King Charles' coronation: Late change to 'tone-deaf' service after backlash

A last-minute change has been made to the coronation service.

As royal fans eagerly await the crowning of King Charles III, it has been revealed there has been a last-minute change to the coronation service following backlash over the 'tone-deaf' wording.

It was decided the service will no longer ask the public to swear allegiance to King Charles after it was labelled as 'odd'.

King Charles
There has been a late change to King Charles' coronation service after it was labelled as 'odd' and 'tone-deaf'. Photo: Getty

For the first time in history, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will invite citizens across the Commonwealth to take part in the service from their homes by pledging an oath to King Charles in a formality named the 'Homage of the People'. It will replace the traditional 'Homage of Peers', where a line of hereditary peers kneel and pledge allegiance.

Archbishop Welby was set to introduce the homage by saying, "I 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," reports


People watching in their homes would have then been asked to say, "I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law – so help me God."

This has now been edited, so the Archbishop will say, "I now invite those who wish to offer their support to do so, with a moment of private reflection, by joining in saying ‘God save King Charles’ at the end, or, for those with the words before them, to recite them in full."

Archbishop Welby clarified the homage is an "invitation", not an order, following the backlash, but decided to make a change to the service to make this clearer.

He told the BBC, "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."

The change was reportedly decided upon by the King, Archbishop Welby and the UK government, however, Jonathan Dimbleby, a long-time close friend of Charles, told BBC Radio 4 that he believes His Majesty would find it "abhorrent".

"I can think of nothing that he would find more abhorrent," he said. "He’s never wanted to be revered. He’s never wanted, so far as I know, to have anyone pay homage to him except in mock terms as a joke.

"He wants, I think, to feel that people will share in the event."

Mr Dimbleby also shared that asking the public to swear allegiance was "well intentioned and rather ill-advised".

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