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The Coronation Roll
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The Jewelled Sword of Offering
© Royal Collection Trust

The Jewelled Sword of Offering

The Jewelled Sword of Offering was made in 1820 and has a steel blade mounted in gold and set with jewels (which form a rose), a thistle, a shamrock, oak leaves, acorns, and lion’s heads. The sword is contained in a gold-covered leather scabbard and was first used at the Coronation of King George IV. The Jewelled Sword of Offering was processed into the Abbey at the start of the ceremony by Petty Officer Amy Taylor, a tribute to His Majesty’s service in the Royal Navy.

The surrendering of the Sword of State and the presentation of the Sword of Offering represent a highly symbolic moment during the Coronation Ceremony. First the Lord President, who has been carrying the Sword of State until now, surrenders it to the Precentor, and it is then taken away by the Keeper of the Jewel House. The Archbishop blesses and presents the Jewelled Sword of Offering to the Lord President, who then in turn presents it to The King. The King then makes an offering of it to Altar. But, in accordance with tradition, the Lord President exhanges the sword for 100 pieces of Silver (100 newly minted 50p pieces bering The King’s effigy). She will now carry this, unsheathed before The King, for the rest of the Service. This is the first Coronation where the Sword of State and Jewelled Sword of Offering were born by a woman. 

As Lord President of the Council, the Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP was given the honour of carrying these swords before His Majesty, and presenting them to him. The Lord President of the Council is a cabinet position, and is head of the Privy Council. The Privy Council dates from the 13th century, and is the oldest advisory body to the Sovereign, meeting usually once a month. Today, its main function is to advise The King on giving formal effect to Proclamations and Orders in Council, legal instruments which are made under prerogative or statutory powers.