A row has exploded over the “Homage of the People”, with Buckingham Palace aides fearing it is casting a dark cloud on the historic service. The decision to modify the traditional service to ask people rather than peers to swear allegiance to the new monarch during the Coronation of King Charles has seemingly been received coldly by some members of the public and was criticised by republicans. Days after announcing the key change, Lambeth Palace officials were forced to clarify the Homage is “very much an invitation rather than an expectation or request” and that people will be free to choose whether to join in or not, much like they do when the national anthem is played.
A senior source told The Sun: “The Archbishop of Canterbury has gone off-piste on this one.”
Lambeth Palace shared its hopes this change to the historic service will result in a “great cry around the nation and around the world of support for the King” from those watching on their screens the first Coronation in the UK in seven decades on television.
The Homage of the People replaces the traditional Homage of Peers, which in the past saw hereditary peers kneel before the sovereign and make their pledge in person.
The change was reportedly made in close consultation with King Charles, Archbishop Justin Welby and the Government, and wants to enable “for the first time in history to participate in this solemn and joyful moment”, Lambeth Palace said.
On Sunday, a spokesman for the Archbishop at Lambeth Palace described the new homage “particularly exciting” as it’s a “brand new” addition to the ceremony.
He added: “That’s something that we can share in because of technological advances, so not just the people in the Abbey, but people who are online, on television, who are listening, and who are gathered in parks, at big screens and churches. Our hope is at that point, when the Archbishop invites people to join in, that people wherever they are, if they’re watching at home on their own, watching the telly, will say it out loud – this sense of a great cry around the nation and around the world of support for the King.”
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