Penny Mordaunt's dramatic cape dress ensured she truly shined at King Charles' coronation but who is the sword-wielding politician?

We're obsessed with Penny Mordaunt's coronation look...

penn mordaunt
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Penny Mordaunt attended King Charles III's coronation on May 6, 2023, and folks are wondering just who the politician is, and why she was carrying that huge sword.

Today Penny Mordaunt became the first woman to carry the Sword of State at the coronation, marking a first for the British monarchy. 

The politician undeniably looked incredible, as did many of the women at the coronation, including Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte, who wore matching Alexander McQueen outfits

We loved her muted blue dress with gold embroidery that included a fern design paying homage to the Privy Council uniform motif. She also opted for a super chic headband in the same material and color as her dress by Jane Taylor

penny mordaunt

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Aside from her impeccable coronation day attire, people have been wondering just why Penny was chosen to fulfill the ceremonial duty of carrying the sword, and just what the significance of it was. 

As part of her additional important position as Lord President of the Privy Council, Penny was required to carry an eight-pound Sword of State from the 17th century into Westminster Abbey during the King’s Procession.

penny mordaunt

(Image credit: Getty images)

Who is Penny Mordaunt?

Penny Mordaunt, 50, has been a Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North since 2010. She began her roles as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council in September 2022 and previously served as a junior minister under Boris Johnson as well as serving in Theresa May's cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development and Secretary of State for Defence.

The 50-year-old politician is the first woman to ever carry out this duty, marking what was already a historically significant day even more so.

"[I] will be carrying the Sword of State, which is the heaviest sword, so I’ve been doing some press-ups to train for that,” she told The Times Red Box podcast ahead of the coronation. "We practiced with some replicas that were weighted, and it’s a huge honor to do it."

Penny was required to keep the eight-pound sword at a right angle against her body for the ceremony. Traditionally, when this part of the coronation ceremony occurs, the person performing it is to wear the traditional black-and-gold court dress of the privy council - but since Penny made history as the first woman to ever perform the ceremonial act, she decided that a new outfit was in order for this special occasion.

Penny's first royal responsibilities began just four days after she was appointed as leader of the House of Commons on September 6 by former Prime Minister Liz Truss. She primarily presided over the accession council after the Queen died and Charles was set to take over the throne - all leading up to her duty to carry the sword on coronation day.

Madeline Merinuk
US Lifestyle News Writer

Madeline Merinuk is woman&home's US lifestyle news writer, covering celebrity, entertainment, fashion, and beauty news.

She graduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Journalism from Hofstra University, winning multiple student journalism awards, including a National Hearst Award, during her time there. After graduating, she worked at, the digital site for the Today Show, where she wrote pop culture news and interviewed big-name personalities like Emily Ratajkowski, Haley Lu Richardson, Emma Corrin, and more.

Her personal interests, in no particular order, are: cheese, Joni Mitchell, reading, hot yoga, traveling, having multiple chapsticks in every handbag at all times, and dancing to ABBA songs as if she were in the Mamma Mia movies.