Most sacred part of King Charles III's coronation ceremony to remain private

A method has been found to ensure that the act remains private, and it will not be shown on TV

King Charles III with Queen Consort Camilla during the Accession Council at St James's Palace, where he was formally proclaimed monarch. PA
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The anointing of King Charles III will not be shown by broadcasters during his coronation ceremony, according to reports.

The act, described as the most sacred part of the ceremony, will remain private.

It had been thought the monarch would be the first to be publicly anointed, using a transparent canopy.

However, those familiar with the plans said this will not happen during the ceremony on May 6.

The Telegraph reported a method has been found to ensure the sacred act remains private, as it was for the late Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, when a canopy of gold cloth was placed above her head.

The process involves the Archbishop of Canterbury pouring holy oil from the beak of the golden eagle-shaped ampulla on to a 12th-century, silver-gilt anointing spoon, the most ancient treasure of the Crown Jewels.

He will then use the holy oil to anoint the hands, chest and head in the form of a cross.

The act, based on a tradition included in the Old Testament, takes place before the investiture and crowning of the monarch.

It used to be performed to signify the sovereign was appointed by God, but the monarch has not been considered as divine since the 17th century.

The crowning of a monarch is one of Britain's most ancient ceremonies, being deeply religious and steeped in regalia.

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 aplomb at the queen's funeral.

The oil that will be used to anoint the king was recently made at a ceremony in Jerusalem, using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives, at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and the Monastery of the Ascension.

The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, and Jerusalem’s Anglican Archbishop, Hosam Naoum, consecrated the oil in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in early March.

The olives were pressed outside Bethlehem and the oil has been perfumed with sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin, amber and orange blossom.

Oil from the Mount of Olives has been used to anoint monarchs for centuries.

Queen Consort Camilla will also be anointed with holy oil and crowned, as the late Queen Mother was in 1937, during the coronation of her husband King George VI.

The oil is based on what was used at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the formula of which has been used for hundreds of years.

Updated: April 14, 2023, 6:03 PM