First glimpse into sacred Coronation ritual to be seen by public

The oil to be used to anoint the King at his Coronation in May was consecrated at the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial yesterday.

The oil to be used for anointing the King at his coronation in May was consecrated at the traditional site of Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, marking a significant step in the preparations for the event.

It was made sacred in a solemn ceremony replete with symbolism at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Durham University-educated Theophilos III, who is the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, The Most Reverend Hosam Naoum.

The chrism oil has been created using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives, at the Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane and the Monastery of the Ascension.

King Charles has a close emotional connection with the Convent of Mary Magdalene. It is the burial place of his grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece, Prince Philip’s mother.

In January 2020 during his first official trip to Jerusalem he visited the tomb of his grandmother, who was declared Righteous Among the Nations by Israel’s Holocaust memorial institution for sheltering Jews in Athens during the Nazi occupation in the Second World War.

Princess Alice, who founded a Greek Orthodox order of nuns known as the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary, was depicted in the third series of the Netflix show The Crown.

The other source for the olives, the Monastery of the Ascension, is where Christ is said to have risen to heaven after his resurrection.

Olives used in the oil, which has been perfumed with sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin, amber and orange blossom, were pressed just outside Bethlehem.

It is based on the oil used at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, made to a centuries-old formula, and will also be used for the anointing of Queen Camilla at the Coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who will conduct the ceremony, said: “I am honoured and grateful that His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III and Archbishop Hosam Naoum have consecrated the oil that will be used to anoint His Majesty the King.”

“I want to thank especially His Beatitude for providing this Coronation oil, which reflects The King’s personal family connection with the Holy Land and his great care for its peoples. I am also delighted that the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem shared in the consecration of the oil.

“Since beginning the planning for the Coronation, my desire has been for a new Coronation oil to be produced using olive oil from the Mount of Olives.”

“This demonstrates the deep historic link between the Coronation, the Bible and the Holy Land. From ancient kings through to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place. As we prepare to anoint the King and the Queen Consort, I pray that they would be guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.”

During the ceremony, the King will also receive the orb, Coronation ring and sceptre, and will be crowned with the majestic St Edward’s Crown and blessed.

Camilla too will be crowned, just like the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was at the Coronation of her husband George VI in 1937.

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