Olive oil, fragrant rose and orange blossom: the special “chrism” or holy anointing oil for the coronation of Britain’s King Charles III has been blessed in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Friday’s ceremony was carried out at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christians believe Jesus was buried.
“The chrism oil which will be used to anoint His Majesty The King on May 6 2023 has been consecrated in Jerusalem,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
The unique mix was “perfumed with essential oils”, and also included extracts of sesame, jasmine and cinnamon, it added.
Based on the same ingredients as the oil used at the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, it is based on a formula “which has been used for hundreds of years”, the palace said Friday.
The oil, which will also be used to anoint Queen Consort Camilla, the wife of King Charles III, was consecrated in a special service by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, and the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Hosam Naoum.
Now stored in an ornate silver flask, the oil came from the Mount of Olives, the ridge overlooking the walled Old City.
The olives were harvested from two groves, the Monastery of the Ascension and the Monastery of Mary Magdalene, where Charles III’s grandmother is buried, Princess Alice of Greece.
The olives were pressed just outside the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the head of the Anglican church, said the coronation oil reflects Charles III’s “personal family connection with the Holy Land”, the palace statement added.
Welby, who will carry out the coronation service, said the oil signified the “deep historic link between the coronation, the Bible and the Holy Land”.
“From ancient kings through to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place,” he said. — Agence France-Presse