King Charles III of the United Kingdom has been crowned in a once-in-a-generation royal event witnessed by hundreds of high-profile guests inside Westminster Abbey, as well as tens of thousands of well-wishers who have gathered in central London despite the rain.
The elaborate coronation service followed a traditional template that has remained largely unchanged for more than 1,000 years.
At his coronation, the King took the Coronation Oath and became the first monarch to pray aloud. He asked in his prayer to “be a blessing” to people “of every faith and conviction.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church who is leading the ceremony, anointed him with holy oil. The most sacred part of the ceremony, the anointing, took place behind a screen.
During the investiture portion of the service, the King was presented with the coronation regalia, including the royal Robe and Stole.
The most important part of the coronation ceremony was when he was crowned with the 360-year-old St. Edward’s Crown. Welby declared after crowning the King, “God Save the King.”
The King was seated on the throne while wearing the crown, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the first time, invited the British public, as well as those from “other Realms,” to recite a pledge of allegiance to the new monarch and his “heirs and successors.”
Some sections of the British media and public interpreted the invitation as a command in the run-up to the event, reporting that people had been “asked” and “called” to swear allegiance to the King. In response to such criticism, the Church of England revised the liturgy text so that members of the public could choose between saying “God save King Charles” and reciting the full pledge of allegiance.