Millions of people will be called upon to swear ‘true allegiance’ to King Charles at the coronation scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Westminster Abbey, Daily Mail reports.
The UK-based news platform added that for the first time in history, every citizen of the UK and all the other nations of which the monarch is head of state will be asked to “make their homage in heart and voice to their undoubted King”.
The trailblazing move will make the ceremony more of a ‘People’s Coronation’, as previously only members of the aristocracy were called upon to make such a pledge.
The “Homage of the People” is just one of the significant updates to the ancient ritual, which will see other religious faiths, as well as the Church of England, playing key roles. Female members of the clergy will also be involved for the first time.
The influence of the late Queen will be clear throughout the two-hour ceremony and there will be a tribute to the King’s late father, Prince Philip.
And when Queen Camilla is crowned after her husband it will be the first time a Consort has been anointed in full public view.
The break with centuries of tradition will be most marked with the Homage of the People, when the Archbishop of Canterbury will call on those in Westminster Abbey, and watching on television to pledge their allegiance.
It replaces the “homage of the peers” where members of the aristocracy lined up to honour the new monarch. Now only Prince William, Charles’s heir, will do so.
Royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith said, “It’s hugely exciting. It’s probably the most radical departure from tradition we’ve heard about so far, and it’s about as inclusive as you can get, asking the whole world to acclaim him as King.”
“It’s a wonderful, democratic and inclusive gesture and very 21st Century.
“We knew all along this was going to be a different and modern twist on the Coronation but this step is really quite a radical one.”
Constitutional expert Sir Vernon Bogdanor added, “It’s a very sensible change. Even in 1953 I think it was out of date to have the peers there to represent the people as a whole. It is certainly out of date now. It would look ludicrous.
“The Coronation confirms that he is the rightful King and it’s right that a sample of people should be doing that. The Coronation has to balance tradition with adapting itself to current conditions.”
During the homage, 150 million people across the UK and Commonwealth will be called upon to say: ‘I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.’ After a fanfare, the public will add: ‘God save King Charles. Long live King Charles. May the King live for ever.’
A spokesman for Lambeth Palace said, “Never before in our history have the public been offered such an opportunity to join with national figures in declaring their allegiance to a new sovereign.’
In other developments:
- In a break with tradition, the King will be met by one of the youngest members of the congregation – chorister Samuel Strachan, 14;
- The Queen Consort will be anointed with Holy oil without a canopy or screen for the first time;
- In an unprecedented development, the monarch will be heard praying aloud in a specially commissioned ‘King’s Prayer’;
- There will be outfit changes for both the King and Queen Consort with two sets of robes each;
- The liturgy will include tributes to the late Queen, and Prince Philip and will feature a Greek choir;
- A multi-faith service will include prayers said in the traditional languages of the British Isles: Welsh, Scots Gaelic and Irish Gaelic;
- Leaders of other faiths will play a vital role, issuing greetings to the newly crowned King and Queen after the Anglican service;
- Ending decades of speculation, the King will be described as both ‘defender of the faith’ and ‘defender of all’, the CoE has confirmed.
Tory MP and former Justice Secretary Sir Robert Buckland, MP for South Swindon, said, “This is a most wonderful gesture.
“It gives everybody, whether present or not at the coronation, the chance to be part of this historic, symbolic occasion where we can all offer our loyalty and support to the King.”
The plan was also warmly welcomed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
Labour’s National Campaign Coordinator, Shabana Mahmood MP, said, “replacing the homage of the peers in this way is a wonderful way to bring the ceremony and the monarchy closer to the people.
“The involvement of people of all faiths, reflecting and recognising our country’s diversity, is also an important and welcome change’.
Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey said, “For most people in Britain this is our first chance to see a coronation – so it’s a truly historic occasion.
“I hope everyone will be celebrating our new King and Queen.”
The Anglican Church has agreed religious leaders can greet the King after the Christian service.
Charles will be met by The Most Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala (Buddhist), Lord Singh of Wimbledon (Sikh), Radha Mohan Das (Hindu), Aliya Azam (Islam) and Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis (Judaism).
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said, “I am delighted the service will recognise and celebrate tradition… At the same time, the service contains new elements that reflect the diversity of our contemporary society.”
Former Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg welcomed the ‘marvellous’ idea of Homage of the People, saying, “It will be a brilliant expression of our fealty – every loyal subject will want to do this.”
Historian Lady Antonia Fraser, added, “I like the idea that there is going to be a pledge for the public.”
However, writer Hugo Vickers said, “I am in two minds as to whether it is right to ask us all to do this. Personally, I am happy to. But I’d prefer my loyalty be taken for granted, rather than having to express it.”
The final order of service will be revealed this week and is likely to include a role for Prince George, second-in-line to the Throne.