After slowly advancing down the central nave of Westminster Abbey carried by an extraordinarily diverse list of people, the Regalia was presented to King Charles III, officially making him King.
The Regalia are the objects that symbolise the powers of the King. They were carried down the aisle, laid on the Main Altar (or held up high, in the case of the Sword of State), and then presented one by one to the King.
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The first object was the Spurs, a “symbol of military honour and chivalry,” which were presented to the Archbishop by the Lord Great Chamberlain.
Then it was time for the Sword (a more detailed account of the exchange between the Sword of State and the Sword of Offering can be read here), a symbol of merciful administration of justice which was carried by the Lord President of the Council.
Then it was time for the Armills, a symbol of “sincerity and wisdom,” tools used by God to offer protection. They were carried by the Right Honourable the Lord Kamall. In a break with tradition, the King touched them rather than wearing them. This is believed to be because the pieces are very small and would risk getting stuck on the King’s wrists – and, given their historic significance, they can’t be altered either.
It was then time for the King to get dressed in the Robe Royal, brought by the Right Honourable the Baroness Merron, and Stole Royal (which was placed on by the Prince of Wales) before the most known pieces of the Regalia came out.
The Orb was offered from the Altar to the Archbishop of Canterbury by the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland and Metropolitan. It was placed in the King’s right hand, a reminder that “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our God.”
It was then the turn of the Ring, brought by the Right Honourable the Lord Patel KT. Once again, the King simply touched the Ring rather than wearing it to avoid the piece getting stuck on his finger. The Ring symbolises “kingly dignity” and the pact existing “between God and King, King and people.”
Next was the Glove (or Gauntlet), carried by the Right Honourable the Lord Singh of Wimbledon CBE. The piece was placed on the King’s right hand, symbolising the gentleness and grace with which a sovereign should hold his authority.
The last two pieces were the two Sceptres: the Sceptre with Cross, the symbol of “kingly power and justice,” and the Sceptre with Dove, also known as the Rod of Equity and Mercy, ensign “of covenant and peace.” They were brought by the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Archbishop of Wales, respectively, and the King held them in his hands while the Archbishop of Canterbury recited the blessing before both of them were returned to the Altar.
And finally, the Crowning moment: this time, it was the Archbishop of Canterbury himself who went to the Altar to pick up St Edward’s Crown, which he then placed on the King’s head.
After this special moment, the investiture and crowning portion of the ceremony was concluded by the offering of short prayers and blessings by representatives of all churches of Great Britain.
The investiture, also known as the presentation of the Regalia, is one of the only moments in which some of the magnificent pieces are brought out and used in an extraordinarily poignant moment in which, through these objects, all past monarchs are bonded together in the carrying of their duties.