Coronation Anecdotes Part 9

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The anthem being ended, the Archbishop of Canterbury goes to the altar; and the queen arising from her chair on the south side of the area where she sat during the time the king was anointed and crowned, being supported by two bishops, goes towards the altar, attended by the ladies who bear her train, the ladies of the bedchamber, &c., and kneels before it; when the archbishop, being at the north side of the altar, says the following prayer:--

(_Omnipotens sempiterne Deus._)

Almighty and everlasting G.o.d, the fountain of all goodness, give ear, we beseech thee, to our prayers, and multiply thy blessings upon this thy servant, whom in thy name, with all humble devotion, we consecrate our queen. Defend her always with thy mighty hand, protect her on every side, that she may be able to overcome all her enemies; and that with Sarah and Rebecca, Leah and Rachel, and all other blessed and honourable women, she may multiply and rejoice in the fruit of her womb, to the honour of the kingdom and the good government of thy church, through Christ our Lord, who vouchsafed to be born of a virgin that he might redeem the world, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end.

This being done, the queen arises and goes to the faldstool, between king Edward's chair and the steps of the altar, where the groom of the stole to her majesty, and the ladies of the bedchamber, take off her circle or coronet. Then the queen kneels down, and the archbishop pours the holy oil on the crown of her head, in form of a cross, saying these words:--"In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, let the anointing of this oil increase thine honour, and the grace of G.o.d's Holy Spirit establish thee for ever and ever. Amen."--The ladies then open her apparel for the anointing on the breast, which the archbishop also performs, using the same words. After which, he says this prayer:

(_Omnipotens sempiterne Deus._)

Almighty and everlasting G.o.d, we beseech thee of thy abundant goodness poor out the spirit of thy grace and blessing upon this thy servant queen----; that as by the imposition of our hands she is this day crowned queen, so she may, by thy sanctification, continue always thy chosen servant, through Christ our Lord.

One of the ladies in attendance (having first dried the place anointed with fine cotton wool) then closes the queen's robes at her breast, and after puts a linen coif upon her head; which being done, the archbishop puts the ring (which he receives from the master of the jewel-house) on the fourth finger of her right hand, saying,

Receive this ring, the seal of a sincere faith, that you may avoid all infection of heresy, and by the power of G.o.d compel barbarous nations, and bring them to the knowledge of the truth.

His grace then takes the crown from off the altar, and reverently sets it upon the queen's head, saying,

Receive the crown of glory, honour, and joy; and G.o.d, the crown of the faithful, who by our episcopal hands, though most unworthy, hath this day set a crown of pure gold upon thy head, enrich you with wisdom and virtue, that after this life you may meet the everlasting Bridegroom our Lord Jesus Christ, who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen.

The queen being crowned, all the peeresses put on their coronets; the archbishop then puts the sceptre into her majesty's right hand, and the ivory rod into her left, and says the following prayer:

(_Omnium Domine, fons bonorum._)

O Lord, the fountain of all good things, and the giver of all perfection, grant unto this thy servant ------ our queen, that she may order aright the high dignity she hath obtained, and with good works establish the glory thou hast given her, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The queen being thus anointed and crowned, and having received all her royal ornaments, the choirs sing an anthem, commonly from Psalm xlv.

ver. 1, "My heart is inditing of a good matter," &c. As soon as this is begun, the queen rises from her faldstool, and, being supported by the two bishops, and attended as before, goes up to the theatre: as she approaches the king, she bows herself reverently to his majesty sitting upon his throne; and so is conducted to her own throne on the left hand of the king, where she reposes till the anthem is ended.

The dignity of the monarch, as well as his humility on this august occasion, have been celebrated by the late Bishop Newton. "The king's whole behaviour at the coronation," he says, "was justly admired and commended by every one, and particularly his manner of seating himself on the throne after his coronation. No actor in the character of Pyrrhus, in the Distressed Mother,--not even Booth himself, who was celebrated for it in the Spectator[110],--ever ascended the throne with so much grace and dignity. There was another particular which those only could observe who sat near the Communion-Table, as did the prebendaries of Westminster. When the king approached the communion-table, in order to receive the sacrament, he inquired of the archbishop, Whether he should not lay aside his crown? The archbishop asked the Bishop of Rochester, but neither of them knew, nor could say, what had been the usual form. The king determined within himself that humility best became such a solemn act of devotion, and took off the crown, and laid it aside during the administration."

That one of the last of the unfortunate race of the Stuarts, Prince Charles, was in London, if not present at the coronation feast, on this occasion, seems to be a fact pretty well established. The Gentleman's Magazine, 1764, (p. 28,) speaks of it as "publicly said, That the young Pretender himself came from Flanders to see the coronation; that he was in Westminster Hall (?) during the ceremony, and in London two or three days before and after it, under the name of Mr. Brown." And Mr. Hume thus writes to one of his literary friends:--"What will surprise you more, Lord Marshal, a few days after the coronation of the present king, told me, that he believed the young Pretender was at that time in London, or, at least, had been so very lately, and had come over to see the show of the coronation, and had actually seen it. I asked my lord the reason for this strange fact. 'Why,' says he, 'a gentleman told me so who saw him there, and whispered in his ear--'Your royal highness is the last of all mortals whom I should expect to see here.'--'It was curiosity that led me,' said the other: 'but I a.s.sure you,' added he, 'that the person who is the cause of all this pomp and magnificence, is the man I envy the least.'" A report recently found its way to the public papers, which we have not been able to trace to any authentic source, that a glove was actually thrown from an upper seat in the Hall, as a gage to the king's champion, at this period: that the champion receiving it from his attendants, asked, 'who was his fair foe?' and that the rumour of the day soon connected it with the appearance, and attributed it to the romantic dispositions of the young Chevalier.

Of the late coronation we shall at once consult the best feelings of our own mind, and of the community, by presenting the most copious account we have been able to collect:--



His Most Excellent Majesty


_On Thursday the 19th day of July, 1821._


{Their R. H. the Dukes of { the Blood Royal, in their { robes of estate, having { their coronets, and the { Field Marshals their batons, { in their hands.

{The Peers in their robes of { estate, having their coronets { in their hands.

_They were to a.s.semble in {His R. H. Prince Leopold, the House of Lords_ { in the full habit of the { Order of the Garter, having { his cap and feathers { in his hand.

{The Archbishops and Bishops, { vested in their { rochets, having their { square caps in their { hands.

_In his place near the Bar_ {The Gentleman Usher of { the Black Rod.

_In the s.p.a.ce below the Bar {The Train-bearers of the of the House of Lords_ { Princes of the Blood { Royal.

{The Attendants on the Lord { High Steward, on the { Lord Chancellor, the Lord _In the s.p.a.ce below the Bar_ { High Constable, and on _of the House of Lords_ { the Lord Chamberlain { of the Household.

{The Gentlemen Ushers of the { White and Green Rods, { all in their proper habits.

{The Lord Chief Justice of { the King's Bench.

{The Master of the Rolls.

{The Vice-Chancellor.

{The Lord Chief Justice of { the Common Pleas.

{The Lord Chief Baron.

{The Barons of the Exchequer, { and Justices of both _In the Painted Chamber_ { Benches.

_and adjacent rooms, near_ {The Gentlemen of the Privy _the House of Lords_ { Chamber.

{The Attorney and Solicitor { General.

{Serjeants at Law.

{Masters in Chancery.

{The Lord Mayor, Aldermen, { Recorder, & Sheriffs { of London.

{King's Chaplains, having { dignities.

{Six Clerks in Chancery.

{The Knights Grand Crosses { of the Order of the Bath, _In the Chamber formerly_ { in the full habit of the _the House of Lords_ { Order, wearing their collars; { their caps and feathers { in their hands.

{The Knights Commanders { of the said Order, in { their full habits; their { caps and feathers in their _In the Chamber formerly { hands.

the House of Lords_ {The Officers of the said { Order, in their mantles, { chains, and badges.

{The Treasurer and Comptroller { of the Household.

{The Vice-Chamberlain.

{The Marquis of Londonderry, { in the full habit of _In the Chamber formerly { the Garter, having his called the Prince's Chamber { cap and feathers in his or Robing Room, near { hand.

the former House of {The Register of the said Lords_ { Order, in his mantle, { with his book.

{Privy Councillors, not { being Peers or Knights { Grand Crosses of the { Bath.

{ Clerks of the Council in { Ordinary.

_In his Majesty's Robing {The Train-bearers of his Chamber, near the south { Majesty.

entrance into Westminster {Master of the Robes.

Hall_ {Groom of the Robes.

{Lords and Grooms of the { Bedchamber.

_In the room of Chairman of {Keeper of the Privy Purse.

Committees, adjoining the {Equerries and Pages of House of Lords_ { Honour.

{Gentlemen Ushers & Aides-de-Camp.

_In the Witness-room, adjoining {Physicians, Surgeons, and the House of Lords_ { Apothecaries.

{Officers of the Band of Gentlemen { Pensioners, with { their Corps, and the Serjeants _In the House of Commons { at Arms.

and the Lobbies_ {The Officers of the Yeomen { of the Guard, with their { Corps.

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Coronation Anecdotes Part 9 summary

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