The holy oil to be used to crown Charles as King of the United Kingdom during his coronation ceremony on May 6 has been consecrated at a ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday.
The Chrism oil will be symbolically touched to the 74-year-old monarch’s head, chest and hands as part of the religious ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London during his coronation as King Charles III.
His wife, Camilla, will also be anointed Queen Consort with the same holy oil.
The palace said that the oil has been created using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and the Monastery of the Ascension in the city in western Asia, the burial place of the King’s grandmother Princess Alice of Greece. ”The olives were pressed just outside Bethlehem and the oil has been perfumed with essential oils – sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin and amber – as well as orange blossom,” the palace said.
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It was consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III, and the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Most Reverend Hosam Naoum, in a ceremony in Jerusalem on Friday.
“Since beginning the planning for the coronation, my desire has been for a new coronation oil to be produced using olive oil from the Mount of Olives. This demonstrates the deep historic link between the coronation, the Bible and the Holy Land. From ancient kings through to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place,” said Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will be conducting the religious ceremony at Westminster Abbey in May.
“As we prepare to anoint the King and the Queen Consort, I pray that they would be guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit,” he said. England’s highest-ranking bishop said the Chrism oil reflects the King’s personal family connection with the Holy Land – where the mother of his late father Prince Philip is buried – and his ”great care for its peoples”.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is considered one of the holiest Christian sites in the world. In his choice of the oil, the King has also opted for an animal-free option in keeping with his environmental concerns and unlike oils used in past coronations. The implements that will be used for anointing him King Charles III with the holy oil – including a spoon – have been passed down from the original medieval coronation regalia.
The coronation will be marked by a series of grand events over a celebratory long weekend in the UK between May 6 and 8, including much pomp and pageantry and street parties. Buckingham Palace expects tens of thousands of people to visit the UK capital to experience the ”unique and historic occasion”, with millions more watching from home, across the UK and around the globe.