English coronation oath

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The English coronation oath is the oath of office taken by the British monarch, and dates back to at least the coronation of Edgar at Bath Abbey in 973 A.D.

At the time of Edgar, the Oath read as follows:

First, that the church of God and the whole Christian people shall have true peace at all time by our judgment; Second, that I will forbid extortion and all kinds of wrong-doing to all orders of men; Third, that I will enjoin equity and mercy in all judgments.[1]

Alterations were made to it over time, particularly in the 17th century. In 1689 an act was passed declaring the Oath to be as follows:

The Archbishop or bishop shall say, "Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of this Kingdom of England, and the dominions thereto belonging, according to the statutes in Parliament agreed on, and the laws and customs of the same?"
The King and Queen shall say, "I solemnly promise so to do."
Archbishop or bishop, "Will you to your power cause law and justice in mercy to be executed in all your judgements?"
King and Queen, "I will."
Archbishop or bishop, "Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the laws of God, the true profession of the gospel and the Protestant reformed religion established by law, and will you preserve unto the bishops and clergy of this Realm, and to the churches committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges as by law do or shall appertain unto them, or any of them?"
King and Queen, "All this I promise to do."
After this, the King and Queen laying his and her hand upon the holy Gospels, shall say,
King and Queen, "The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep: So help me God.[2]

After this, the Oath remained largely unchanged until recent times.

In 1937, the words "according to the Statues in Parliament agreed on" were removed by the Cabinet.[1]

Following is the text of the Oath taken by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Archbishop. Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, and of your Possessions and the other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?
Queen. I solemnly promise so to do.
Archbishop. Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgements?
Queen. I will.
Archbishop. Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?
Queen. All this I promise to do.
Then the Queen arising out of her Chair, supported as before, the Sword of State being carried before her, shall go to the Altar, and make her solemn Oath in the sight of all the people to observe the premisses: laying her right hand upon the Holy Gospel in the great Bible (which was before carried in the procession and is now brought from the Altar by the Arch-bishop, and tendered to her as she kneels upon the steps), and saying these words:
The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.[3]

Bibliography

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gillis
  2. McFerran
  3. British Monarch Centre
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