King Charles III coronation: King and Queen Camilla crowned at Westminster Abbey
Charles became the 40th reigning sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, the nation’s coronation church since 1066, as Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby placed St Edward’s Crown on his head.
The historic moment, watched around the globe, was a fulfilment of the King’s destiny, but followed the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, last September after a 70-year reign.
The coronation was a deeply religious ceremony steeped in symbolism and its prayers took the theme of “Called to Serve”, an attribute associated with the late Queen who pledged her life to the Commonwealth.
Charles delivered a King’s Prayer, the first time a monarch has spoken words to God aloud during a coronation, and he touched on the duty of the sovereign to serve all communities.
He told the abbey: “God of compassion and mercy whose son was sent not to be served but to serve, give grace that I may find in thy service perfect freedom and in that freedom knowledge of thy truth.
“Grant that I may be a blessing to all thy children, of every faith and conviction, that together we may discover the ways of gentleness and be led into the paths of peace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.”
In the stillness of the abbey, Mr Welby held St Edward’s Crown high above Charles and, placing it on his head, said “God save the King” – words repeated by the congregation.
The archbishop adjusted the position of the crown on the King’s head for several seconds before it sat comfortably.
A fanfare was played and the abbey’s bells rang for two minutes after the crowning, with gun salutes fired from nearby Horse Guards Parade, the Tower of London and saluting stations across the nation and from warships at sea.
At Edinburgh Castle, a 21-round royal salute was fired one minute after midday on Saturday, as the King was crowned.
Members of 105 Regiment Royal Artillery fired the salute, with members of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 Scots) taking up position as castle guard musicians from Reserve Bands of The Royal Regiment of Scotland and adult instructors of the Army Cadet Force performed.
They played God Save The King after the gun salute was finished.
In a change, the controversial “Homage of the People” element of the service has been toned down after there was widespread criticism of the new element.
Mr Welby will now “invite” a show of support from the congregation rather than a “call” to those in the abbey and elsewhere to swear allegiance to the King.
Earlier, Charles and Camilla’s Diamond Jubilee Coach arrived, following a procession from Buckingham Palace, in the midst of a Sovereign’s Escort provided by the Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals and Life Guards with their shining breastplates and plumed helmets and led by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment band.
The monarch and his wife’s entrance through the west door was heralded by a fanfare from four State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry and the abbey congregation stood as one.
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