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‘King Charles sees the importance, value and relevance of all religions’

King Charles III "truly sees the importance, value and relevance of all religions," says royal expert Jennie Bond.

In his first Christmas speech as King after the passing of his mother the Queen in September, Charles, 74, recognised other faiths, highlighting how religious communities were helping people in financial difficulties and, like Christians, believed in the “power of light overcoming darkness”.

And as he prepares for his coronation in May this year, Jennie tells OK! the King has been working very hard behind the scenes to make it much more inclusive and less traditional.

“When we saw him make his first speech as King, we saw that change in tone – being King is his solemn duty. He clearly felt the weight of the job on his shoulders and that will be apparent in the coronation," she said.

"It will be a mixture of a little less of the stiff, ancient formality, but it will retain the basic structure of something extremely important happening.”

She adds: “He is apparently not being allowed to change the coronation oath to ‘defender of faith’. As the figurehead of the Church of England, he has to be ‘defender of the faith’.

"That’s a shame, but Charles always shows by his actions that he is quite a spiritual person and also, a highly inclusive spiritual person, witnessed by all the visits he makes to mosques and temples and people of other religions.

“He truly sees the importance, value and relevance of all religions. He sees them almost all as one, and that’s a bit of a conflict with his role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England.”

Elsewhere in his Christmas speech, Charles sympathised with families struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and to pay tribute to his "beloved mother".

The central theme was a celebration of “selfless dedication”, a value embodied by Queen Elizabeth and reflected in the actions of many, from the emergency services to public spirited individuals, which helped to build and strengthen communities.

Meanwhile, King Charles III’s coronation will take place on Saturday 6 May at Westminster Abbey.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace confirmed: “The ceremony will see His Majesty King Charles III crowned alongside the Queen Consort. The coronation will reflect the monarch’s role today and look towards the future, while being rooted in long-standing traditions and pageantry.”

The service will retain some historical elements of past coronations but also recognise the spirit of the times.

King Charles will be anointed with holy oil, receive the orb, coronation ring and sceptre, then be crowned with the St Edward’s crown and be blessed. Camilla will also be anointed with holy oil and crowned, as was the Queen Mother in 1937.

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