Not All UK Politicians Are Keen To Swear An Oath Of Allegiance To King Charles

·4-min read
A souvenir collectible plate marking the Coronation of King Charles III.
A souvenir collectible plate marking the Coronation of King Charles III.

A souvenir collectible plate marking the Coronation of King Charles III.

Not all UK politicians are keen to swear an allegiance to King Charles arguing that democracy needs to be “modernised”.

Charles’s coronation will include the first “Homage of the People” when people in the UK and overseas realms can swear an oath of allegiance to the king.

MPs and Lords have to swear a similar oath to take their seats in the Houses of Parliament.

However, not all are happy about it and the coronation has sparked calls from those on the left in British politics to modernise democracy.

Richard Burgon, who was shadow justice secretary for nearly four years under Jeremy Corbyn, said: “MPs have to take a similar oath to be allowed to take their seats.

“I have prefaced this by saying ‘As someone who believes that the head of state should be elected, I make this oath in order to serve my constituents’.

“We really need to talk about modernising our democracy.”

SNP MP Hannah Bardell retweeted an article in The National which said the call for a pledge of allegiance had gone down “particularly badly” in Scotland.

Meanwhile, Green peer Baroness Jenny Jones said the oath was an “odd request” when so many people think that the monarchy is an “outdated institution that needs drastic reform”.

She added: “And I really think that the king is rich enough to pay for his own coronation, not us taxpayers. The [money] could go to nurses.”

Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay suggested he would opt out, telling the BBC: “I will watch it because I think it is a key time for the nation but I think that the idea of a pledge is possibly somewhat outdated.”

Other campaigners have described the oath as “offensive, tone deaf and a gesture that holds the people in contempt”.

Graham Smith, from Republic which campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy and its replacement with a directly elected head of state, said: “In a democracy it is the head of state who should be swearing allegiance to the people, not the other way around.

“This kind of nonsense should have died with Elizabeth I, not outlived Elizabeth II.

“In swearing allegiance to Charles and his ‘heirs and successors’, people are being asked to swear allegiance to Prince Andrew too.

“This is clearly beyond the pale,” he added.

The oath replaces the traditional “Homage of Peers” in which a long line of hereditary peers knelt and made a pledge to the monarch in person.

A Lambeth Palace spokesman said the homage is “very much an invitation rather than an expectation or request”.

People might join in if that feels right for them as they would take part in the national anthem.

He added: “For those who may wish to join in with the homage, we hope it’s a moment of joy and celebration – both in the abbey, and in homes around the country and beyond.”

The Archbishop will call upon “all persons of goodwill in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of the other realms and the territories to make their homage, in heart and voice, to their undoubted king, defender of all”.

The order of service will read: “All who so desire, in the abbey, and elsewhere, say together:

“All: I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me god.”

It will be followed by the playing of a fanfare.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will then proclaim “God save the king”, with all asked to respond: “God save King Charles. Long live King Charles. May the king live for ever.”