Anointing Oil for King Charles’ Coronation Produced in Jerusalem
While the United Kingdom monarch is mostly a figurehead role these days, the coronation of the new sovereign is a tradition that dates back centuries and is filled with sacredness, pomp, and ceremony. Holding to the long-standing belief that the new king (or queen) is chosen by God to not only head the nation but also the Church of England, Charles III and his wife, Camilla, will be anointed with a special blend of oil pressed from olives from the Mount of Olives and produced in Jerusalem.
“This demonstrates the deep historic link between the coronation, the Bible, and the Holy Land,” said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. “From ancient kings through to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place. As we prepare to anoint the king and the queen consort, I pray that they would be guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.”
The formula for the aromatic oil dates back to the coronation of Charles I in the mid-1500s, and Queen Elizabeth was anointed 70 years ago with a similar formula. Each sovereign has modified some of the ingredients in the oil based on the dictates of the day.
The oil was produced from olives grown in two groves on the Mount of Olives, at the Monastery of the Ascension and the Monastery of Mary Magdalene. Charles’ grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece, is buried at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene. Princess Alice was honored posthumously by Yad Vashem as a “Righteous Among the Nations” for her heroic actions that saved a Jewish family during WW II.
The oil was consecrated Friday at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus III, and Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum.
In addition to the scents of sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin, and orange blossom, previous versions of the oil have included animal ingredients from the sperm whale and an African cat (the civet). The formula has been modernized to avoid any animal cruelty.
“King Charles is known to be someone who cares deeply for the environment and nature, so it is no surprise that the oil used for his anointing has been prepared with maximum respect for animals and nature,” royal commentator and broadcaster Jonathan Sacerdoti said. “The recipe has…been modernized to ensure that no animals were harmed to create it.”
While Charles III became the oldest monarch to accede to the British throne last September after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away, his official coronation will be May 6 in London’s Westminster Abbey.