Journalist Lauren Windle looks at how things could be different for Christians after King Charles’ coronation, and how things could be different for women, with a man leading the Anglican Church.
With the grand weddings, jubilees and royal babies, there have been a lot of reasons to roll out the bunting in recent years. Across the country people will be thanking their lucky stars that they just shoved it in the cupboard rather than returning it to the loft, as this weekend is another right royal knees up.
On May 6, 2023, King Charles III will be officially crowned at his coronation in Westminster Abbey. Despite being given the premier title the moment his mother Queen Elizabeth II passed away, this weekend he will formally take the throne.
What does the coronation mean for Christians?
The British monarch inherits a number of responsibilities and titles, including the “Supreme Governor of the Church of England”. This means that in the Anglican hierarchy King Charles III would be below God (obviously) and above the Archbishop of Canterbury. This means the service is not just a state event, but a religious one.
In practice, Justin Welby the current Archbishop of Canterbury will continue to run the Church on a day-to-day basis and the King’s involvement will be nominal and symbolic. So, very little, if anything will change for Anglican Christians. Those who are Catholic or from a “non-conformist” denomination like Baptists or Methodists, do not recognise the King as the head of their church.
Read more on The Royals
Is the coronation a religious ceremony?
Given the Christian element to the King’s role, there will be a lot of symbolism in the coronation ceremony, which will be taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury. For example, King Charles will be handed a ring engraved with a cross, this is designed to remind the royal of the King in whose footsteps he follows. He will be presented with an orb, which symbolises the earth, with a cross on top as a reminder that Jesus is the ultimate king. And he will be given a staff, topped with a dove to represent the Holy Spirit and he’ll be anointed with oil for the same reason.
What does the coronation of King Charles mean for women?
It’s no secret that King Charles’ predecessor was a female force to be reckoned with. The Queen was steadfast in her faith and continuously championed women through her record-breaking reign. But as the poet John Donne said: “No man is an island.” And the Queen did not conduct her duties in isolation. She was supported by her husband, her children (three male and one female) and various prime ministers over the years (only three of which were female if you’re counting Liz Truss and I feel it would be the Christian thing to do to include her).
My point is – yes the King will have a different skill set, different passions and different interests to Queen Elizabeth, but it shouldn’t make any difference to British women. Just as Queen Elizabeth was surrounded by men and women, so will King Charles. With the help of his wife, Queen Camilla, female aids and other women in his family, I pray he will continue to champion women just as his mum did before him.