Oxford University marks the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III
Thursday 27th Apr 2023, 10.23am
Special services and livestreaming events will be held at Oxford University to give thanks and celebrate the historic occasion of the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.
Oxford University Press has been commissioned to produce the Coronation Bible, which will play a significant role in the ceremony. One of only three copies of this Bible will also be the first gift offered to The King.
His Majesty has enjoyed a close association with Oxford University over the years, making numerous visits and being welcomed into the Bynum Tudor Fellowship in 2019.
The Coronation Bible
Oxford University Press (OUP) has been commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury to produce the Coronation Bible to be used by His Majesty King Charles III at Westminster Abbey on 6 May 2023.
The Coronation Bible will play a significant role in the ceremony, with the King set to place his hand upon it while reciting the Coronation Oath.
On this momentous occasion, the Bible will be the first, and most important, gift offered to The King.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
OUP has had the honour of producing Coronation Bibles for many British monarchs – most recently for His Majesty’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953. The tradition of specially produced bibles for the Coronation Ceremony dates back to Edward VII in 1902, while the first recorded use of an Oxford Bible was at the Coronation of George III in 1761.
Hand-bound in leather and decorated in gold leaf by renowned bookbinding company, Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe, the intricate design of the binding draws inspiration from both historic Coronation Bibles and His Majesty’s love of the natural world.
The Coronation Bible used in the service will be retained by the Archbishop of Canterbury and placed in Lambeth Palace’s archive alongside their collection of all four 20th-century Coronation Bibles. OUP will then produce three identical copies: the King’s personal copy, which will be given to him as a gift, and a further two to be placed in the archives of Westminster Abbey and Oxford University Press’s head office in Oxford. Nigel Portwood, CEO of Oxford University Press, said: ‘We are confident that it will be a fitting tribute to a momentous occasion in British history and we hope it will be cherished by His Majesty for many years to come.’
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: ‘On this momentous occasion, the Bible will be the first, and most important, gift offered to The King. The Scriptures offer a guide and light to all – and I pray these living words will offer strength and encouragement to His Majesty.’
To celebrate the 2023 Coronation, OUP has also published an illustrated edition of the Authorized King James Bible, including a special commemorative gifting bookplate, colour images and traditional colour illustrations: The Holy Bible 2023 Coronation Edition.
Coronation services and events
- Service of Thanksgiving for the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, University Church of St Mary The Virgin: 5 May 2023, 4.30pm. Find out about the service.
- Christ Church Cathedral will host a special Service of Celebration to mark the Coronation of King Charles III. The Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire and the Chapter of Christ Church invite members of the public, along with civic and religious leaders from across the city and county, to the special service. The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, will preach and the Cathedral Choir and Frideswide Voices will perform music written for Royal occasions by Handel, Parry and Britten. Following the service there will be a drinks reception in the Cathedral Gardens. This Service of Celebration will take place on 5 May 2023, 6pm. Members of the public are able to register for a free ticket through Eventbrite here.
- The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla will take place in Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May 2023, and members of the public are also invited to Christ Church Cathedral to watch the Coronation livestreamed.
- Festive Choral Evensong to Commemorate the Coronation of King Charles III at St Peter’s College: 7 May 2023, 6pm-7pm. Find out about this evensong.
A close association
Oxford University has enjoyed a close association with His Majesty including notable visits that we remember on the occasion of his Coronation.
His Majesty King Charles III, then HRH The Prince of Wales, visited Trinity College on 12 May 2022 to officially open the new Levine Building and offered his ‘warmest congratulations to the many people who contributed their talents and expertise to create a building worthy of this historic site.’
His Majesty also visited University College on the same day to meet with students and to hear from them about their experiences of access, diversity and opportunity at Oxford. At a roundtable discussion, hosted in the Master’s Lodgings by Baroness Amos, a small group of students spoke of their experiences of coming to Oxford from backgrounds which are under-represented at the University. The group included students who had previously participated in a variety of access programmes, including Opportunity Oxford, UNIQ, the Amos Bursary and Target Oxbridge. Read more about the event.
Climate change, women’s rights and Oxford’s partnership with India were all on the agenda during a visit by His Majesty to Somerville in June 2021. The then Prince Charles discussed biodiversity in the gardens with Professor Fiona Stafford and Head Gardener Sophie Walwin, learned about the research from scholars of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development and planted a tree to signify the launch of the College’s new sustainability plan.
His Majesty enjoyed a busy time in Oxford on 5 March 2020 with visits to two colleges in one afternoon. His first engagement was at Jesus College to mark the appointment of their new Jesus Chair of Celtic and to learn about their student access initiatives in Wales. Read more about this 2020 visit.
It was then time to head to Kellogg College where he formally received the Bynum Tudor Fellowship and met with members of the new Global Centre on Healthcare and Urbanisation. Kellogg College had welcomed His Majesty into the Bynum Tudor Fellowship in 2019.
The Bynum Tudor Fellowship is the highest honour the College can bestow. The Fellowship reflected His Majesty’s commitment to learning through all stages of life, his passion for the quality of our built and natural environments, and his enthusiasm for innovative thinking and practice across disciplines. This has been reflected in the way the Prince’s Foundation has collaborated with Kellogg for a number of years, and allied with the College in the creation of the Global Centre on Healthcare and Urbanisation.
- 2017 – Kellogg College to see work being done to address the challenges of global urbanisation. Read more about this 2017 visit.
- 2013 – opened the new wing of the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Read more about this 2013 visit.
- 2010 – His lecture, Islam and the Environment, was delivered to an audience at the Sheldonian Theatre.
- 2005 – met with students at the Department of Zoology before moving on to Trinity College to commemorate the 450th anniversary of its founding.
- 1971 – opened the Old Members’ Building to mark the 400th anniversary of Jesus College.