The grandchildren of Queen Consort Camilla are to have prominent roles in the coronation of King Charles III, according to reports.
The couple has decided to include Camilla’s five teenage grandchildren in the proceedings to demonstrate their “closeness”, said The Sunday Times.
The newspaper reported that she has asked them to hold the canopy over her as she is anointed, which is described as the most sacred part of the ceremony.
The process involves the Archbishop of Canterbury pouring holy oil from the beak of the golden eagle-shaped ampulla onto a 12th-century, silver-gilt anointing spoon, the most ancient treasure of the Crown Jewels. He then uses the holy oil to anoint the hands, chest and head in the form of a cross.
Duchesses have previously held the canopy.
A source told The Sunday Times: “The Queen Consort has said she does not want duchesses. She would like it to be her grandchildren.”
They added: “It sends a nice signal and is quite a bold move. It is another example of the king and queen consort being unafraid to shake things up a little to reflect the realities of modern life, of which a blended family is a central element.”
Considered to be the most sacred part of the religious ceremony, the act of anointing a sovereign has not previously been seen by the public.
During Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, a canopy was held over the monarch’s head to protect her privacy.
King Charles and Camilla are reportedly considering using a transparent canopy, which will make the pair the first in British history to be publicly anointed.
They are both said to be close to her five grandchildren — Lola, 15, and Freddy, 13 by her son Tom Parker Bowles, as well as Eliza, 15, and twins, Louis and Gus, 13, by her daughter Laura Lopes.
When they were younger, Charles would reportedly read the Harry Potter books to them and impersonate the characters.
The Palace is also said to be considering a significant role for George, nine, their grandson by Prince William and his wife, Kate.
The coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, “while being rooted in long-standing traditions and pageantry”, said Buckingham Palace.
The crowning of a monarch is one of Britain's most ancient ceremonies, being deeply religious and steeped in regalia, such as the Crown Jewels.
The coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 was one of the defining moments of the 20th century. King Charles's coronation will be shorter and on a smaller scale but will still retain the pageantry and tradition that was on display with such aplomb at the queen's funeral.
Queen Elizabeth's coronation — in pictures
The Palace recently confirmed the controversial Kohinoor diamond will not feature in the coronation of Camilla.
The famous gem was first worn by Queen Mary during her coronation in 1911 but it was replaced by a replica in 1937 when the original was moved to the Queen Mother’s crown for her and George VI’s coronation.
But neither the original nor the replica will be used in the coronation of the king and his wife in May, with diamonds from the late queen’s personal collection used instead, a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said.
The Kohinoor was seized by the East India Company after its victory in the Second Anglo-Sikh War of 1849, when it was given to Queen Victoria. It has remained in the Crown Jewels ever since.
The governing party of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to have expressed concern that the famous gem would provide an unwelcome reminder of the British Empire.