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British Royals

The Court of Claims and its role in the Coronation

The Coronation of King Charles III will be the fortieth to take place in Westminster Abbey since the Norman Conquest. In almost 1,000 years, a lot of traditions have built up with many people having a right to take part, passed down to them through the generations. To ensure all of those claims are heard, a special court is convened ahead of every coronation and the latest one is no exception.

In 2023, it’s known as the Coronation Claims Office and it’s part of the Cabinet Office. It’s a new version of an ancient tradition, altered in line with King Charles III’s wish to respect the past while modernising. In 1953, it was called the Court of Claims. However, its basic function remains the same.

It looks at all claims made by people who say they have an historic or ceremonial role at the Coronation. Among things it will examine are whether the service was performed at previous coronations and how the claimant is related to the person who performed the role before.

And while it’s government officials who have examined claims in 2023, they worked with the Royal Household and ecclesiastical experts from Lambeth Palace as many of the services go back centuries.

The deadline to submit to the Coronation Claims Office was February 3rd 2023, to give the office time to examine and decide well ahead of the ceremony on May 6th 2023.

Those whose claims are accepted will continue traditions stretching back centuries at this first Coronation of a new millennium.

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.