LONDON (AP) — Two senior clergymen in Jerusalem have consecrated the holy oil that will be used to anoint King Charles III during his coronation, as the Anglican Church seeks to underscore the monarchy’s long history and the royal family’s links to the Middle East.
The oil was consecrated Friday morning at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of Christ’s crucifixion and burial, Buckingham Palace said in a statement. The ceremony was conducted by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III, head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, and the Most Rev. Hosam Naoum, the Anglican archbishop in Jerusalem.
The oil was pressed from olives harvested on the Mount of Olives, which plays a prominent role in the Bible, and has been perfumed with sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin, amber oil and orange blossoms, the palace said.
Charles’ paternal grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece, is buried at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives.
“This demonstrates the deep historic link between the coronation, the Bible and the Holy Land,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said in the statement. “From ancient kings through to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place.”
Charles will be formally crowned on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London, during a ceremony the palace says will combine elements of tradition with modern touches that highlight the changing face of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Charles became king on Sept. 8 following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned for more than 70 years.