(Five minute read)
The word coronation means the act or occasion of crowning – putting a crown on the monarch’s head, formally confirming his role as head of state. An occasion for pageantry but it is also a solemn religious ceremony. The pomp and circumstance of the ceremony itself are also a reminder of a time when Britain was the most powerful nation in the world.
A celebration of one man, a trillion billion millionaire taking a job that he has not earned rather by the accident of birth.
Celebrating an institution that has long drawn global fascination. In the age of streaming and social media it’s a spectacle that echoes medieval times, intended to show the king’s authority was derived from God.
There is no legal requirement for a coronation. Charles became the King as soon as Queen Elizabeth died and strictly speaking he doesn’t need a coronation ceremony.
Some argue that it’s grotesque to spend millions on pomp and pageantry amid a cost-of-living crisis that has brought 10% inflation, driven thousands to food banks, and triggered months of strikes by nurses, teachers, and other workers seeking higher pay.
Of all the European monarchies, the UK is the only one that still has a religious coronation ceremony.
Does King Charles need to do anything to be the monarch?
Not really as it is continuous historical tradition dated back over a thousand years representing England.
On his way to be crowned this week, King Charles III travelled by gilded coach through streets swathed in red, white, and blue Union flags – and pass a warning from history. At Trafalgar Square stands a large bronze statue of King Charles I, the 17th-century monarch deposed by Parliament and executed in 1649.
There will be no shortage of regalia at the coronation, with thousands of diamonds and kilos of gold shimmering through the service.
The solid gold crown, weighing 2.23kg (almost 5lbs), is worn by a monarch only once, at the moment of coronation.
On the way out of Westminster Abbey, the newly crowned King Charles will wear the Imperial State Crown, which is set with 2,868 diamonds.
The new sovereign is required to make three statutory oaths: the Scottish oath, to uphold the Presbyterian Church of Scotland; the accession declaration oath, to be a true and faithful protestant; and the coronation oath, which includes promising to uphold the rights and privileges of the Church of England.
Here are some of the sacred objects you might have spotted
• Two royal maces
• Three swords, representing mercy, spiritual justice and temporal justice
• The great sword of state, symbolising the sovereign’s royal authority
• St Edward’s staff, dating from 1661
• Spurs, representing knighthood and chivalry
• The jewelled sword of offering, dating from 1820
• The armillas, gold bracelets representing sincerity and wisdom
• The sovereign’s orb, representing Christian sovereignty
• The coronation ring, representing kingly dignity
• Sceptre with the cross, symbolising the sovereign’s temporal power under the cross
• Sceptre with dove – or rod of equity and mercy – symbolising the sovereign’s spiritual role.
The Question of the Monarch being relevant in a world that has moved on from the invention of the wheel to landing on the moon is whether Britain still needs this antiquated institution or if it should become a republic with an elected head of state. A system where power and patronage is based entirely on a hereditary monarchy is unfair and goes against democracy.
One constantly hears that the King must never be involved in politics, but that is in direct contradiction of his continuing duties such as signing all legislation (including the order to prorogue parliament) and delivering the Kings speech.
Because you can’t hold King Charles and his family to account at the ballot box, there’s nothing to stop the Royals abusing their privilege, misusing their influence or simply wasting money. At present it is permitted to vet and influence any proposed legislation that may impinge on the monarchy’s interests.
The British monarchy is therefore essentially self-serving. It should simply be redefined and limited the function of the Royal Family to a ceremonial tourist role.
Indeed with the Royals combined wealth there is every reason that they should carry the expense of its existence and not the nation.
So here is a suggestion.
To keep the monarchy relevant and beneficial. King Charles along with the nation and his serfs playing the Lotto should buy back HMS Britannia.
It would give a voice to the crown, repair the isolation of Brexit, create hundreds of jobs, and keep a visible attachment to the commonwealth, give a moral authority that comes with having been crowned if not elected using soft power to address world problems.
Make her sea worthy, fit for a king.
Surely these days no one should be forced to be a head of state simply because their mother or father was also trapped in this role of silent service.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.