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Oxford’s Coronation connection

Oxford University Press will be playing a role in the King’s Coronation today, having produced the Coronation Bible which will be used by King Charles III during the Coronation ceremony. Commissioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, this Bible is to be used by the King at Westminster Abbey during the ceremony when the King will place his hand upon it while reciting the Coronation Oath.

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 tradition of using an Oxford Bible at the Coronation of British monarchs can be traced back to King George III in 1761 and Oxford University Press have been chosen to produce specific Coronation Bibles for British monarchs since Edward VII.

Three copies of this Coronation Bible have been produced. The Bible used during the service will be placed in the Lamberth Palace’s archive. The King will be gifted a personal copy while a further two will be placed in the archives of Westminster Abbey and Oxford University Press’ head office. 

The specific version that will be used by the King is hand-bound in leather and adorned in gold leaf. Additionally, Oxford University Press has also published an illustrated Coronation edition of the Authorised King James Bible. This edition includes a special commemorative gifting bookplate, colour images of Westminster Abbey, the Coronation Chair and King Charles and Queen Camilla as well as Biblical illustrations.  

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