Why King Charles won't sit on the Queen's throne at his coronation

This is the real reason why King Charles won't sit on his late mother's throne at his coronation in May

This is the real reason why King Charles won't sit on the Queen's throne at his coronation in May
(Image credit: Tim Rooke - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

King Charles won't sit on the Queen's throne at his coronation later in the year, and the reason behind this is because of a centuries old tradition.

It has been widely reported that King Charles will not be using the Queen's throne for his coronation, and while this is partly true, the traditions around this ancient ceremony are a little more complicated. 

There will be two thrones used in the ceremony. The crowning and anointing will take place on the traditional Coronation Chair. This chair is also known as the St Edward’s Chair or King Edward's Chair which was carved from oak in a gothic style and made between the summer of 1297 and March 1300.

coronation chair

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The chair originally contained the coronation stone of Scotland (also known at the Stone of Destiny or the Stone of Scone), but this was returned to Scotland in 1996 to be kept in Edinburgh Castle with the other Scottish Crown Jewels. It is thought that the stone will be returned to the chair briefly for the ceremony, but will then be given back to the Scottish people until the next monarch (Prince William according to the line of succession) is crowned.

This will be the exact chair that was used for Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953 and so the King will once again take the throne that his mother sat on. 

However, another throne will also be used, and this one will be made especially for Charles for the ceremony...

throne room

The Queen and Prince Philip's throne chairs

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Every monarch in British history has sat on their own throne chair. This chair is unique to each monarch and is emblazoned with their own royal cypher. King Charles' royal cypher was revealed recently and is very different from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II's, which was in use for more than 70 years. 

The throne chair is used for the enthronement part of the ritual and takes place on the raised platform (dais) in Westminster Abbey.

coronation chair

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Images of Queen Elizabeth's coronation from back in 1953 show the Queen using both thrones, and how each played a significant part in the ceremony. One represents a continued line of royalty and tradition that dates back for centuries, and another represents the individual leader and the beginning of their reign into the future.

A royal source told the Daily Mail (opens in new tab), "There is always a new throne for a new monarch and this will be no exception," confirming that this two-throne tradition will continue to be upheld.

Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.

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