Photo by the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury
The final preparations for the Coronation of King Charles III are fully underway and the Archbishop of Canterbury has received the King James Bible that will be presented to His Majesty during the Coronation Service at Westminster Abbey on 6 May.
His Majesty will place his hand on the Bible when he takes the Coronation Oath. Since the joint Coronation of William III and Mary II in 1689, a Bible has been presented to the every monarch. The earliest specially made Coronation Bible in the Royal Collection is the one King George III used when he was crowned in 1761. In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was presented her Bible with the words:
“We present you with this Book, the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is Wisdom; This is the royal Law; These are the lively Oracles of God.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, with Oxford University Press (OUP) produced The King’s Coronation Bible which is hand-bound in leather and decorated in gold leaf by London bookbinders Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe. The Most Reverend Justin Welby said:
“The Coronation will be a service of Christian worship, deeply rooted in the wisdom we find in Scripture. The Bible which will be presented to His Majesty The King is a reminder that Scripture is not just at the heart of the responsibilities he undertakes at the Coronation, but at the heart of Christian life. On this momentous occasion, the Bible will be the first and most important gift offered to The King. The Scriptures offer a guide and light to all – and I pray that His Majesty will continue to find them in these living words.”
Four copies of the bible have been made. Following the Coronation Service, the Bible used in the service will be kept in the Lambeth Palace Library. The three identical copies will be given to His Majesty, the archives of Westminster Abbey, and Oxford University Press respectively.
The Coronation Bible was brought to Lambeth Palace and will be kept there until it’s taken to Westminster Abbey for the Coronation on 6 May.