The Prince of Wales is planning for a modern coronation ceremony that will not include a “homage of the people” as his father’s did.
Following the historic crowning of the King last weekend, it is understood that Prince William has been ruminating about how to keep the ancient ceremony “relevant” by the time he succeeds his father to the throne.
One of the ways in which his ceremony will differ from King Charles’s is that it will not include a “homage of the people,” which was the moment during which members of the public were invited to pledge their allegiance to the monarch.
It was an introduction that proved to be controversial in the King’s ceremony, causing Lambeth Palace to come out in defence of the decision to include an element of the service that allowed “a chorus of millions” to participate for the first time in a Coronation.
Now, the Prince of Wales is determined not to repeat the controversial introduction, with a source close to William telling the Sunday Times that there is “no way he will go down that route or anything like it”.
The original idea was for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to invite the congregation at Westminster Abbey and those watching the service around the world to swear their allegiance to the King and his “heirs and successors”.
The decision to include this was made after the King broke with tradition and scrapped the act of hereditary peers kneeling to “pay homage” to him during the service.
However, Lambeth Palace was forced to add a new form of wording after critics branded the idea “offensive” and “tone deaf”. The toning down was made to better reflect the fact that it was simply an offer to participate, rather than an expectation.
It was intended to make the King’s ceremony “less elitist” by widening participation to those who wanted to get involved – and in the original version of the Coronation liturgy, the Archbishop was set to “call upon persons of goodwill… to make their homage”.
This was later changed for him to simply “invite those who wish to offer their support to do so” – either through a “moment of private reflection”, or by reciting the oath in full.
A source close to the Prince of Wales said that he wanted his crowning to “look and feel different” from his father’s, however, to reflect a monarchy that is able to stay “relevant” with changing times.
He played a key role in last weekend’s ceremony, in which he paid a powerful “homage of the blood” to his father, kneeling before him and swearing to be his “liege man of life and limb”.
But the Prince, 40, has since been carefully “reflecting” on the ceremony and the public’s reception of it with his advisors and close friends.
A source close to him told The Sunday Times: “He is really thinking, how do we make this coronation feel more relevant in the future?
“He is mindful of the fact that in 20 years’ time, or whenever his time comes, how can the coronation be modern but also unifying to the nation and the Commonwealth?”
“I think his coronation will look and feel quite different,” they added.
The King’s crowning ceremony was the most diverse and inclusive in history, featuring representatives from all backgrounds and faiths both in the service and among the congregation.
The source clarified that courtiers at Kensington Palace were not “coming up with a grand plan” for the heir to the throne’s service, but were simply “reflective” of the first crowning ceremony in Britain in the last 70 years.
Among the Prince’s contemplation, it is understood that it is “extremely important to him that it evolves to be relevant,” whenever the ceremony might end up being.
Another source close to the Prince of Wales added: “He’s taking stock, he’s thinking ‘that was a supreme success and it was because Pa altered things. I’ve got to be cognisant of how that evolution happens in my day.’”
They told The Sunday Times: “I don’t think he’ll be taking the filleting knife to it, but he will be checking it is sharp.”
They pointed to his Earthshot Prize initiative and decision not to have an investiture as Prince of Wales as indicative of how he might reflect a more modern monarchy that can have a global impact.
In 2016, the then Duke of Cambridge told the BBC that he was preoccupied with thoughts of how to modernise the monarchy.
In an interview to mark the late Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday, he said: “It occupies a lot of my thinking space as to how on earth you’d develop into something modern in today’s world.
“I think the Royal family has to modernise and develop as it goes along, and it has to stay relevant. That’s the challenge for me, how do I make the Royal family relevant in the next 20 years’ time?”
Kensington Palace declined to comment.