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The Art of Monarchy

A collaboration with BBC Radio 4 to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

A Formulary of that part of ye solemnity which is performed in the church at the coronation of Their Majesties King William and Queen Mary at Westminster 11 Apr. 1689. 1689

RCIN 1080423

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On the page after the end of the order of service is the inscription: ‘We do approve of ye / Coronation Office, as / it is contained in this / book / William R. / Marie R.’ This shows that this was the draft of the Coronation Service drawn up early in 1689 for the approval of William and Mary. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 occurred because of distrust of James II’s intentions of re-establishing an absolutist and Roman Catholic monarchy. In June 1688 his son-in-law, William of Orange, was invited by leading peers to come to England to challenge these policies, and after James’s flight to France in December 1688, William and Mary were offered the Crown of England by Parliament, as Joint Sovereigns. This new form of constitutional and specifically Protestant monarchy necessitated a revision of the Coronation service. The greatest change was in the Coronation Oath, which included the phrases ‘according to the Statutes in Parliam’t agreed on’ and ‘true profession of the Gospell, and the Protestant Reform’d Religion Established by Law’. The monarchs were each presented with a Bible, ‘the most Valuable thing that this World affords’, and the main ceremonies were set within the context of a Communion service, which had been cut from the Coronation for the Roman Catholic James.