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Tuesday, Jun 06, 2023

Coronation: Penny Mordaunt's sword-wielding role - and other top moments

Coronation: Penny Mordaunt's sword-wielding role - and other top moments

Millions of viewers watched King Charles III crowned in a meticulously-planned ancient ceremony but it was the unexpected moments that got many people talking.
1. Penny Mordaunt wields swords

Penny Mordaunt caused a flurry of activity on social media as she played a starring role at the Coronation - holding ceremonial swords for more than an hour.

On Twitter many pointed out the Conservative MP's strength, even winning praise from her party's political foes.

"Don't let anyone ever say I never say anything positive about the Tories... I am in awe of @PennyMordaunt arm and shoulder strength," former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell tweeted.

Speaking to Times Radio before the ceremony, she joked she had been preparing by "doing some press-ups".

While Ms Mordaunt's custom-made teal outfit - with a matching cape and headband with feather embroidery - also caught people's attention, with many drawing comparisons with Henry VIII's second wife Anne Boleyn.

One woman tweeted: "Penny Mordaunt has absolutely stolen the show at the Abbey today! She is rocking that Anne Boleyn look!"

The MP and Leader of the House of Commons said she was honoured to beinvolved in the ceremony through her role as Lord President of the Council - an ancient role.

She carried the 17th century Sword of State made for Charles II into Westminster Abbey, and exchanged it for the Jewelled Sword of Offering, which she delivered to the archbishop.

She then carried the Jewelled Sword of Offering, with hilt encrusted with diamonds, rubies and emeralds, for the rest of the service and walked with it in front of the King as he left the abbey.

Notably, she becomes the first woman to carry and present the sword - which symbolises royal power and the King accepting his duty and knightly virtues.

She tweeted: "I'm very aware that our armed forces, police officers and others have been marching or standing for hours as part of the ceremony or to keep us all safe.

"In comparison, my job was rather easier."

2. Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis

There was a tender moment between the Prince and Princess of Wales's children. Prince Louis, five, when he held the hand of his older sister Princess Charlotte as they walked into Westminster Abbey.

The prince, the youngest of Prince William and Catherine's children, was on his best behaviour, having stolen the show at previous royal events including Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee when he appeared to find the flypast a bit noisy while on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

This time, the prince nudged his father to point out something in the distance during the flypast and debuted a new, rather exaggerated, wave.

3. Gospel choir bring a modern twist

A gospel choir added a rather modern twist to the ancient ceremony.

The Ascension choir were handpicked and specially brought together for the occasion. Dressed in all white, the group of singers sang beautifully and swayed as they performed specially composed piece Alleluia.

They proved a hit with Catherine who gave a beaming smile as she listened.

4. When music royalty meets actual royalty

Singer Katy Perry turned heads in a fabulous lilac Vivienne Westwood matching jacket and skirt, and fascinator.

But the Firework singer caught viewers' eyes for another reason as she had a spot of bother finding for her seat.

She was seen walking up and down the Abbey searching for it.

"Katy Perry not finding her seat is so me," tweeted one Perry fan.

The pop star, who happily took selfies with other guests, will be performing at the Coronation Concert in Windsor alongside Lionel Richie on Sunday.

Perry later tweeted: "Don't worry guys I found my seat."

5. Prince William kissed father

The King and the Prince of Wales shared a touching moment when Prince William paid homage to his father.

Prince William got down on one knee to pledge his loyalty to the King, before kissing him on the cheek.

The King was then seen to say a few words to his eldest son.

In a break with tradition, the prince was the only blood prince to pay homage.
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