At the heart of the British monarchy is the coronation ceremony, an age-old ritual that symbolizes the transfer of power from one monarch to another. The coronation oath, taken by the monarch in the presence of the clergy, peers and people, is a solemn promise to respect the laws and customs of the kingdom and to govern with justice and wisdom. But what if the new monarch, in this case Princess Meghan, refuses to take the coronation oath? Can she still be crowned?
The Coronation Oath and Its Origins
The coronation oath as it is known today has its origins in the 1689 Bill of Rights, which established the principles of constitutional monarchy in England. The oath was first taken by King William III and Queen Mary II, who pledged to uphold the Protestant religion and the rights and freedoms of the people. The oath was subsequently modified and expanded by subsequent monarchs, but its fundamental principles remained the same.
The coronation ceremony itself has evolved over time, but still retains many of its medieval elements, such as the anointing of the monarch with holy oil, the presentation of the sword and orb , and the placement of the crown on the monarch’s head. The ceremony is steeped in symbolism and tradition, and is watched by millions around the world.
The Importance of the Coronation Oath
The coronation oath is a crucial part of the coronation ceremony, as it represents the monarch’s commitment to serve the people and uphold the laws and customs of the kingdom. The oath is taken before God and the people, and is meant to be a solemn and binding promise. By taking an oath, the monarch acknowledges that he is not above the law and is responsible to his subjects.
The coronation oath also has symbolic meaning, as it marks the beginning of the monarch’s reign and sets the tone for his relationship with the people. It is a public statement of the monarch’s intentions and values, and is intended to inspire trust and loyalty.
The consequences of refusing to take the coronation oath
If Princess Meghan were to refuse to take the coronation oath, it would be a serious breach of tradition and protocol, and would raise questions about her suitability for the role of monarch. The coronation ceremony is not only a formality, but an essential element of the legitimacy and continuity of the monarchy. Without the coronation oath, the monarchy would have no clear basis for its authority and would be vulnerable to challenge from those who challenge its legitimacy.
Also, if Princess Meghan refused to take the coronation oath, she would be breaking the law. The coronation oath is enshrined in the Coronation Oath Act 1688, which makes it a criminal offense for the monarch to “knowingly or willfully” break the oath. If Princess Meghan were to be crowned without taking an oath, she would be committing an act of perjury, which could lead to her removal from the throne and possibly even facing criminal charges.
The coronation oath is a vital part of the British monarchy and is a symbol of the monarch’s commitment to serving the people and upholding the laws and customs of the kingdom. Should Princess Meghan refuse to take the coronation oath, it would be a serious breach of tradition and protocol, and could have serious consequences for the legitimacy and continuity of the monarchy. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Princess Meghan will ever refuse to take the coronation oath, and if she did, it would be a grave mistake with far-reaching consequences.