Britain’s King Charles III has been crowned in a once in a generation royal event that is being witnessed by hundreds of high-profile guests inside Westminster Abbey, as well as tens of thousands of well-wishers who have gathered in central London despite the rain.
The intricate coronation service followed a traditional template that has stayed much the same for more than 1,000 years.
The King took the Coronation Oath and became the first monarch to pray aloud at his coronation. In his prayer he asked to “be a blessing” to people “of every faith and conviction.”
He was anointed with holy oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church who is leading the ceremony. The anointment, considered the most sacred part of the ceremony, took place behind a screen.
The King was presented with the coronation regalia, including the royal Robe and Stole, in what is known as the investiture part of the service.
He was then crowned with the 360-year-old St. Edward’s Crown, the most significant part of the coronation ceremony. After crowning the King, Welby declared: “God Save the King.”
Wearing the crown, the King was seated on the throne, after which the Archbishop of Canterbury invited the British public, as well as those from “other Realms,” for the first time, to recite a pledge of allegiance to the new monarch and his “heirs and successors.”
Ahead of the event, some parts of the British media and public interpreted the invitation as a command, reporting that people had been “asked” and “called” to swear allegiance to the King. In the face of such criticism, the Church of England revised the test of liturgy so that members of the public would be given a choice between saying simply “God save King Charles” or reciting the full pledge of allegiance.
Once the King was crowned, his wife, Queen Camilla was crowned in her own, shorter ceremony with Queen Mary’s Crown – marking the first time in recent history that a new crown wasn’t made specifically for this occasion – and presented with the Sceptre and Rod.
While Charles became King on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II in September last year, the coronation is the formal crowning of the monarch and is a profoundly religious affair, reflecting the fact that aside from being head of state of the United Kingdom and 14 other countries, Charles is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
However, it has been modernized in certain key ways. The archbishop acknowledged the multiple faiths observed in the UK during the ceremony, saying the Church of England “will seek to foster an environment in which people of all faiths may live freely.”
Comment *that crown should catch a fire and burn the demon’s head from his body!