Beginning with the coronation of James I in 1603 there have been sixteen English-language coronations of English, or from 1714 British, monarchs. Before that, upto and including the coronation of Elizabeth I, the service had been conducted in Latin. The seventeenth, for King Charles III, is scheduled to take place in 2023.
This site will provide the texts of the services for all sixteen English-language coronations, showing the (mostly minor) revisions made each time, and the occasional quite major variation. Throughout all this time the heart of the rite has remained unchanged, and indeed the coronation of James I is essentially a straight translation from the Latin of the mediaeval rite, the Liber Regalis, together with the use of the Communion Service from the Book of Common Prayer, instead of the Latin Mass.
This page contains a synoptic text of the coronations of 1953, 1937, 1911, 1902 (both as planned, and as actually took place), 1838, 1831, 1821, 1761, 1727, 1714, 1702, and 1689 in parallel columns. The addition of earlier coronations is in progress, and each will be included as it is ready.
Additionally, the texts of these coronations are available separately: currently we provide the order of service for the two most recent coronations, that of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, and that of her parents King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937. As the most recent coronation of a Sovereign, and the most recent coronation of a Queen Consort, these are of particular interest as the 2023 coronation approaches.
|6 May 2023:||Charles III and Camilla|
|2 June 1953:||Elizabeth II|
|12 May 1937:||George VI and Elizabeth|
|22 June 1911:||George V and Mary|
|26 June 1902:||
Edward VII and Alexandra
This coronation was postponed because of the king’s illness,
and a shortened service was held on 9 August 1902
|28 June 1838:||Victoria|
|8 September 1831:||William IV and Adelaide|
|19 July 1821:||George IV|
|22 September 1761:||George III and Charlotte|
|11 October 1727:||George II and Caroline|
|20 October 1714:||George I|
|23 April 1702:||Anne|
|11 April 1689:||William III and Mary II|
|23 April 1685:||James II and Mary|
|23 April 1660:||Charles II|
|2 February 1626:||Charles I|
|25 July 1603:||James I and Anne|
Beginning with the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902, music editions of the Coronation service have also been published. The music page has some information, including Parry’s settings of Psalm 122 “I was glad” from 1902 and 1911, and as adapted in 1937 and 1953.
I do not claim any original ownership in these texts or images. However, I did take some trouble to obtain, retype and format them. As a courtesy I ask you not to redistribute these texts and images without my agreement. In particular these texts and images should not be sold in any form whatsoever.
Some of this material may be considered copyright (or the equivalent) in some countries. Anyone wishing to reproduce this text should establish whether this is the case and seek appropriate permission. As the copyright owner of this particular re-typing, my permission is also necessary; please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the Coronation of King George II and Queen Caroline in 1727, the official Order of Service has been printed by the Royal Printer, and published in advance of the service; and since 1902 the Privileged Presses (Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press) have also published fine editions. In each case, one of these texts has been used here.
Before 1727, manuscript copies of the Order of Service were used at coronations, though from 1685 printed editions were sometimes published soon afterwards. The manuscript copy of the Coronation of Queen Anne in 1702 is particularly fine (see, for example, this sample page from the Archbishop’s copy held at Lambeth Palace) and the printed editions from 1727 follow very closely these earlier published texts and manuscripts in text and even in typography. The same forms of words in both speech and rubric occur throughout the series, each coronation being based on the text of its predecessor, back to the last major revision (or recension) made in 1689 for the joint coronation of King William III and Queen Mary II, and back beyond that to 1603.
For the coronations of James I and Charles I, scholarly editions of the manuscripts made in the 19th century have been followed.
From 1902, official music editions of the Coronation have been published by Novello, on behalf of the Royal Printer.
The first version of this page was published online on 11 April 1994.
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