Public's Pledge Of Allegiance To King Charles Dropped From Coronation Service
King Charles III will be crowned today
The coronation service has been altered after significant pushback over asking the members of the public to pledge allegiance to the King during the ceremony.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the public would be invited to make this promise to the sovereign instead of the traditional ceremony where the hereditrary peers had to kneel and “pay homage” to the King.
It was to be called the “Homage of the People”. Lambeth Palace said it would allow a “chorus of a million voices to take part in the coronation for the first time in history.
The Archbishop of Canterbury was expected to say: “I call upon all persons of goodwill... to make their homage, in heart and voice, to their undoubted King, defender of all.”
The public would then be invited to collectively declare: “I swear that I will pay true allegiance to your majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”
However, this did not go down so well, with many people (including politicians) condemned this upending of tradition and the expectation from the public.
But once the coronation service was revealed just before the actual day, it showed that the Archbishop had a new script to follow.
He will say: “I now invite those who wish to offer their support to do so, with a moment of private reflection, by joining in saying, ‘God save King Charles’ at the end, or, for those with the words before them, to recite them in full.”
It’s a subtle change after the original was condemned even by those close to the King.
Jonathan Dimbleby, Charles’s friend and confidante – and author of his 1994 biography – said that the monarch would find such a pledge “abhorrent”.
He told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: “I can think of nothing that he would find more abhorrent.
“He’s never wanted to be revered, he’s never wanted – so as far as I know – to have anyone pay homage to him except in mock terms as a joke.”
He suggested that Charles just wanted the public to share in the event, and that such a move was “well-intentioned” but “ill-advised”.
Even the Archbishop of Canterbury tried to distance himself from the controversial pledge, telling the BBC: “The whole service is a major collaborative process, in which a huge range of people worked through the whole thing… there’s no individual who can claim the credit for this service.”