Publicador de contenidos

Back to 2023_5_9_Coronación_Carlos_III_Gonzalo_Villalta

The crowning of the service

May 9, 2023

Published in

La Razón

Gonzalo Villalta Puig

Full Professor of International Public Law and International Office of the University of Navarra

The coronation of Charles III as King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and sovereign of the other fourteen kingdoms that form part of the Commonwealth of Nations - the Commonwealth - evokes the vocation of service to the common good inherent to the Monarchy as it is conceived from the Christian-European tradition and regulated by the democratic-constitutional framework .

As his first sentence when inaugurating the coronation ceremony, Don Carlos declared his Christian conviction: "In the name of the King of Kings and following his example, I do not come to be served but to serve." It is that vocation of service that exemplifies the Monarchy as Head of State. Then, kneeling before the high altar of Westminster Abbey, Don Carlos pronounced his vocation as a servant monarch: "God of compassion and mercy whose Son was sent not to be served but to serve, give me grace that I may find in your service perfect freedom and in that freedom the knowledge of your truth." Given this ordinary, it is not surprising then that medieval theologians came to debate the possibility of declaring coronation as the eighth sacrament of the Church.

In his sermon, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, reaffirmed the monarch's vocation to serve: "We are here to crown a King, and we crown a King to serve." The privilege of power carries with it the duty to serve. Monarchical authority, beyond its constitutional reason, lies in its communion with that dogma. Service is articulated in the promotion of the common good and is exercised in caring for one's neighbor. That vocation of service - love in action - is and must be the charism of the monarch with a sense of the transcendent. As a conclusion to his sermon, Archbishop Welby reflected, "With the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the King is freely given what no ruler can attain by will, politics, war or tyranny: the Holy Spirit draws us to love in action."

The Holy Spirit and his Dove crowned the royal scepter of Charles III - the rod of equity and mercy - just as it crowned the tree of 56 branches as many as the countries of the Commonwealth embroidered on the Australian wool screen behind which, according to Anglican theology, the King consecrates himself to God and with that consecration receives his authority from God: "Be thy head anointed with holy oil, as kings, priests and prophets were anointed. And as Solomon was anointed king by Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet, that thou mayest be anointed, blessed and consecrated King over the peoples, whom the Lord thy God hath given thee to rule and to govern; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." In the background sounded Georg Friedrich Händel's Zadok the Priest, British coronation hymn, transcendent music for a transcendent act....

William Shakespeare wrote in Richard II: "Not all the water of the rough troubled sea can take away the balm of an anointed king". It is noteworthy that in the 21st century, in the face of the forces that seek to dehumanize the person, distancing him from his spirituality and bringing him closer to his materiality, the coronation of Charles III recognizes without any embarrassment - literally, that he proclaims with great fanfare - the transforming action of the divine in the person. The King - every king - is the guarantee of historical continuity in the life of the homeland and his authority, being constitutional, must aspire to be moral with a transcendent sense of life independently of the plenary session of the Executive Council respect due to every profession and non-profession of faith. The coronation of Charles III involved the leaders of the different Christian churches, including Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the lecture of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, as well as the leaders of the different non-Christian religions most present in the United Kingdom, the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities. The reading of the Epistle to the Colossians by Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and practitioner of Hinduism, was a joyful surprise.

Faith does not contradict civic respect, on the contrary, it magnifies it through its interpretation as service to the common good. The government, the authority without spiritual reference and transcendent vocation of service to the common good is management - poor and pedestrian - and not leadership. Only in this core topic can it be understood that the anointing screen used in the coronation ceremony was sewn with the famous phrase of the 15th century English mystic, Saint Juliana of Norwich: "All will go well and all class things will go well"... with God. At the head of the royal procession was a cross expressly made for the coronation ceremony incorporating relics of the Holy True Cross given to King Charles III, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, by Pope Francis.