King Charles III’s Major Addition to Coronation Oath Used by Queen Elizabeth II

Royal family leader King Charles III will begin his reign as king of the United Kingdom differently than his royal predecessors when he takes his coronation oath on May 6, 2023. He plans to make a notable change to the statement that will formalize his ascension to the throne. This switch is the first of many changes Charles plans to implement when crowned.

Queen Elizabeth and now-King Charles III he Chelsea Flower Show on May 18, 2009 in London.
Queen Elizabeth and her son, King Charles III, in 2009 | Sang Tan/WPA Pool/Getty Images

King Charles III’s coronation statement hints at significant changes ahead for the royal family

King Charles III’s coronation will be similar to that of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, who was crowned in 1953. A statement posted to the royal family’s official website revealed the following information about his ceremony thus far.

“The Coronation Ceremony takes place at Westminster Abbey, London, and is conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury,” it reads. “The ceremony will see His Majesty King Charles III crowned alongside the queen consort [Camilla Parker Bowles].

“The coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look toward the future. While being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry,” it concluded.

King Charles plans to make a major addition to the coronation oath used by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth and then-Prince Charles outside of their Windsor home in an older, undated file photo.
Queen Elizabeth and then-Prince Charles outside of their Windsor home | Getty Images/Bettmann

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Queen Elizabeth’s coronation oath contained one statement Charles plans to make an addition to when he stands before the Archbishop of Canterbury in May 2023. While the oath itself

The late queen responded “yes” when the Archbishop of Canterbury asked a series of questions. Her response was recorded in a post regarding the 1953 event on the royal family’s official website.

“Will you, to the utmost of your power, maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? To the utmost of your power, will you maintain the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law in the United Kingdom?” the oath began.

“Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights, and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?”

The Daily Telegraph reported King Charles III will also inherit the title “Defender of the Faith.” Charles is adding this clause to recognize that he serves all religious faiths, not just the Church of England. This clause will be added before or after the coronation oath to reflect a more modern United Kingdom and its many different religions.

The monarch once said he was a ‘defender of faith’

In his first address to the nation after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Charles cited “responsibility” to the Church of England, “in which my own faith is so deeply rooted.” However, he once said in a 1994 documentary that he was more a “defender of faith” than “the faith.” The title was given to King Henry over 500 years earlier.

Charles explained, “People have fought to the death over these things. Which seems to me a peculiar waste of people’s energy when we all aim for the same ultimate goal.”

Charles shared he preferred to embrace all religious traditions and “the pattern of the divine. Which I think is in all of us.”