What do you think of the idea of swearing allegiance to King Charles?
Tue, 2 May 2023 at 11:13 am BST
People have been invited to swear allegiance to King Charles on his coronation day, but not everyone is convinced.
Millions watching the coronation around the world will be asked to cry out and swear allegiance to Charles on Saturday.
It is the first time in history the public will be given an active role in the ceremony, which will be attended by the Royal Family, as the coronation is modernised to include the first ever Homage of the People.
Lambeth Palace said it was hoped the significant change to the historic service will result in a “great cry around the nation and around the world of support for the King” from those watching on television, online or gathered in the open air at big screens.
It replaces the traditional Homage of Peers in which a long line of hereditary peers knelt and made a pledge to the monarch in person.
However, there has been a considerable backlash against the plan, which some have criticised as “feudal”, saying it “feels very Game of Thrones”.
And the pressure group Republic has described the swearing of allegiance as “offensive, tone deaf and a gesture that holds the people in contempt”.
Graham Smith, a spokesman for Republic, which campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy and its replacement with a directly elected head of state, said: “In a democracy it is the head of state who should be swearing allegiance to the people, not the other way around.
“This kind of nonsense should have died with Elizabeth I, not outlived Elizabeth II.”
Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay suggested on BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme that he may not call out the words on coronation day.
“I will watch it because I think it is a key time for the nation but I think that the idea of a pledge is possibly somewhat outdated.”
The new Homage of the People was introduced to allow “a chorus of millions of voices” to be “enabled for the first time in history to participate in this solemn and joyful moment”, Lambeth Palace said.
A Lambeth Palace spokesman said the homage is “very much an invitation rather than an expectation or request”.
The Archbishop will 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”.
The order of service will read: “All who so desire, in the Abbey, and elsewhere, say together:
“All: I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”
It will be followed by the playing of a fanfare.
A spokesman for Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop’s office, said: “The Homage of the People is particularly exciting because that’s brand new.
“That’s something that we can share in because of technological advances, so not just the people in the Abbey, but people who are online, on television, who are listening, and who are gathered in parks, at big screens and churches.
“Our hope is at that point, when the Archbishop invites people to join in, that people wherever they are, if they’re watching at home on their own, watching the telly, will say it out loud – this sense of a great cry around the nation and around the world of support for the King.”