King Charles III has been crowned monarch of the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland on Saturday, in a ceremony steeped in millennia of tradition and pageantry.
Shouts of “God Save the King” rang out and trumpets sounded after the Archbishop of Canterbury placed the crown on Charles’s head.
The coronation of Charles, 74, in Westminster Abbey, comes almost eight months after he ascended the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, on Sept. 8 — a day that marked the end of an era defined by her 70-year reign.
He became the 40th monarch to be crowned at Westminster Abbey in a tradition dating back to 1066. His wife, Camilla, previously known as the queen consort, will be referred to as Queen Camilla from Saturday.
King Charles III has formally been crowned King in the historic first Coronation in 70 years today.
He was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
The king was crowned while seated in the Coronation Chair, holding the Sceptre with Cross in his right, gloved hand and the Sceptre with Dove in his left hand. He was crowned with St. Edward’s Crown, which was created in 1661 and will only be worn during the ceremony.
After the crown was placed on his head, the bells at Westminster Abbey rang for two minutes. King Charles was then escorted from the Coronation Chair to the throne.
Before the crowning, King Charles was presented with the coronation regalia.
He was first presented with the spurs, which “symbolize knighthood,” followed by the Sword of Offering; two armills made of gold, known as “bracelets of sincerity and wisdom;” the Coronation Orb, “symbolizing the Christian world” with three sides representing the three continents known during medieval times; and the Sovereign’s Ring, representing commitment and is not worn during the ceremony.
Charles then was presented with the coronation glove, the same one his mother wore during her coronation, representing him as an advocate and challenger for the protection of the people. He was then given the sovereign’s scepter with a cross which represents “the sovereign’s temporal power,” and the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Dove, which represents “the sovereign’s spiritual role.”
Minutes earlier Charles swore on the Bible and kissed it, having taken the oath: ‘I, Charles, do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God profess, testify, and declare that I am a faithful Protestant and that I will, according to the true intent of the enactments which secure the Protestant succession to the throne, uphold and maintain the said enactments to the best of my powers according to law.’
His family sat closest to him in a 2,300-strong congregation, although Prince Harry sat in the third row, away from Prince William, his wife and children, and other working royals.
A special personal prayer was written for the King to reflect the ‘loving service’ theme of the service, and the words were inspired in part by the popular hymn I Vow To Thee My Country.
He said: ‘God of compassion and mercy whose son was sent not to be served but to serve, give grace that I may find in thy service perfect freedom and in that freedom knowledge of thy truth. Grant that I may be a blessing to all thy children, of every faith and belief, that together we may discover the ways of gentleness and be led into the paths of peace; through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.’