Archbishop pays tribute on coronation anniversary

Archbishop pays tribute on coronation anniversary

The Archbishop of Canterbury has marked the first anniversary of the King’s coronation by praising Charles’ “sense of duty” as he returned to public-facing events following his cancer diagnosis.

Justin Welby said anointing and crowning Charles during the Westminster Abbey ceremony was the “privilege of a lifetime”, and he paid tribute to the King’s “openness in sharing his condition” – a “characteristic of his willingness to help and support others”.

The King attended three events last week as he resumed royal engagements with the public, indicating the positive effect of the cancer treatment he is receiving as an outpatient.

Gun salutes will be heard across the capital on Monday in celebration of the King’s coronation, with 41 volleys fired at noon by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Green Park, and an hour later the Honourable Artillery Company will fire a 62-gun salute from Tower Wharf – an extra 21 for the City of London.

Mr Welby said in a statement: “As we mark a year since the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, we celebrate their service and give thanks for their contribution to the life of our nation.

“On that historic day in Westminster Abbey, King Charles said he came not to be served but to serve – following the example of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings.

“It was the privilege of a lifetime to anoint and crown His Majesty, surrounded by so many of the charities and organisations he supports, as well as hundreds of people who are serving their communities.

“The Coronation weekend inspired millions up and down the country to volunteer, and I’m delighted that the Big Help Out is returning in June, for us to get together and make a difference.

“The past year has presented the King with some great personal challenges. But I have been struck by his continued sense of duty, having recently returned to royal engagements following treatment.

“His openness in sharing his condition has been characteristic of his willingness to help and support others.

“I continue to pray for King Charles, Queen Camilla and the Royal Family. May God guide, comfort and strengthen them in their service to us all.”

The head of state has held a series of events since it was announced just over a week ago that he would be returning to public-facing engagements.

His first was a visit to the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre in London on Tuesday, where he met other cancer patients and spoke of his “shock” at receiving his diagnosis, and told those who asked that he was “well”.

On Wednesday, Buckingham Palace was the venue for the presentation of the Coronation Roll to the King and Queen, who marvelled at the document which recorded all the key events from the ceremony.

The King visited the Royal Windsor Horse Show for the first time as monarch on Friday and was hugged by his niece Zara Tindall, and later joined spectators in the stands to watch equestrian events.

Charles and Camilla’s coronation took place on May 6 – with thousands braving the rainy weather to take to the streets to watch their procession in the Gold State Coach.

The deeply religious ceremony in London’s Westminster Abbey was followed by a weekend of celebrations including a pop concert at Windsor, where royals including Prince George and Princess Charlotte danced the night away.

Buckingham Palace finally dropped “Consort” from Camilla’s title, having cautiously let the idea of a new Queen settle into the public’s consciousness in the wake of Elizabeth II’s death.

In the defining moment, St Edward’s Crown was lowered onto the King’s head by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Camilla was also anointed and crowned with Queen Mary’s Crown – a move unthinkable in the 1990s when she was derided for being Charles’s mistress.

The coronation brought together around 100 heads of state, kings and queens from across the globe, celebrities, everyday heroes and family and friends of the couple.

Even the Duke of Sussex was there to witness the historic occasion despite his fractured relationship with Charles and William, and the Duke of York, who paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case, attended in his Garter robes. Andrew has always denied the allegations made against him.

The King’s son Harry – fifth in line – was seated in the third row in the Abbey and had no formal role in the proceedings.

Harry is likely to be reunited with Charles this week when he travels to the UK to attend a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of his Invictus Games, at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday.

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