Ancient Coronation Traditions & Etiquette

Previous page: Part 1 - Ancient Coronation Traditions & Etiquette

Two other important ecclesiastical dignitaries central to the coronatins are the Bishops of Durham and of Bath and Wells. The holders for the time being of these two sees have, from the reign of Richard I. at least, always been accorded the privilege of supporting the King during the Ceremony.

The privilege, as in the cases of the Archbishop and the Dean, is claimed primarily in right of ancient custom: it can be said perhaps to belong to them as an appanage to their titles. It is their duty to accompany the King in the Procession, to remain close to him during the entire Solemnity, to assist at the Crowning and at such ceremonies as those of the Bible and the Inthronization, and to ease the King, if necessary, by supporting his Crown during the more protracted ceremony of the Homage.

The Archbishop of York may crown the Queen Consort, and has claimed this in the past as his right. If there be no Queen Consort, then he has a position and part in the Ceremony consistent with the dignity of his office. If the Archbishop of Canterbury be absent, then he claims to act in his place in all things.

The other Bishops and some of the clergy have each a duty to perform in the Procession or during the Service. The carrying of the Paten, the Chalice, and the Bible is assigned to Bishops in the Procession.

More Articles on the British Monarchy