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Coronation: No Drama Over Swearing Allegiance, Says Archbishop

Image source, WPA Pool

By Aleem Maqbool & Andre Rhoden-Paul

Religion editor, BBC News

There is “no drama” over whether the public swear allegiance to the King during his Coronation, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Guests watching the service will be invited to join “a chorus of millions” to swear allegiance in the service led by Justin Welby.

The Homage of the People, revealed on Saturday by Lambeth Palace, is a new addition to the ancient ceremony.

But campaign group Republic called it “nonsense” and “offensive”.

Speaking to the BBC News, the archbishop reiterated the oath was “an invitation, it’s not a command”.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption, The King held an audience with the Archbishop of Canterbury ahead of Saturday’s Coronation

“In every Anglican service, every Christian service, it is normal for congregations to participate,” he said.

“It’s an invitation – so if you want to join in at this point, by all means do so.

“If you don’t want to, that’s fine. There’s no drama to it.”

Asked about reports suggesting he had gone “rogue”, the archbishop insisted the service had been a “huge, collaborative [with Buckingham Palace] and very lovely process”.

While reading out the oath, 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:

“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 oath will be followed by the sound of a fanfare.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will then proclaim: “God Save The King”, and those willing will be asked to respond: “God Save King Charles. Long live King Charles. May the King live forever.”