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The Art of Monarchy

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

Francis JC Cooper (active 1953)

Coronation Pen 1953

RCIN 39431

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The pen was used by The Queen to sign the Coronation oath and was donated by the Scriveners’ Company. It is in the form of an ivory feather, with a representation of the Sword of State – which is borne before the sovereign as she proceeds to the altar to sign the oath – forming the rib of the quill. Over this is placed a jewelled and enamelled crown, supported by two cherubs representing Prince Charles and Princess Anne. The pen is inscribed with the Scriveners’ coat of arms and motto (Litera Scripta Manet). The oath is the only signed bond between the monarch and the people.

From the Order of Service of the Coronation:

Then the Queen arising out of her Chair, supported as before, the Sword of State being carried before her, shall go to the Altar, and make her solemn Oath in the sight of all the people to observe the premisses: laying her right hand upon the Holy Gospel in the great Bible (which was before carried in the procession and is now brought from the Altar by the Archbishop, and tendered to her as she kneels upon the steps), and saying these words:

The things which I have here before promised, I will perform and keep. So help me God.

Then the Queen shall kiss the Book and sign the Oath.