Sunday, April 30, 2023

Roles of the Members of the Royal Family at the Coronation


Princess Anne

Being King Charles III's closest sibling, and long-time supporter, Princess Anne was always expected to have a prominent role at the coronation. It has been confirmed that the Princess Royal will feature in the procession as the prestigious 'Gold-Stick-in-Waiting' – a position historically handed to a person entrusted with the personal safety of the sovereign.

The poignant role will see Anne travel on horseback, behind the new King and Queen after they are crowned at Westminster Abbey, leading the larger procession featuring 6,000 armed services personnel.

Prince George

The Royal Family has announced that Prince George will take on the role of Page Boy at the King and Queen's coronation.

Eight Pages of Honour have been chosen to attend Their Majesties during the Coronation Service. The Pages will form part of the procession through the Nave of Westminster Abbey.

The King’s Pages of Honour will be His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales, Lord Oliver Cholmondeley, Master Nicholas Barclay and Master Ralph Tollemache.

George will be carrying Charles' heavy robe during the coronation ceremony.  Charles has been practicing walking in his robe and one of George's jobs is to make sure his grandfather doesn't fall," she said. 

Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis

As for Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, they're also expected to take part in the King’s coronation procession at Westminster Abbey.  The siblings will be the youngest to take part in the coronation plans, as Charlotte and Louis are both set to join their grandfather and step-grandmother as they leave Westminster Abbey at the end of the ceremony.

Despite their age, George and Charlotte are no strangers to taking part in processions as the siblings took part in one after Queen Elizabeth II's funeral last year. At the time, Louis was considered too young to join his siblings.

As well as playing important roles in the event itself, all three of the Wales children will watch as spectators and are also expected to make an appearance on the balcony.

Prince William

Prince William is heir to the throne, so it's no surprise that he is expected to play a major role across the big weekend. According to the Sunday Times, William will kneel and pledge allegiance to Charles, along with touching the St.  Edward’s Crown and kissing his father’s right cheek.

After the ceremony, William will then take part in the The Coronation Procession back to Buckingham Palace before making an appearance on the balcony.

Catherine, Princess of Wales

Catherine will be among the working royals taking part in the carriage procession and balcony appearance with her husband, who is next in line to the throne. I am looking forward to seeing her Coronation gown!

Camilla's five grandchildren

With Camilla having such a prominent role, royal traditions have been changed to accommodate the couple’s special moment – and a role that is typically performed by duchesses, will now be carried out by Camilla's five grandchildren during the Westminster Abbey service. All five children will hold the canopy over the Queen Consort as she is anointed with holy oil – possibly one of the most sacred roles of the entire ceremony. Her son Tom Parker Bowles has two children Lola, 15, and Freddy, 13, and her daughter Laura Lopes has Eliza, 15, and twins Louis and Gus, 13.

This break in tradition is really exciting to see from the couple--it highlights their blended family, something relatable for many others across the UK. Both the King and Queen Consort are divorced, with step-children and step-grandchildren in the mix, and choosing to involve loved ones who aren't official royals sends a strong message of inclusion.

As well as taking on the role of holding the canopy, Camilla's grandsons will be Page Boys on the big day too. The Queen Consort’s Pages of Honour will be Her Majesty’s grandsons, Master Gus and Master Louis Lopes and Master Freddy Parker Bowles, and Her Majesty’s great-nephew, Master Arthur Elliot.

Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie

Although they will not have a role in the ceremony, both Edward and Sophie will be in attendance and will make an appearance on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. 

Prince Andrew & Prince Harry

Plans for both of the princes are still up in the air, but I doubt we will see either of them take part in the coronation ceremony or make an appearance on the balcony at Buckingham Palace...eyeroll.

Here's who will be joining King Charles and Queen Camilla on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the iconic photograph moment:

Prince William, Catherine, and their three children--George, Charlotte, and Louis; Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, and Princess Anne and her husband Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

Cousins to the late Queen and Prince Philip, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra and also the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will also make an appearance on the balcony.

Roles to be Performed at the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey


From the official website of the Royal Family...

Buckingham Palace is pleased to announce further details on the Ceremonial roles to be performed by individuals in the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey.

The Ceremonial roles include bearing the Regalia in the Procession and presenting the items to Their Majesties. Those undertaking these historic roles in the Service have been chosen to recognise, thank and represent the Nation due to their significant service, and include representatives from Orders of Chivalry, the military and wider public life.

The first processions into Westminster Abbey will be made up of Faith Leaders and Faith Representatives followed shortly afterwards by representatives from His Majesty’s Realms. Flags of each Realm will be carried by national representatives accompanied by the Governors General and Prime Ministers. Bearing the Flag of the United Kingdom ahead of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Mrs Akshata Murty will be Cadet Warrant Officer Elliott Tyson-Lee, who said: “It is a great and incredible honour to be a part of Their Majesties’ Coronation Service as a representative of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets."

This will be followed by The Procession of The King and The Queen which will be led by the Marquess of Anglesey, the Duke of Westminster, the Earl of Caledon and the Earl of Dundee who will carry the Standards of the Quarterings of the Royal Arms and Standard of the Principality of Wales. Francis Dymoke will carry The Royal Standard.

Mr Dymoke’s claim to undertake a historic role in the Coronation was upheld by the Coronation Claims Office. The title of King or Queen’s Champion has been held by the Dymoke family since the Middle Ages. The King’s Champion would previously ride on horseback into the Coronation Banquet and challenge any who doubted the right of The King or Queen to the throne. There has not been a Coronation Banquet since that held by King George IV in 1821 so the Champion has instead undertaken a different role since, usually bearing a flag or Standard.

Also taking part in the procession will be Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff, acting as Lord High Constable of England, an office held for the day only. Traditionally the Lord High Constable is a Great Officer of State and has historically been connected to the military. He will take part alongside the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk.

The Earl of Erroll will act as Lord High Constable of Scotland. Similar to that of Lord High Constable of England, this role has historically been connected to the military and the Earldom of Erroll through a Coronation claim. The Earl of Crawford and Balcarres will act as Deputy to the Great Steward of Scotland, HRH The Prince of Wales.

The following will then process to the altar carrying Her Majesty’s Regalia:

  • Baroness (Helena) Kennedy of The Shaws – Carrying The Queen Consort's Rod
  • General Sir Patrick Sanders – Carrying The Queen Consort's Sceptre
  • The Duke of Wellington – Carrying Queen Mary’s Crown
  • The Rt. Reverend and Rt. Hon the Lord Chartres– Carrying The Queen Consort's Ring

Lord Chartres said: “The ceremonies of the Coronation are ancient but they have been freshly interpreted for our contemporary world.

The following will then process to the altar carrying His Majesty’s Regalia:

  • General Sir Gordon Messenger, the Governor of HM Tower of London – Carrying St Edward’s Crown as Lord High Steward of England
  • Baroness (Elizabeth) Manningham-Buller LG – Carrying St Edward's Staff
  • The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry KT – Carrying the Sceptre with Cross
  • Baroness (Floella) Benjamin OM – Carrying the Sceptre with the Dove
  • Dame Elizabeth Anionwu OM – Carrying the Orb
  • The Keeper of the Jewel House, Brigadier Andrew Jackson – Carrying The Sovereign’s Ring
  • Petty Officer Amy Taylor – Carrying the Sword of Offering
  • Lord Hastings and The Earl of Loudoun – Carrying the Spurs
  • Lord President of the Council, Penny Mordaunt – Carrying the Sword of State in The King’s Procession
  • Air Chief Marshal the Lord Peach – Carrying the Sword of Mercy (The Curtana)
  • General the Lord Richards of Herstmonceux – Carrying the Sword of Spiritual Justice
  • General the Lord Houghton of Richmond – Carrying the Sword of Temporal Justice

General Sir Gordon Messenger, the Lord High Steward of England, (also an office held for the day only) is the most senior Great Officer of State for the Coronation, in order to bear the St Edward’s Crown into the Abbey, the most significant item of Regalia. On carrying St Edward’s Crown, General Sir Gordon Messenger said: “It is a huge and unique honour to be appointed Lord High Steward for His Majesty’s Coronation. To be playing a key role on such an important and historic occasion is a source of great pride to me, my family, the Royal Marines, and the Tower of London community.”

Petty Officer Amy Taylor will be the first woman to bear the Jewelled Sword of Offering into the Abbey. She has been selected to represent Service men and women, as a Royal Navy Petty Officer, a tribute to His Majesty’s military career. She said: "Having served most of my senior career as an Aircraft Engineer on 845 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton where His Majesty originally trained and served as a pilot, I am deeply honoured and humbled to play my part in this historic event. Coming from a farming family His Majesty has always been such a great advocate for our community and someone I have admired growing up."

Baroness Benjamin and Dame Elizabeth Anionwu are amongst recent appointees to the Order of Merit, the final members to be chosen for the Order by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Baroness Benjamin said: “I feel honoured and privileged to be part of the historic Coronation ceremony. To be selected to carry the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Dove, which represents spirituality, equity and mercy, is for me very symbolic as it’s everything I stand for and sends out a clear message that diversity and inclusion is being embraced."

Participating in the act of Recognition of His Majesty whereby His Majesty will be presented to the Congregation at the start of the Service will be:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Baroness (Valerie) Amos LG, Lady Elish Angiolini LT, and Christopher Finney GC, Chair of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association.

During the Coronation Service the Regalia will be presented to Their Majesties. Those presenting have been chosen on the advice of Government. Those presenting Regalia to His Majesty will be:

  • The Lord Carrington, Lord Great Chamberlain – Presenting the Spurs
  • The Lord (Syed) Kamall – Presenting the Armills
  • Baroness (Gillian) Merron – Presenting the Robe Royal
  • The Most Reverend John McDowell, the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh – Presenting the Orb
  • Lord (Narendra) Patel KT – Presenting the Ring
  • Lord (Indarjit) Singh of Wimbledon – Presenting the Coronation Glove
  • The Most Reverend Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, and Episcopal Primus of Scotland – Presenting the Sceptre with Cross
  • The Most Reverend Andrew John, the Archbishop of Wales – Presenting the Sceptre with Dove
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury – Performing the crowning with St Edward’s Crown

Those presenting Regalia to Her Majesty will be:

  • The Rt. Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin CD, The Bishop of Dover – Presenting The Queen Consort's Rod
  • The Rt. Reverend and Rt Hon. Lord Chartres – Presenting The Queen Consort's Sceptre with Cross
  • Brigadier Andrew Jackson, The Keeper of the Jewel House at HM Tower of London – Presenting The Queen Consort's Ring
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury – Performing the crowning with Queen Mary’s Crown

On presenting Regalia to Her Majesty, The Bishop of Dover said: “I am surprised, excited and honoured to have been asked to play a part in this historic once in a lifetime occasion. As I make my presentation, both Their Majesties will remain in my prayers as they seek to serve the nation and the Commonwealth.”

Saturday, April 29, 2023

King Charles III's Coronation Oil Consecration

Although the coronation is seen as a great moment of national pageantry and historic rituals, there is a strong religious element.

The Chrism oil which will be used to anoint His Majesty The King on May 6, 2023 has been consecrated in Jerusalem.

In a special ceremony at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, The oil has been consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III, and the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, The Most Reverend Hosam Naoum.

The consecration of the Coronation Oil

The oil has been created using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives, at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and the Monastery of the Ascension. The Monastery of Mary Magdalene is the burial place of His Majesty’s grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece.

The consecration of the Coronation Oil

The olives were pressed just outside Bethlehem. The oil has been perfumed with essential oils - sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin and amber - as well as orange blossom.

The consecration of the Coronation Oil

The Coronation oil is based on the oil used at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the formula of which has been used for hundreds of years. It will also be used for the anointing of Her Majesty The Queen Consort.

The king and the queen consort will be anointed behind a specially created screen of fine embroidery, held by poles hewn from an ancient windblown Windsor oak and mounted with eagles cast in bronze and gilded in gold leaf, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The anointing screen has been blessed at a special service at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, and will be used at what historically has been viewed as the most sacred moment of the coronation.

The anointing is traditionally regarded as a moment between the sovereign and God, and the screen is to be used to give sanctity to this moment. Traditionally, the moment is not photographed or televised.

The annointing screen which will hide King charles from public view is inspired by the 56 countries of the Commonwealth.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said:

“I am honoured and grateful that His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III and Archbishop Hosam Naoum have consecrated the oil that will be used to anoint His Majesty The King. I want to thank especially His Beatitude for providing this Coronation Oil, which reflects The King’s personal family connection with the Holy Land and his great care for its peoples. I am also delighted that the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem shared in the consecration of the oil.

“Since beginning the planning for the Coronation, my desire has been for a new Coronation Oil to be produced using olive oil from the Mount of Olives. This demonstrates the deep historic link between the Coronation, the Bible and the Holy Land. From ancient kings through to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place. As we prepare to anoint The King and The Queen Consort, I pray that they would be guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.”

Reflecting the King's modern animal-friendly sensitivities, this oil will be an animal and cruelty-free for King Charles!

Friday, April 28, 2023

King Charles III's Coronation Bible

During the service in Westminster Abbey, the Coronation Bible will be presented by Archbishop Welby to the King, who will place his hand on it when he takes the Coronation Oath.

 A Bible is known to have been presented to each monarch in this way since the joint Coronation of William III and Mary II in 1689. The earliest specially produced Coronation Bible in the Royal Collection is from the Coronation of George III in 1761.

Archbishop Welby commissioned Oxford University Press to produce the Bible, which is hand-bound in leather and decorated in gold leaf by London bookbinders Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe, who also produced the Bible for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. 

The Coronation will be a service of Christian worship, deeply rooted in the wisdom we find in Scripture. The Bible which will be presented to His Majesty the King is a reminder that scripture is not just at the heart of the responsibilities he undertakes at the Coronation, but at the heart of Christian life.

After the Coronation, the Bible will be displayed in the Lambeth Palace Library exhibition on the Coronation, and kept afterwards in the collection.  Three identical copies of the Coronation Bible have been made: a personal copy for the King, and two others to be placed in the Archives at Westminster Abbey and Oxford University Press.

The Coronation will not only be the first gift offered to the King but truly the most important gift that he will receive!

Blessed are you, Sovereign God and King of Kings,
to you be glory and praise forever!
From the rising of the sun to its setting
your glory is proclaimed in all the world.
You gave the Christ as a light to the nations,
and through the annointing of his Spirit
you established us as a royal priesthood.
As Charles our King prepares for his coronation,
enlighten his heart and strengthen his spirit,
so that we, with him, may bear witness to your truth
and proclaim your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The Coronation of King Charles III

The formal celebration of the coronation will begin with a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, called ‘The King’s Procession’. Viewing areas along the route will open at 6:00 am.  It’s a first-come, first-served system and I’m already stressed!

The procession will set off at 10:20 BST with King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla riding in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach rather than the older, more uncomfortable, Gold State Coach. The Carriage will be drawn by six Windsor Grey horses and the Household Cavalry will provide the Sovereign’s Escort.

200 members of the Armed Forces will take part in the procession. Another 1,000 service personnel will line the route.

The procession is expected to arrive at the abbey at 10:53, with the King likely to wear a military uniform as his outfit of the day—breaking tradition with the breeches and silk stockings, worn by kings before him. 

The ceremony is set to begin at 11:00. The pages will be: The King’s grandson, Prince George and Camilla’s grandchildren, Lola, Eliza, Gus, Louis, and Freddy.

~The Coronation Regalia~
The UK is the only European country that still uses regalia—symbols of royalty like the crown, orb, and scepters. These are sacred objects and the nation’s most precious treasures.

Camilla will be presented with the Queen Consort’s Rod with Dove and the Queen Consort’s Sceptre with Cross.

King Charles will be presented to the people—a tradition dating back to Anglo Saxon times. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welty will stand beside the 700-year old Coronation Chair and proclaim Charles the “undoubted King” before asking the congregation to show their homage and service. 

The congregation will shout “God Save the King!”

The Coronation Chair is believed to be the oldest piece of furniture in the UK. A total 26 monarchs have been crowned in it. During the coronation, the oak chair is placed in the center of the historic medieval mosaic floor known as the “Cosmati pavement,” in front of and facing the High Altar, to emphasize the religious nature of the ceremony. 

The Archbishop will then ask King Charles to confirm that he will uphold the law and the Church of England during his reign. He will also take an oath that he is a “faithful Protestant.”

~The Annointing~
The King’s ceremonial robe will be removed and he will sit in the Coronation Chair to be anointed. The Archbishop will pour the special oil from the Ampulla on to the Coronation Spoon before annointing the King in the form of a cross on his head, breast, and hands. 

The Ampulla was made for Charles II’s coronation. The Coronation spoon is much older, having survived Oliver Cromwell’s destruction of the regalia after the English Civil War. 

The oil was produced for the coronation using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. A canopy may be held over the chair to conceal the King from view, as this is considered to be the most sacred part of the service.

~The Investiture~
At the coronation, the King will wear this crown for the only time in his life. It was made for King Charles  II in 1661. King Charles will be only the seventh monarch to wear it after Charles II, James II, William III, George V, George VI, and Elizabeth II. At midday, the Archbishop will place St. Edward’s crown on the King’s head and trumpets will sound and gun salutes will be fired across the UK. 

A 62-round salute will be fired at the Tower of London, with a six-gun salvo at Horse Guards Parade. 

The King will then take the throne, possibly lifted into it by the archbishop, bishops, and other peers of the kingdom.

Queen Camilla will then be anointed, crowned (with Queen Mary’s crown), and enthroned but she will not take an oath.

The King and Queen Consort will descend from their thrones and enter St. Edward’s chapel. It is there that Charles will remove the St. Edward’s Crown and put on the Imperial State Crown before joining the procession out of the abbey as the national anthem is played.

The King and Queen Consort will then return to Buckingham Palace along the reverse of the route by which they came. This time they will travel in the 260-year-old Gold State Coach that has been used in every coronation since William IV’s in 1831.

Nearly 4,000 members of the UK’s armed forces will take part in this procession.

The Royal British Legion will provide a 100-strong guard of honor to line the procession route.

King Charles and Queen Camilla will continue the tradition of greeting the crowds in The Mall from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

The coronation will be televised on BBC America and other major U.S. news channels. You may also view it on Hulu and Live TV. Coverage of the ceremony will begin at 5:20am EST.

God Save the King!