New sword to be presented to King Charles at special Scottish ceremony

The monarch will be presented with the sword along with the Crown and Sceptre, part of the Honours of Scotland.

A new sword of state is to be presented to King Charles III as Scotland marks the Coronation at a ceremony in Edinburgh next week.

Named after the late Queen Elizabeth II, the ceremonial sword will be presented to the King along with the Crown and Sceptre which are part of the Honours of Scotland – Scotland’s Crown Jewels – during the National Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication at St Giles Cathedral on Wednesday July 5.

The historic collection has been presented to new monarchs since the 19th century, having been worn by Scottish kings and queens including Mary Queen of Scots.

Designed by former Ormond Pursuivant of Arms Mark Dennis and worked on by a number of expert Scottish craftspeople, the sword features a pommel of Lewisian gneiss, and a scabbard wrought from Perthshire oak.

It will be used on ceremonial occasions in place of the current sword, gifted to James IV by Pope Julius in 1507, which can no longer be used due to its fragile condition.

Ceremonial sword will be presented as part of Honours of Scotland

The Honours of Scotland, comprising the Crown, Sceptre and Sword of State, are the oldest Crown Jewels in Britain and normally kept on display in the Crown Room of Edinburgh Castle under the care of Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

During the service, Dame Katherine Grainger DBE will bear the Elizabeth Sword, with the Sceptre carried by Lady Dorrian, The Lord Justice Clerk and the Crown Of Scotland carried by The Duke of Hamilton.

First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “The Honours of Scotland have immense historical significance, having been present at many major ceremonial events over the past 500 years.

“Designed and crafted with care by some of Scotland’s finest artisans, the Elizabeth Sword is a fitting tribute to the late Queen as Scotland prepares to welcome the new King and Queen next week.

Dame Katherine Grainger DBE said: “It will be an incredible honour to carry the Elizabeth Sword on such a historic day for Scotland. I hope I can do the sword, and the occasion, justice. It promises to be a day of enormous celebration for the King and for the country and I feel immensely lucky to be able to play a part.”

King Charles III and Queen Camilla waves from The Buckingham Palace balcony during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 6, 2023Getty Images

Kathy Richmond, Head of Collections and Applied Conservation at Historic Environment Scotland said: “We are delighted to receive the Elizabeth Sword into the care of HES. Our team of specialists will support its ceremonial use and will be aiming to make it available for display shortly after the event.

“The Honours of Scotland are cared for by HES who are undertaking a project to conserve them over the next few months. We hope to use this opportunity to offer a period of display for the Elizabeth Sword so it can be seen together with the historic regalia of the Crown and Sceptre.”

Mark Dennis, designer of the Elizabeth Sword and former Ormond Pursuivant of Arms said: “I am humbled to have had the opportunity to work with so many talented Scots craftspeople to create this tribute to our late Queen – a new Sword for Scotland and the new King, to last for the next five hundred years.”

The Elizabeth Sword was commissioned at the end of 2022, on the initiative of the Lord Lyon King of Arms, and with approval from the Scottish Government at a cost of £22,000.

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