There is a new article in The Guardian over whether secular Britain would allow/understand the Christian coronation of a monarch and whether the rite is suitible for the nation.
The nub of the ceremony is the anointing by the Archbishop of Canterbury of the monarch on the palms, chest and head. This is a sacrament; not just symbolic, it actually transforms the recipient. As the Bishop of Salisbury, David Stancliffe, puts it: "It marks an outpouring of the Holy Spirit with gifts of grace to sanctify the person, it marks the choice of God of this person to be king or queen and starts a process which will be fulfilled in the course of their reign."We could start a whole thread on the liturgical significance and character of the chrism anointings in the royal coronation rite. But do you think the next King of England will be duly crowned as "the defender of Christ's religion"? Would it be a mockery of the Christian Faith?
After the anointing, the monarch dons robe royal, orb, sceptre, rod and crown - all symbols of the divine grace being poured on to the new sovereign - while the archbishop incants prayers such as "may you continue steadfastly as the defender of Christ's religion". He concludes in a benediction: "The Lord who hath made you [king or queen] over these peoples give you increase of grace, honour and happiness in this world and make you partake of his eternal felicity in the world to come."
Biretta tip to Fair Amy.