A PLAN for everyone across Britain to be asked to pledge aloud their allegiance to the King has been met with a backlash in Scotland.

Briefings reported in newspapers today said it was a move towards a more inclusive coronation service, with people watching the service on television encouraged to give their allegiance to Charles in a “homage of the people”.

While previous coronations included a “homage of peers”, next Saturday’s service will prompt everybody in Westminster Abbey and all those watching on TV at home or elsewhere to make the same promise to the new King.

Lambeth Palace said it was hoped the significant change to the historic service will result in a “great cry around the nation and around the world of support for the King” from those watching on television, online or gathered in the open air at big screens.

The liturgy – the words and actions of the coronation service – has been revealed after it was chosen in consultation with the King, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the UK Government.

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The Homage of the People was introduced to allow “a chorus of millions of voices” to be “enabled for the first time in history to participate in this solemn and joyful moment,” Lambeth Palace said.

The Archbishop will call upon “all persons of goodwill in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of the other realms and the territories to make their homage, in heart and voice, to their undoubted King, defender of all”.

The order of service will read: “All who so desire, in the abbey, and elsewhere, say together:

“All: I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”

It will be followed by the playing of a fanfare.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will then proclaim “God Save The King”, with all asked to respond: “God Save King Charles. Long live King Charles. May the King live for ever.”

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Scottish writers, commentators and political activists took to social media this morning to discuss the plan with many finding it strange.

"Are we just supposed to do it in the house? Around the table with the kids? Super-weird…..", wrote Andy Maciver, a columnist for The Herald and a former head of communications for the Scottish Conservatives reacting to one newspaper report.
Responding to another front page article on the oath of allegiance, he wrote: "Emmmmm, we could do with not getting all North Korea about this….."

Kenny Farquharson, a columnist on The Times, wrote in response to a Mail on Sunday front page on the pledge: "Sorry, I’m washing my hair that night."

And to another headline that the nation is being "invited to chant for Charles", he wrote: "It gets worse".

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Tom Collins, a former editor of The Irish News, who now lives in Scotland and continues to write regularly for the Belfast-based paper, wrote: "Big misstep imho [in my humble opinion."

SNP activist Tim Rideout wrote on Twitter: "Lets have a Republic instead."

Cat Headley, a former Scottish Labour parliamentary candidate, was more sympathetic to the idea.

"I would feel under no more of an obligation to pledge allegiance to the King than I would,as an atheist, to join in the prayers if I’m at a ceremony in a church. But for those that wish to,making it a moment of communal experience seems a nice idea," she tweeted.

The people’s homage will follow the moment Prince William kneels before his father to pledge: “I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you, and faith and truth I will bear unto you as your liegeman of life and limb. So help me God.”

The words echo those said by Prince Philip to Queen Elizabeth II at her coronation in 1953. William will also help clothe Charles in the robe royal, which represents what the sovereign has been given by God.

The plans to ask the public to pledge their allegiance to the King during the coronation have been branded “offensive, tone deaf and a gesture that holds the people in contempt” by a pressure group in England.

Graham Smith, a spokesman for Republic, which campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy and its replacement with a directly elected head of state, said: “In a democracy it is the head of state who should be swearing allegiance to the people, not the other way around.

“This kind of nonsense should have died with Elizabeth I, not outlived Elizabeth II.”

“In swearing allegiance to Charles and his ‘heirs and successors’, people are being asked to swear allegiance to Prince Andrew too.

“This is clearly beyond the pale,” Mr Smith added.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper and Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator Shabana Mahmood both told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme that they would make the pledge, while Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay suggested he would opt out.

Mr Harper told the programme: “When His Majesty became King most Members of Parliament actually retook the oaths that we take to His Majesty and I am very happy to do that again.

“I think the coronation is going to be a fantastic moment for the country, to bring the country together to unite around the Crown and I think a fantastic advertisement for our nation across the entire world with hundreds of dignitaries coming to the country.

“It is a big opportunity for Britain.”

Ms Mahmood, an MP, added: “I think it is a lovely idea to involve the people and instead of a homage of the peers, as it used to be, it is now a homage of the people.

“Like all Members of Parliament I have already sworn my allegiance to the King.

“I am a practising Muslim, I did that on my holy book. I was very proud to do so and I will be joining in at the weekend as well.”

Mr Ramsay said: “I will watch it because I think it is a key time for the nation but I think that the idea of a pledge is possibly somewhat outdated.”

In what it has been suggested will be the most diverse coronation in history, the ceremony for Charles and Camilla will include female bishops and leaders of other faiths for the first time.

In another unprecedented move for a monarch, Charles will pray aloud.

The Herald:

First Minister Humza Yousaf, speaking in Holyrood, is due to attend the Coronation Ceremony.   Photo Gordon Terris/The Herald.

The two-hour service will also include languages spoken natively in the UK other than English for the first time, with a prayer in Welsh and a hymn, Veni, Creator, sung in Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic.

The ceremony, which will be conducted by Mr Welby, 67, has taken months of planning, with the Archbishop in “close consultation” with Charles, the government and a coronation advisory group.

Prince Harry will have no official role in the ceremony, which his wife and children will not be attending.

Other breaks with tradition:
• Charles, who is head of the Church of England, will recite aloud a “King’s Prayer” written for the occasion. The prayer is inspired by the biblical language of Galatians 5 and the hymn I Vow to Thee, My Country.
• The service will begin with Charles being greeted by one of the youngest members of the congregation, Samuel Strachan, 14, the longest-serving chorister of the King’s Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace. Charles will respond: “I come not to be served but to serve.” The Chapel Royal choir dates back to the reign of Henry V and is made up of ten child choristers who are traditionally pupils of the private City of London School, where they receive a choral scholarship.
• Welby will invite the abbey’s congregation to say the Lord’s Prayer in their own preferred language, a moment likely to prove one of the more colourful in the service.
•Female clergy will also take part in the coronation. The Right Rev Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, will read from the Gospel of St Luke. Two other female bishops will assist Welby in administering communion to the newly crowned King and Queen.
• The archbishop will deliver a sermon midway through the service, the first time in more than 100 years that a sermon will be heard at a coronation. Welby, who has forged a close relationship with Charles, giving spiritual guidance before the coronation, is expected to address the theme of “loving service”. There was no sermon at the 1902 coronation of Edward VII, at the 1937 service for King George VI or at the coronation of the late Queen.
• Rishi Sunak, Britain’s first Hindu Prime Minister, will read from the Bible.
• In a final gesture that will reflect the religious diversity of Charles’s 15 realms, the ceremony will include a spoken greeting to the King, delivered in unison by faith leaders from Jewish (Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis), Hindu (Radha Mohan das), Sikh (Lord Singh of Wimbledon), Muslim (Aliya Azam) and Buddhist (the Most Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala) communities.