Just as the most sacred moment of the coronation ceremony was about to begin, it was shrouded from public view by an ornate screen.
Members of the Coldstream Guards appeared with the panels of the Anointing Screen as the King and the Archbishop of Canterbury disappeared from view.
Instead, those in Westminster Abbey, and those watching from around the world, were treated to the view of a magnificently designed screen from the Royal School of Needlework as the Westminster Abbey Choir performed the traditional coronation anthem, ‘Zadok the Priest.’
Inside the Anointing Screen, the Archbishop anointed the King with Coronation Oil that had been collected and consecrated in Jerusalem.
The King’s grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece, was at the heart of the Coronation Oil. The olives harvested to make the oil came from the Mount of the Olives at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and the Monastery of the Ascension; where Princess Alice is buried as Righteous Among the Nations.
The oil was then perfumed with sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin, amber and orange blossoms. It was consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem.
As the Anointing Screen shielded him from view, the King’s palms were anointed in the form of a cross. “Be your hands anointed with holy oil,” the Archbishop said.
Next, the breast, with the Archbishop saying, “Be your breast anointed with holy oil.”
And finally, on the crown of King Charles’s head. The Archbishop said: “Be your head anointed with holy oil, as kings, priests, and prophets were anointed. And as Solomon was anointed king by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet, so may you be anointed, blessed, and consecrated King over the peoples, whom the Lord your God has given you to rule and govern; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
The Anointing Screen was created with a blend of traditional and sustainable embroidery practices that highlights the love King Charles feels for the Commonwealth. The names of the Commonwealth realms are featured in the design.
sign which speaks to His Majesty The King’s deep affection for the Commonwealth. The screen has been gifted for the occasion by the City of London Corporation and City Livery Companies.
The Anointing Screen was blessed at a service of dedication at the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Palace ahead of the coronation.