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Coronation exhibition opens at Lambeth Palace Library




Above: A copy of the first surviving English Coronation Charter, which was cited as a precedent for Magna Carta by Archbishop Stephen Langton in 1215. Dating from more than a century before Magna Carta, it was issued by Henry I


Lambeth Palace Library is celebrating the Coronation of King Charles III through an exhibition, which has just opened, showcasing religious items that have been used in Royal Coronation ceremonies going back to the Middle Ages.


The exhibition, “A declaration of our hopes for the future: Coronations from the middle ages to the present day”, is the latest Church of England exhibition to celebrate the King’s coronation. York Minster currently has an exhibition showcasing Royal treasures from the cathedral’s historic collection.

The Lambeth Palace Library exhibition, which will be open to the public until the beginning of July, shows material from the Lambeth Palace Library collections relating to previous coronations, from the coronation of Henry I in 1100 to Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.

Highlights include the Coronation Charter of Henry I, the manuscript of the Coronation service prepared for William III and Mary II; Archbishop Wake’s notes for the Coronation of George II; a letter from George VI thanking Archbishop Lang for his part in the coronation ceremony; and the Bible upon which Elizabeth II swore her Coronation oath.

There will also be a display of artefacts until 14 June associated with previous Coronations, including the cope and mitre worn by Archbishop Fisher in 1953, and the large banners from the 1902 coronation from which Archbishop Frederick Temple had to read the service because of his failing eyesight.


Future Cities Forum is holding its arts and science districts discussion event at Lambeth Palace Library this May with architects Wright & Wright. The practice has completed the project to re-design library spaces and preserve ancient collections while creating a viewing tower as a visitor destination. The project further links the Palace to the cultural centre of the South Bank and also the immediate districts of Guys and St Thomas' evolving innovation hub at Royal Street.

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