10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Coronation
As King Charles gets ready to wear the crown and officially ascend to the throne as the new King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, we’ve put together a list of ten things you might not know about this grand and ancient coronation ceremony.
1. It was started by the Normans in 1066
After conquering England, William of Normandy consolidated his rule with a grand ceremony that would be the Coronation, designed to display the new power and control the Norman’s now had over their Anglo-Saxon subjects.
2. The Coronation Regalia used in the ceremony contain jewels worth over £3 Billion
The Coronation Regalia is at the heart of the ceremony, and includes the Sovereign’s Sceptre Cross, the Orb and the Coronation Spoon.
3. The Coronation Regalia are deeply symbolic
The Orb dates back to 1661 and symbolises divine power invested within the sovereign, as it is adorned with a Golden Cross.
4. The Coronation Spoon is the oldest piece of the regalia
The Coronation Spoon is first recorded in 1349 as preserved with Edward III at Westminster Abbey, and was already at that time considered an antique. It is believed to have been given to Henry II or Richard I.
5. The Coronation Oath predates the Normans
Liber Regalis originates from the Anglo-Saxon King Edgar at Bath in 973 CE. The Liber Regalis was written in Latin and is the basis for every Coronation since.
6. King George VI in 1937 was the first to be broadcast on television and radio
With an estimated audience of 26 million people tuning in on the wireless, the moment was seen by a privileged few on television in black and white – just over 10,000 people.
7. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 was the first to be nationally televised
With an estimated audience of 27 million people in the UK and millions more around the world, it was and still is one of the most popular and widely seen TV broadcasts of all time.
8. The Archbishop of Canterbury is responsible for conducting the coronation ceremony
The highest-ranking member of the Anglican church will anoint the King, the head of the Church of England, with holy oil made from olives and consecrated in Jerusalem acting as a king of communion between man and the divine.
9. Queen Alexandra was anointed Queen with the Koh-I-Noor diamond
One of the largest diamonds in the world, the Koh-I-Noor, remains one of the Royal Family’s most prized possessions.
10. The coronation chair, which has been used every time since 1308, is a wooden throne that was built for King Edward I to house the famous Stone of Scone
Also known as Jacob’s Pillow, this ancient oblong piece of sandstone has been at the heart of English and Scottish coronations. It was returned to Edinburgh in 1996 and will make a temporary return to Westminster for King Charles III coronation.
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