“Unveiling the 5 Ceremonial Objects Used in the Coronation of Charles III”

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King Charles III: A New Era for the Monarchy

The coronation of King Charles III marks a significant opportunity to unite the British people with the history and splendour of the monarchy. However, with a changing society and political landscape, the new monarch must also prove that the monarchy can thrive in modern Britain. Despite these challenges, the coronation was a more inclusive and shorter event than that of his mother’s in 1953.

Religious leaders outside the Church of England took an active part in the ceremony for the first time. Additionally, people from all four nations that make up the United Kingdom, as well as Commonwealth countries, participated in the event. Here are five historical objects that were prominent in the coronation:

The Coronation Chair and the Stone of Destiny

King Charles III was crowned on Saturday at Westminster Abbey, sitting on the Coronation Chair, which dates back to 1308. The chair, made of oak and standing at 2.05 meters (6 feet 9 inches) high, was once covered in gold leaf and coloured glass. Graffiti now covers the chair, including a message indicating P. Abbott slept in the chair on 5-6 July 1800.

The Stone of Destiny, a sacred sandstone slab, used for coronation rights by Scottish kings, is located beneath the chair. Edward I had the chair built to house the stone after forcibly removing it from Scotland. However, its history goes back much further, with Fergus Mor MacEirc, the founder of the Scottish royal line, having brought it to Scotland around 498. Recently, the stone was temporarily removed from its current site in Edinburgh Castle in a ceremony overseen by Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf, before being returned to the abbey.

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The Coronation Spoon

The Coronation Spoon is a silver spoon plated with gold and is one of the few objects to survive the English Civil War. It’s believed to have been made in the 12th century for King Henry II or King Richard I. During the coronation ceremony, the Archbishop of Canterbury pours holy oil from an eagle-shaped vial into the ladle before rubbing it onto the king’s hands, chest, and head. The ceremony has its roots in the biblical story of King Solomon’s anointing.

The Cullinan Diamond

Two stones cut from the Cullinan Diamond – the largest rough diamond ever found – featured heavily in the coronation. The Cullinan I, a massive 530.2-carat drop-shaped stone, is mounted on the Sovereign’s Scepter with the cross, which was presented to King Charles III as a symbol of his temporal power. The Cullinan II, a 317.4-carat cushion-shaped gem, is mounted on the Imperial State Crown that the king wears when leaving the abbey. Some South Africans view the gems as a symbol of colonial oppression under British rule and believe they should be returned.

The Crown of Saint Edward

The climax of the coronation ceremony saw the Archbishop of Canterbury place St Edward’s Crown on King Charles III’s head. This was the only time during the monarch’s reign that this solid gold crown was worn, as it’s reserved for the coronation ceremony. Made for the coronation of King Charles II in 1661, it has been worn at all coronations ever since. The crown is adorned with semi-precious stones and is a replica of the original crown cast after the execution of Charles I.

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The Golden State Carriage

The 261-year-old Golden State Carriage, built-in 1762 under the reign of King George III, carried King Charles III and Queen Camilla back to Buckingham Palace from Westminster Abbey. The carriage is plated with gold leaf, with cherubs on the roof and Greek gods of the sea on the wheels. The carriage has been used in all coronations since 1831 and is four tons, but its suspension is made of leather straps instead of modern metal springs, making for an uncomfortable ride. Because of this, King Charles III and Queen Camilla opted to travel to the coronation in the Diamond Jubilee Golden Carriage, equipped with hydraulic shock absorbers, heating, and air conditioning.

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