Inside King Charles III’s coronation of bizarre traditions and rules

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King Charles III' coronation will be steeped in royal traditions, but His Majesty will have to follow certain bizarre rules ranging from no autographs and selfies to some eating restrictions.

King Charles III's Coronation took place on May 6, 2023, and marked the first time a British monarch was crowned in 70 years since Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953. The event was steeped in longstanding traditions and pageantry that date back centuries, with the ceremony split into six basic phases: the recognition, the oath, the anointing, the investiture, the enthronement, and the homage.

For those who watched the event at home, however, there are many other age-old traditions and rules in the event that seems out of the ordinary.

The Recognition

The first phase of the elaborate 60 minute crowning ceremony is the recognition, during which the Archbishop of Canterbury proclaims King Charles as the 'undoubted King,' and the congregation and choir show their homage to him. During this phase, the congregation cries out 'God Save King Charles' with 'willingness and joy.' This homage is meant to be done with enthusiasm, with trumpet fanfare played by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry and the Fanfare Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force, reports The Mirror.

Inside King Charles III’s coronation of bizarre traditions and rules Karwai Tang

King Charles then stands in the central space in Westminster Abbey and shows himself 'unto the people' in each of the four directions: east, south, west, and north.

Lifting the King into his Throne

After King Charles has sworn his oath and received his crown, he stands up from the special Coronation Chair and makes his way over to his throne. One of the ceremony's most bizarre traditions then takes place: instead of sitting on the throne himself, King Charles is lifted into the seat by the congregation gathered to witness his coronation, including the Archbishops and bishops.

At Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation, she was lifted up into the throne by the Archbishops, the Bishops, and the other Peers, who then stood around the steps of the Throne. The Archbishop then pronounced the Exhortation beginning with the words 'Stand firm, and hold fast.'

King cannot refuse to accept gifts

The British royal family follows a customary practice of accepting all presents given to them during their official visits and engagements. However, there is a gift policy in place that prohibits members from accepting any gift or service that would or might appear to place that royal 'under any obligation to the donor.' The policy also says that 'before declining the offer of a gift, careful consideration should be given to any offense that might be caused by such action.'

Inside King Charles III’s coronation of bizarre traditions and rules Max Mumby

Isolation from William

Once Charles is officially crowned as king, he will be prohibited from traveling with his son, Prince William, on the same aircraft. This practice is consistent with the royal tradition, as it ensures that both individuals' lives are not put at risk in case of an accident. They are required to take separate flights for safety reasons.

Eating restrictions

The British royal family, including the King, are recommended to avoid eating shellfish to prevent the possibility of food poisoning. Furthermore, the King is prohibited from accepting food from people he doesn't know, as this is a safety measure to protect him.

Inside King Charles III’s coronation of bizarre traditions and rules Samir Hussein

As the new monarch, King Charles III will not be posing for selfies or giving autographs. This rule applies to all members of the British royal family, although there is no official protocol regarding selfies.

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© Samir Hussein

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