King Charles III ascended to the British throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September 2022.
The 74-year-old was crowned on May 7, 2023, at London’s Westminster Abbey in a ceremony broadcast for the first time on television.
The coronation was attended by 100 heads of states, including First Lady Jill Biden. The ceremony was a mix of ancient and modern touches, with the participation of faiths other than the Church of England.
Charles III aims to show that the monarchy remains relevant in modern, diverse Britain.
Called to Serve: The Coronation of King Charles III
King Charles III has been officially crowned as the new British monarch at London’s Westminster Abbey on May 7, 2023.
The ceremony was attended by 100 heads of states, including First Lady Jill Biden, and was broadcast for the first time on television.
Charles III ascended to the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September 2022.
He is the eldest son of the late Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Charles III is Britain’s 41st monarch and the oldest person ever to ascend to the British throne.
The coronation ceremony, which dates back to the medieval period, was built around the theme “Called to Serve” and featured both ancient and modern touches.
Westminster Abbey has been the setting of the ritual since William the Conqueror was crowned in 1066.
The ceremony was a mix of the traditional and the contemporary, with the participation of faiths other than the Church of England.
Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh leaders took part in various parts of the coronation.
The ceremony also featured female bishops for the first time, as well as hymns and prayers sung in Welsh, Scottish, Gaelic, Irish Gaelic and English.
Emphasizing the Diversity of Modern Britain
The king wanted the ceremony to reflect the diversity of modern Britain and set the tone right from the start.
Charles III’s efforts to show that the 1,000-year-old monarchy is still relevant in modern, diverse Britain were reflected in the coronation ceremony.
While the king is the supreme governor of the Church of England, the latest census showed that less than half of the population now describe themselves as Christian.
The service began with one of the youngest members of the congregation, a Chapel Royal chorister, underscoring the importance of young people in the world today.
The coronation service also included many historic elements underscoring the ancient traditions through which power has been passed on to new kings and queens throughout the centuries.
In the most sacred part of the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury anointed the king with oil, consecrating him and setting him apart from his subjects.
A screen covered Charles, and the anointing wasn’t visible on television or to most people in the abbey, except for a few senior members of the clergy.
It was then followed by a presentation of the coronation regalia, as well as sacred objects, like the orb and scepter, that symbolize the monarch’s power and responsibilities.
Prince William, the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne, pledged his loyalty to his father. This act is known as the Homage of Royal Blood.
“The blend of ancient and modern was striking,” said royal expert and journalist Jonathan Sacerdoti. “The ancient rituals have their roots in the 9th century and were codified in the 14th century in a book called Liber Regalis.
They’ve been modified over the centuries, and today we saw truly modern touches included as well, especially to reflect the religious and cultural diversity of modern Britain.”
In honor of her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, her daughter-in-law Kate attend the ceremony as a show of respect for the British monarchy.
However, some people in the UK have expressed dissenting opinions regarding the monarchy.
Some argue that the monarchy is an outdated institution that no longer holds relevance in modern times, while others take issue with the wealth and privilege enjoyed by members of the royal family.
In response to these criticisms, King Charles has sought to emphasize his role as a unifying figure in the UK, reaching out to people of all backgrounds and faiths.
He has also been involved in various charitable and philanthropic efforts, working to address issues such as climate change and mental health.
Challenges and Responsibilities Ahead
As King Charles begins his reign, he faces numerous challenges and responsibilities, from navigating political and diplomatic issues to fulfilling his role as a figurehead and symbol of the UK.
However, those close to him have expressed confidence in his ability to carry out these duties with grace and humility.
“King Charles has spent his whole life preparing for this moment,” said Felton Spence.
“He takes his role very seriously, and he cares deeply about the people of the UK. I have no doubt that he will be an excellent king.”
With the coronation ceremony now complete, King Charles will begin his reign as the 43rd monarch of the House of Windsor.
As he takes on this new role, he will undoubtedly face many challenges and obstacles, but he will also have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the UK and the world at large.