King Charles III and Queen Camilla will be crowned and anointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury on May 6, during a sacred ceremony at Westminster Abbey. However, one religious commentator said there is a chance to see two events taking place on the day of the Coronation.
Catherine Pepinster, author of Defenders of the Faith: the British Monarchy, Religion, and the next Coronation, discussed while taking part in a webinar organised by the UCL’s Constitution Unit how the upcoming Coronation may be looked at in different terms, to make it more modern, less Anglican and religious.
But she warned organisers one event could “overshadow” the other if two were to be held for the King.
Appearing during the event ‘Planning for the next Coronation, and the new Reign’, she said: “What could they look at in terms of how make things different, how perhaps to make it less Anglican and religious?
“The funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997 combined tradition and innovation.
“The investiture of the then Prince of Wales, Charles, in 1969, also was quite innovative mixing ancient and modern.
“Could there be a second, more secular event held in Westminster Hall? Yes, that is being debated.
“But the grandeur of the Abbey service, if it came second, I think it would be overshadowed.”
Ms Pepinster said Japan could provide a blueprint for the second event, if the Coronation Committee, a group including royals, politicians, experts and one historian, is planning on hosting one.
She said: “You can look to Japan for ideas, they held two ceremonies for the new Emperor Naruhito in 2019.
READ MORE: Charles breaks royal tradition when appointing Sunak
“One, a secular, spectacular event for the proclamation, and the second that was deeply religious.”
Among the several royals attending the Japanese Coronation three years ago was the then Prince Charles.
The date and location of King Charles’s Coronation was announced by Buckingham palace earlier this month.
Among the few details shared by the Palace so far was the fact that Camilla, the Queen Consort, will be crowned and anointed by the side of her husband.
The statement read: “The Ceremony will see His Majesty King Charles III crowned alongside The Queen Consort.
“The Coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry. Further details will be announced in due course.”
The upcoming Coronation is reportedly being planned to be shorter and simpler than the one held in June 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II.
While that event, the first Coronation in history to be televised, lasted more than three hours, Ms Pepinster believes Charles’s may be close to 90 minutes.
The expert stressed there is a “lot to go through” during the event and there are three pillars that can’t be avoided: the oaths, the anointing and the coronation.
Both Charles and Camilla will go through these three moments while at Westminster Abbey.
Ms Pepinster also added the coronation of King Charles should be seen as a major opportunity for the country.
She explained: “Don’t forget this is a rare opportunity to put Britain on the map. However much people think it should be toned down, short and cheap – the Government will be thinking about that seriously – there is a soft power in the Coronation itself and the reception that’s about to happen.
“If you look at the talks and receptions that took place around the Queen’s funeral, these are diplomatic opportunities, and the Government of Rishi Sunak, Britain’s first British-Asian Hindu Prime Minister, will want to communicate what they think Britain is.
“Yes, a place of tradition, but also they would say, not a failed power living on its laurels but a modern, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country forging a new post-Brexit, post-Elizabethan role.”