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Coronation drone shows light up Windsor Castle and 10 UK cities

As expected, this weekend’s coronation of King Charles II provided all the pomp and star-studded entertainment organizers had promised, and wrapped up with the crescendo Sunday evening of drone shows over Windsor Castle and in cities across the UK.

After the official crowning ceremony Saturday, revelers were treated to a mix of music and displays that ended with the bang of a multi-star concert outside Windsor Castle. As part of that, drone show specialist SKYMAGIC performed one of its now-trademark aerial spectacles featuring formations that included lyrics to the Simple Minds tune being played beneath, “Don’t You Forget About Me.”

SKYMAGIC’s Windsor drone show was one of several staged across the UK that made up an event called Lighting Up the Nation. A total of 10 UK cities welcomed the celestial choreographies, including Blackpool, Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh, and Cardiff, where the country’s dragon symbol spread out 140 meters long across the sky. Other shapes formed were butterflies, bees, a lion, and a tiger.

The performances reinforced the status of drone shows as not only a regular fixture in large event entertainment, but perhaps the main attraction for nighttime celebrations that now threatens to make fireworks obsolete. 

London-based SKYMAGIC has played a big part in securing that position by delivering crowd thrilling choreographies during the capital’s 2022 New Year’s Eve gala, Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee last year, and a record-setting performance in Syndey.

ReadSKYMAGIC offers backstage view of its dazzling drone shows 

During its Windsor Castle and other drone shows Sunday, SKYMAGIC craft shifted into shapes that also included whales, tigers, owls, and even a sprinkling watering can and flower in a nod to the newly crowned King’s affinity for botany. 

While daily paper The Guardian joined other media in saluting the drone extravaganza outside Windsor Castle, it panned the musical show below that featured performers like Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Nicole Scherzinger. It dismissed the roster as a “bunch of B-listers” that failed to shine as brightly as the illuminated UAVs.

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Avatar for Bruce Crumley Bruce Crumley

Bruce Crumley is journalist and writer who has worked for Fortune, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, The Guardian, AFP, and was Paris correspondent and bureau chief for Time magazine specializing in political and terrorism reporting. He splits his time between Paris and Biarritz, and is the author of novel Maika‘i Stink Eye.