Palace row erupts over 'misunderstood' plans for people to swear allegiance to the King

2 May 2023, 08:35

The palace said the "Homage of the People" was an "invitation" for people to vocally offer their "true allegiance"
The palace said the "Homage of the People" was an "invitation" for people to vocally offer their "true allegiance". Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Furious royal aides are concerned backlash over the 'Homage of the People' is casting a cloud over the King's coronation.

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Officials were forced to take action after the office for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, called for millions of citizens to "pay homage" to King Charles.

The oath caused a backlash from critics who claimed it was "tone deaf" - and it is said to have not gone down well among the royals.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has gone off-piste on this one,” a senior source told the Sun.

Palace chiefs insisted they wanted the homage to be a “great cry” of support for the King, having had details agreed through consultation with the Government and Royal Household.

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People were asked by Justin Welby to say in unison: "I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God."

But Republic, the anti-monarchist organisation, claimed it was "an offensive and tone-deaf gesture that holds the people in contempt".

The oath was intended to be an attempt to widen access and engagement to the ceremony instead of being an order, it is understood.

As a result, Lambeth Palace was forced to issue clarification.

They said the "Homage of the People" was an "invitation" for people to vocally offer their "true allegiance" to the monarch rather than an "expectation or request".

Speaking after the backlash began, a representative for the palace previously said: "The Homage of the People is particularly exciting because that's brand new.

"Our hope is at that point, when the archbishop invites people to join in, that people wherever they are, if they're watching at home on their own, watching the telly, will say it out loud - this sense of a great cry around the nation and around the world of support for the King."

Sangita Myska's thoughts on the royal family

The final guest list is yet to be confirmed for the event but family and friends of the King and Queen Consort, foreign monarchs, politicians, world leaders, celebrities and everyday heroes are set to attend the service.

It will begin at 11am after the royals have arrived in procession from Buckingham Palace.

The Duke of Sussex ended weeks of speculation earlier this month when he accepted an invitation to the ceremony.

The Duchess of Sussex has decided to remain at home in Los Angeles to be with the couple's son Prince Archie on his fourth birthday.

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