The forthcoming coronation of King Charles will incorporate several changes in a bid to reflect the diversity of modern Britain, involving leaders from other faiths, female bishops, and people watching the service.
The ‘Called to Serve’ service on Saturday will see the King greeted by one of the youngest choristers, underscoring the importance of young people in British Society.
King Charles will pray out loud for the first time, using words written specifically for the occasion, which will reflect “the duty and privilege of the Sovereign to serve all communities”.
For the first time in history, other languages spoken in Britain will also be included in the Coronation. A hymn will be sung in Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish Gaelic.
The Bishop of London, Rt Rev Sarah Mullally, the Bishop of Dover, Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, and the Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Rev Guli Francis-Dehqani, will all play a role in the Coronation Service to reflect the change in Church of England laws that allowed female priests in 1994.
It’s understood that Bishop Rose will present Queen Camilla with The Queen Consort’s Rod, while Bishop Guli will administer the Chalice to The King and Queen during the Eucharist.
Another first is that there will be no ‘Homage to Peers,’ which would normally allow hereditary peers to swear allegiance to the new monarch. Instead, a ‘Homage of the People’ will take place, inviting those watching and listening at home and elsewhere to pledge their allegiance to King Charles III.
The words will include: "I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law - so help me God."
“A Preface to the Oath” will also feature as a new element to the Coronation. While the oaths will retain their Protestant pledge, the Archbishop of Canterbury will “contextualize” them to reflect today’s “contemporary, multi-faith Britain.”
Most Rev Justin Welby will explain that the Church of England will seek to create an environment where "people of all faiths and beliefs may live freely."
To reflect the Anglican Communion, the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem will present the Coronation Chrism Oil to the Archbishop of Canterbury as part of the Anointing, completing its journey from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, where it was consecrated.
Representatives of other faiths will also play a role during the ceremony on two occasions, in another striking first. Faith leaders will greet the King in unison before His Majesty proceeds to the Gold State Coach.
Members of the Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, and Buddhist communities will also be among the peers presenting the Regalia to the King.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has chosen a new Epistle for this Coronation: Colossians 1:9-17. This will be read by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and reflects the theme of “service to others and the loving rule of Christ over all people and all things.”
King Charles III’s coronation will take place on 6th May.