King Charles will find public swearing allegiance to him ‘abhorrent’, says trusted friend

King Charles will find the Homage of the People “abhorrent”, according to his friend, Jonathan Dimbleby.

The broadcaster got to know Charles after writing his official biography in the 1990s and said his “thespian” side means he has been closely involved in the performance side of the Coronation, for which OK! has published an hour-by-hour guide.

But the presenter branded the invitation to the public to swear allegiance to the King during the Coronation ceremony, which will also include Queen Consort Camilla, “ill advised”.

The writer told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I can think of nothing that he would find more abhorrent.

“He’s never wanted to be revered, he’s never wanted – so as far as I know – to have anyone pay homage to him except in mock terms as a joke.

And Jonathan continued: “He wants, I think, to feel that people will share in the event and I don’t quite know how this might have happened.

“I don’t know for certain but it would seem to me that this was an initiative by the archbishop, who as we know is strongly evangelical, who thought it would be a good thing to give everyone a chance to pay that homage.

“I think it was well intentioned and rather ill-advised.”

The ceremony is designed to be more inclusive and less archaic, Royal expert Jenny Bond exclusively told OK!

Lambeth Palace last week announced the modern addition to the ceremony, which replaces the Homage of the Peers, but said the liturgy – the words and actions of the service – had been created in consultation with the King, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Government.

Critics have condemned the move, with the pressure group Republic describing the new homage as “offensive, tone deaf and a gesture that holds the people in contempt”.

Lambeth Palace has stressed it is an invitation rather than a request.

“We live in a wonderfully diverse society with many different perspectives and beliefs, and it’s quite right that people decide for themselves how they relate to this moment,” a spokesman for the archbishop’s office said.

In 1994, Charles confessed to Jonathan Dimbleby – during a primetime television documentary accompanying the biography – to adultery, saying it only happened after his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales had “irretrievably broken down”. The pair had, at one time, enjoyed a ''fairytale relationship'.

Charles has been “closely involved” with the performance of the Coronation, Jonathan said, referring to the King’s interest in the theatre and acting.

“There is an element of performative in him. He is a thespian, he loves the theatre, so he wants it all to work really well,” he added.

The King also wanted to be personally involved in choosing clothes to reflect his role as a “humble petitioner”, Jonathan revealed.

He said: “He wanted to make sure that his clothes, for instance, made it possible for him initially to be what the role is, almost seeking the approval of the nation to become King, almost a humble petitioner, and then to emerge triumphant of this extraordinary pageant, of which he is the star.”


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