The holy oil that will be used to anoint King Charles III at his coronation on May 6 has been consecrated at a Christian holy site in Jerusalem, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The “chrism oil” was created from olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives, a mountain ridge east of Jerusalem’s Old City that holds religious significance for Christians.
The olives from the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and the Monastery of the Ascension were pressed just outside Bethlehem, where Christians believe Jesus was born, according to a statement.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said he has wanted to see new oil produced from olives from the Mount of Olives since planning for the coronation began.
“It demonstrates the deep historical connection between the Coronation, the Bible and the Holy Land. From ancient kings to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place. As we prepare to anoint the King and Queen Consort, I pray that they will be guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit,” he said in the statement.
On the day of the coronation, the Archbishop of Canterbury will perform the anointing service, a duty which has been undertaken by post since 1066.
A ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem saw the consecration of the oil on Friday. It was held by the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus III, and the Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem, the Very Reverend Hosam Naoum. Christians believe that Jesus was crucified where the Holy Sepulcher now stands.
Charles’ Coronation Oil is based on the age-old formula used in the anointing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, but with a few important differences.
The late Queen’s coronation oil included a concoction of orange, rose, cinnamon, musk and ambergris oils. Ambergris is a substance that comes from the intestine of the sperm whale.
King’s Sacred Blend is made with sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin, amber and orange blossom oils – with no animal ingredients.
It will also be used to anoint Camilla, Queen Consort, the statement added.