New sword of state to be used in Coronation service.
His Majesty King Charles III will be presented with a new sword as Scotland marks the Coronation 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 5 July.
Following the service, the sword and Honours will be returned to the care of Historic Environment Scotland (HES).
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.
The Honours of Scotland, comprising the Crown, Sceptre and Sword of State, are the oldest Crown jewels in Britain and are normally kept on display in the Crown Room of Edinburgh Castle, under the care of 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 five hundred 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.”
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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