King Charles retains 700-year-old coronation tradition

King Charles will maintain tradition with his coronation credit:Bang Showbiz
King Charles will maintain tradition with his coronation credit:Bang Showbiz

King Charles will maintain a 700-year-old tradition with a call-out for people to attend his coronation.

The 74-year-old monarch took the throne in September following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth but will be formally crowned on 6 May, and anyone whose ancestor has played a part in a previous coronation can apply to take part in this year's ceremony.

While the ancient Court of Claims ritual is expected to prompt a flood of applications, most are likely to be left disappointed because they must provide evidence of their hereditary right to be involved.

It is expected most applications will come from peers or Church of England dioceses.

Individuals or organisations wanting to get involved with the coronation can download a form and must submit it in writing by email or post to the newly-established Coronation Claims Office by 5.30pm on 3 February.

Oliver Dowden, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “His Majesty the King’s coronation will be a momentous occasion in the history of our country.

“The new Coronation Claims Office will ensure we fulfil the King’s wish that the ceremony is rooted in tradition and pageantry but also embraces the future.”

Applicants must give their name and contact details, as well as an outline of their claim, along with evidence that the claim has been performed at previous coronations and proof of their connection to the person who performed that role or service.

Government officials, ceremonial experts from the Royal Household, and ecclesiastical experts from Lambeth Palace will consider the applications before making their decisions about the historic and ceremonial positions.

In 1952, the Court of Claims - which was led by senior judges in England and Scotland - heard 21 claims ahead of the queen's 1953 coronation.

They eventually appointed the Earl of Shrewsbury to carry a white wand as a symbol of his office, and the Dean of Westminster the right to instruct the queen in the rites and ceremonies.

Then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill - who also held the ceremonial position Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports - presented claims from various barons of the ports to carry a canopy over the queen's head.

The Court of Claims was first recorded in 1377, when John of Gaunt decided who would carry out the tasks during the coronation of his nephew, 10-year-old Richard II.