing, computing and dance.
The school’s technology, engineering and design (TED) students wanted their design to celebrate the diversity of the people that make up the UK. They included people of different age, gender, race and religion within the silhouette of King Charles.