Did you know that the Coronation Spoon was originally used by King George IV during a heroin bender at Windsor castle in 1828? Steeped in history, King Charles’s Coronation on Saturday evening (Australian time) will follow a set of rituals that has barely changed in almost a thousand years.
Here, we explain the history behind the eccentric rites and sacred ornaments. Use it as your guide as you watch this momentous event.
11am GMT: The King will arrive at Westminster Abbey on a horse-drawn carriage. This follows a tradition first begun by Henry III after he found it typically fucking impossible to get an Uber in central London on a Saturday morning.
The procession into the Abbey by dignitaries and Archbishops will then begin. At the head of procession is The Coronation Cross, a hand-crafted item which is made up of a number of relics, including a donation from the Vatican – a shard of wood from the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. It also contains fragments of wicker from Easter Bunny’s original egg basket.
The King and Queen Consort will enter Westminster Abbey through the Royal Entry (at least that’s what Charles has always called it). For this Coronation, King Charles is demonstrating sensitivity to the current economic climate by re-using the $4 billion Crown Jewels from last the Coronation, rather than rushing out to buy a whole new outfit.
The Royal Regalia – the Coronation Orb, Sceptre, Ring and Sword – will then be laid on the alter. These items were first bought by King Edward I’s Mum as part of a ‘Medieval Novelty Showbag’ at the Canterbury Summer Fair in 1301. The Coronation whoopie cushion, which was also included in the showbag, has sadly been lost to history.
The King will then be led to the ‘Chair of Estate’ – stolen from a council housing estate by Richard III in 1484 – and presented to the people by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Charles will be clothed in the ‘Robe of State’, coloured red to represent the blood on the hands of the Royal Family following centuries of colonisation and plunder. Just kidding. It symbolises wealth and prosperity.
“King Charles is handed the Coronation Fitted Sheet and is tasked with folding it neatly into a square. No symbolism here, it just adds to the spectacle”
The ‘anointment’ – the most sacred part of the ceremony beings – as Charles strips down to a simple white garment, representing humility and ‘the stripping of earthly vanity and riches’ and symbolising that the royals have never done irony well.
The Archbishop will then anoint the heir to the throne using the Coronation Spoon – a literal ‘silver spoon’, which is only used when a new monarch is anointed, and has been criticised as being a bit too heavy-handed, as far as metaphors go. The Coronation Spoon was, of course, originally used by King George II during a heroin binge at Windsor castle in 1760. It later led to the establishment of a safe injecting room in Buckingham Palace in 1764.
The Coronation Spoon is filled with a special Coronation Oil and, as has been practised in every coronation since 1281, the new Monarch will add a dash of balsamic vinegar and salt, and dip in a piece of crusty bread. Delicious!
The King will then be handed the sacred Coronation Steak Knives – first acquired by King George II as part of a limited-time special offer when he bought two pillows in 1735. The Coronation Tampon will also placed on the alter, symbolising that time Charles went fucking weird and fantasised about being a menstrual product.
Then, in a particularly special moment, King Charles is handed the Coronation Fitted Sheet and is tasked with folding it neatly into a square. No symbolism here, it just adds to the spectacle. Wonderful!
We move to one of the most solemn and important parts of the ceremony now, as The Archbishop of Canterbury hands King Charles the Coronation Banana, which has been used in every coronation since 1508. It’s a little passed its best. Actually it’s fucking disgusting. The thing is absolutely rancid. Tradition though.
Once the King has rubbed some of the banana juice on his forehead, we move to a very sacred moment in the Coronation. Charles will accept the Coronation Bong, pack it, and punch 7 cones, one for each of the 4 countries that make up the United Kingdom and another 3 because maths was never the Royal Family’s strong suit. This tradition was of course begun by Queen Anne all those years ago.
Charles, as per tradition, will then perform the ‘Calling For the Coronation Munchies’ exactly eleven times, before two royal guards bring out the sacred items: three pepperoni pizzas and a box of Cheerios, which are kept in the Tower of London and have not been restocked since 1953.
And finally, to signal the end of the ceremony, trumpets will sound as the assembled guests join in the traditional Royal Chant: ‘We Hate Meghan Markle!’ ‘Why Did She Straighten Her Hair!’ ‘Down With Meghan Markle!’