In September 2022, she proclaimed the end of an historic reign and the start of a new one. Now, eight months later, she will be remembered for the titanic effort she carried out during the Coronation of the King.
We are, of course, talking about Penny Mordaunt, Leader of the Conservatives in the House of Commons and, most importantly, Lord President of the Council.
It was in this latter role that she was tasked with being the bearer of the Sword of Offering and later the Sword of State.
She joined the procession carrying the Sword together with all the rest of the Regalia, but, unlike the rest of the bearers, she stood standing for the entire duration of the ceremony holding this very important piece.
Once it came time for the Sword of State to play its role, she walked up to the Archbishop of Canterbury and handed the Sword of State over for him to exchange it for the Sword of Offering, which was then used to bestow upon the King its powers of justice, mercy, and defense of Faith and people.
After that, the Sword of Offering was returned to the Altar. In the meantime, Penny Mordaunt got a symbolic bag (full of specially minted coins) and “redeemed” the Sword of State for the Sword of Offering, which she then proceeded to hold for the rest of the ceremony, before she joined the procession to leave the Abbey.
Many people, including some of her political opponents, have praised her for the arm strength she demonstrated, especially during the first part of the ceremony, as she held perfectly still while displaying the Sword of State, which is bigger and supposedly heavier.
But others were also focussed on her elegant choice of outfit – a bespoke teal ensemble with antique gold embroideries that resembles feathers. Many commented that the look reminded them of Anne Boleyn.
In reality, in an interview before the Coronation, she revealed that she took inspiration from the uniform of the Privy Council, of which she is President, for the look, as well as the embroidery. And she joked that she had been preparing for her role “by doing some press-ups” – something which she must’ve needed to hold the 4ft, 8lbs sword upwards at a right angle from her body.
A stint that ultimately gained her the admiration of the public, and transformed her into one of the unexpected stars of this historic ceremony.