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Female bishops to take part in the Coronation service for the first time

For the first time ever, female bishops will take part in a Coronation service.

Three of the UK’s highest ranking clerics will play integral parts in the ceremony on May 6th which will see King Charles III and Queen Camilla crowned.

The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullaly, Bishop of London will have a leading role. So, too, will the Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover and Bishop in Canterbury – it’s already been announced that she will present Queen Camilla with The Queen Consort’s Rod. Another important role will be undertaken by the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani who will administer the Chalice to The King and Queen during the Eucharist.

At the last Coronation, women still weren’t permitted to seek ordination in the Church of England. They were first allowed to become priests in 1994 and the first female bishops were ordained in 2015.

The Coronation Liturgy has just been revealed. Its theme is ”Called to Serve”.

Another first revealed is that there will be no Homage of the Peers. Instead a ”Homage of the People” will allow everyone watching to participate in a pledge.

King Charles will also be the first Monarch to pray aloud at his Coronation. He will start the service by pronouncing ””In His name, and after His example, I come not to be served but to serve.”

And, for the first time, members of other faiths will play an active role in the Anglican ceremony. The Coronation Regalia will be presented by peers who belong to different faiths including Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism.

The service will conclude with The King receiving a spoken greeting, in unison, from members of the Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Buddhist communities.

The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla takes place on May 6th 2023 at Westminster Abbey.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.