'Chorus of millions' to swear allegiance to King Charles III

Move was prompted by British Monarch King Charles’ desire to make his Coronation “more befitting of the 21st century"

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Britains King Charles waves at an official ceremony in Scotland on October 3, 2022. — Reuters
Britain's King Charles waves at an official ceremony in Scotland on October 3, 2022. — Reuters

With only five days left to the coronation ceremony of the British Monarch King Charles III, the centuries-old practice of the Homage of the Peers —dukes — has been scrapped and instead, a Homage of the People will be introduced.

According to Royal Central, the move was prompted due to the King’s desire to make his Coronation “more befitting of the 21st century”.

Organisers of the event claim that people watching the Coronation will be invited to join a "chorus of millions" to swear allegiance to the King and his heirs.

A Lambeth Palace spokesperson said: “Those watching and listening at home and elsewhere will be invited to make their homage by sharing in the same words – a chorus of millions of voices enabled for the first time in history to participate in this solemn and joyful moment.”

The order of service, according to BBC, will read: "All who so desire, in the Abbey, and elsewhere, say together: I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”

Along with the change in the pledge, there are several other changes that mark a departure from traditions in the Coronation.

According to BBC, not only will this be the first time that a female clergy will play a prominent role, but the King himself will pray out loud.

Moreover, religious leaders from other faiths are expected to play an active role in the Christian ceremony.

With a hymn set to be sung in Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic, the Coronation will also be the first to incorporate other languages spoken in Britain.

Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Sikh peers — during the coronation — will present the King with pieces of the coronation regalia — which includes bracelets, the robe, the ring, and the glove.

Moreover, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak — a Hindu — will read from the biblical book of Colossians.

After the religious service has ended, the King will receive a greeting by leaders of Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Buddhist religions.

The move reflects Charles' deeply-held belief in promoting unity between different faiths through championing interfaith dialogue and celebrating the major religions practised in the UK, the BBC stated.

A Lambeth Palace spokesperson described the greeting as "an unprecedented gesture that will reflect the religious diversity of the Realms of King Charles III".

Moreover, it is pertinent to note that while the three oaths — including the promise to maintain "the Protestant Reformed Religion” — that are the crux of the service remain unchanged, the Archbishop of Canterbury will "contextualise" them, a spokesperson of the Lambeth Palace said.

He further said: "The religious and cultural context of the 17th Century was very different to today's contemporary, multi-faith Britain. So, for the first time there will be a preface to the Oath."