Holy Smoke

How Protestant is the Coronation?

30 min listen

In This Episode

The Coronation in Westminster Abbey is the only occasion at which our monarch declares himself or herself to be a Protestant, thus ensuring that no Catholic can sit on the throne of the United Kingdom. Yet, paradoxically, the Coronation is the only English Royal ceremony which is replete with Catholic symbolism – the King will even wear robes whose origins lie in the vestments of the Catholic clergy. My guest in this episode of Holy Smoke – the historian Dr Francis Young of Oxford University – explains how this strange anomaly came about and why, for example, profoundly Protestant monarchs (and they included our late Queen) felt it necessary to take part in a distinctly un-Protestant ceremony. How Protestant is King Charles III? As Francis explains, that question is surprisingly difficult to explain. His comments are quite gripping. If you want to understand the unique ceremonial in the Abbey, and the changes His Majesty has made to it, then you really need to listen to this episode.

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