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King Charles IIIState & Ceremonial

Coronation ceremony: The recognition

King Charles III has reportedly made several changes to his coronation service.

While his mother’s 1953 coronation service was nearly four hours, The King’s will reportedly be closer to an hour. However, some elements are included in every coronation regardless. The recognition is one of those elements. 

The King and Queen will enter Westminster Abbey in their Robes of State (their crimson robes). Four key figures in the ceremony will then take their seats at the north, south, east, and west of the coronation theatre: the Earl Marshal, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Principal King of Arms, and the Lord High Constable.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will then call for the recognition of the sovereign. The Archbishop will read: “Sirs, I here present unto you Charles, your undoubted King. Wherefore all you who are come this day to do your homage and service, are you willing to do the same?” 

After both sides of the congregation have recognised the sovereign, the ceremony continues. It is followed by the coronation oath, the anointing, the investiture/crowning, the enthronement, and the homage. 

It is important to note that the sovereign’s reign does not start with this; it begins immediately upon the previous sovereign’s death. However, the coronation is a significant event to celebrate the beginning of a new reign. The coronation service is also when the monarch is sanctified as the Head of the Church of England. 

While it has been widely reported that the service will be significantly shorter than previous coronations, it is thought that the six elements of the service will all remain in some form. As various details have been confirmed in the last weeks, such as Prince George’s role as a Page of Honour, the procession routes, and the invitation, more details are expected to follow.

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