The holy anointing oil for the coronation of Britain's King Charles III has been blessed in Jerusalem's Old City. Friday's ceremony was carried out at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christians believe Jesus was buried.
The oil was produced out of olives from groves in the Mount of Olives. It was made holy in a ceremony presided over by Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III as well as Anglican archbishop Hosam Naoum.
Based on the same ingredients as the oil used at the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, it is based on a formula “which has been used for hundreds of years,” the palace said Friday.
Charles will be coronated on May 6 alongside Queen Consort Camilla.
Charles, 74, immediately became king when Queen Elizabeth died aged 96 on September 8 last year, ending her record-breaking 70-year reign after a year of declining health.
He also took over as head of state of 14 Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
The coronation traditionally takes place some months after a new sovereign has ascended to the throne, following a period of national and royal mourning as well as intense preparation.
“I am honored and grateful that His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III and Archbishop Hosam Naoum have consecrated the oil that will be used to anoint His Majesty the King,” said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
“I want to thank especially His Beatitude for providing this coronation oil, which reflects the king’s personal family connection with the Holy Land and his great care for its peoples.”
Charles’ grandmother Princess Alice of Battenberg is interred at the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Mary Magdalene at the Mount of Olives. The king visited her tomb prior to ascending the throne, during a trip to Israel in 2020.
“From ancient kings through to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place,” Welby said. “As we prepare to anoint the king and the queen consort, I pray that they would be guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.”
The country’s first coronation since 1953, set to be watched worldwide and feature various global dignitaries, will begin with Charles’ formal crowning at London’s Westminster Abbey on Saturday, May 6, in a tradition dating back more than 900 years.
Buckingham Palace has previously said the service, to be conducted by Welby, will reflect the monarchy’s historic traditions alongside its modern role.
“The Coronation is a solemn religious service, as well as an occasion for celebration and pageantry,” it noted.
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