This Saturday, King Charles will spend $474 million on doing a little carriage ride around London, singing some songs, and getting a new hat. It’s your standard wild night out for any aristocratic Londoner.
If you thought being on the far side of the world would stop the Australian Commonwealth subjects from missing out on all of the coronation fun, you’d be wrong. In addition to being able to watch the whole shebang live on the ABC, the Archbishop of Canterbury has revealed that we are also invited to participate in a global ‘Homage of the People’ which involves us all chanting in unison.
As if the Coronation plans couldn’t get any weirder, with its stone of destiny and specially-designed quiche, Commonwealth subjects are invited to repeat the words:
“I swear that I will pay true allegiance to your majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”
The chant will be part of Saturday’s service in which Justin Welby, the Archbishop, will lead the Coronation proceedings in prayers and song as Charles is anointed King.
Understandably, people are not best pleased about being asked to swear allegiance to a foreign monarch we have little to no relationship with. We are all Lidia Thorpe, refusing to swear allegiance to the Queen, now.
However, despite the write-ups of rage, the Archbishop’s service is intended to be more inclusive. For the first time, the Coronation service will include sections in other languages of the British Isles, including Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish Gaelic. Members of the House of Lords with Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, and Sikh faiths will also be part of the service, as will, for the first time, human females. Groundbreaking.
RT if you’d rather swear allegiance to Count Binface than King Charles III. pic.twitter.com/SDwtcsOTZM
— Count Binface (@CountBinface) April 30, 2023
To be clear, the liturgy, organised by Lambeth Palace, the headquarters of the Archbishop of Canterbury, explicitly states that the Homage of the People can be said by “all who so desire, in the Abbey, and elsewhere.” It’s not a command or a request, it’s just ‘if you feel like it, here are some words you can repeat’.
The liturgy commentary describes the Homage of the People as “a chorus of millions of voices enabled for the first time in history to participate in this solemn and joyful moment”.
“This is a new and significant moment in the tradition of the Coronation. Never before in our history have the general public been offered such an opportunity to join with national figures in declaring their allegiance to a new Sovereign”.
Archbishop Welby has said in a statement that the service is, first and foremost, an act of Christian worship drawing on hundreds of years of tradition. At the same time, it’s also designed to reflect the diversity of modern society.
“It is my prayer that all who share in this service, whether they are of faith or no faith, will find ancient wisdom and new hope that brings inspiration and joy,” Welby has said.
How to Chant for Charles
The “chant for Charles,” as it has been dubbed by UK tabloids, will go as follows. During the service, which is scheduled to kick off at 8pm AEST on Saturday 8 May, the following will happen.
Archbishop Welby will say:
“I call upon all persons of goodwill in The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of the other Realms and the Territories to make their homage, in heart and voice, to their undoubted King, defender of all.”
Then, anyone whos up for it, wherever they are, can repeat the words:
“I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”
There will then be a musical fanfare, following which the Archbishop will say:
“God Save the King”.
We’re all then invited to say:
“God save King Charles, long live King Charles, may the King live forever.”
And that’s it. Word on the street is that anyone who doesn’t say the words will have their passport and currency immediately burst into flames. You can stop this by shouting “God save the King” five times in the direction of Buckingham Palace.
This part of the service is roughly two-thirds of the way through the Coronation proceedings so, at around 9:10pm AEST, don’t be alarmed if you hear people suddenly chatting in unison. All cool and normal behaviour in 2023.