Lambeth Palace says the invitation for people to swear an oath to the King as part of the Coronation is ‘an invitation rather than an expectation or request.’
It was announced at the weekend that the traditional ‘Homage of the Peers’ is to be replaced with a ‘Homage of the People’ with the millions watching the ceremony invited to swear their allegiance to the new King.
Just after the King is crowned, the Archbishop of Canterbury Most Rev Justin Welby will invite the congregation and people watching on television or at big screens in churches and parks, to say the words :
“I swear that I will pay true allegiance to your majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”
Critics of the idea say it’s outdated and offensive – and the pressure group Republic has called it ‘tone-deaf’.
But a Lambeth Palace source told the Guardian swearing the oath is a matter for individuals :
““For those who do want to take part, some will want to say all the words of the homage; some might just want to say “God Save the King” at the end; others might just want to say it to be a moment of private reflection.
“We live in a wonderfully diverse society with many different perspectives and beliefs, and it’s quite right that people decide for themselves how they relate to this moment.
“Much like the National Anthem, it’s for people to join in if that feels right for them.
“For those who may wish to join in, we hope it’s a moment of joy and celebration – both in the Abbey, and in homes around the country and beyond.”
The liturgy for the Coronation on May 6 was produced “in close consultation” with the King and the Government.