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British RoyalsFeaturesHistoryKing Charles III

The last king crowned with the Honours of Scotland

King Charles III will be presented with the Honours of Scotland at a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Giles’s Cathedral on 5 July. However, King Charles II was the last monarch to be crowned with the Honours of Scotland in 1651. 

King Charles II was crowned in England in 1661 but was crowned in Scotland a decade earlier. On 1 January 1651, Charles was crowned as head of Scotland at Scone Palace. His father, King Charles I, had been executed outside Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace on 30 January 1649, and the throne passed to the young Charles II. 

Charles arrived at Scone on 31 December and spent the day preparing for his coronation. On 1 January, he began the day with an audience at Scone Palace. 

The royal party then processed to the chapel at Moot Hill, where Church of Scotland Minister Robert Douglas gave an hour-long sermon. The Honours of Scotland, known informally as the Crown Jewels of Scotland, were placed on a table beside Charles. 

Charles then swore a coronation oath different from his 1661 coronation oath at Westminster Abbey. This Scottish oath included promises to uphold both the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant. (The latter was an agreement between Scottish Covenanters and English Parliamentarians established in 1643.)

Following this oath, Charles sat on a throne and was crowned by two leading Scottish noblemen, John Campbell, 1st Earl of Loudoun, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and Archibald Campbell, Marquess of Argyll. Other nobles assisted in the ceremony. 

Charles was officially crowned King of Scotland, Ireland, England, and France. However, he fled to the Continent in the autumn of 1651. He was not able to return to the British Isles until 1660, when parliament invited him to return and take the throne. 

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Historian and blogger at AnHistorianAboutTown.com