Oil for the coronation of Charles III consecrated in Jerusalem

LONDON (AP) — Two senior clerics in Jerusalem have consecrated a holy oil that will be used to anoint King Charles III at his coronation as the Church of England seeks to highlight the monarchy’s long history and the royal family’s ties to the Middle East.

The oil was consecrated Friday morning at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the traditional site of Christ’s crucifixion and burial, Buckingham Palace said in a statement. The ceremony was conducted by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III, Head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, and His Grace Hosam Naum, Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem.

The oil has been pressed from olives harvested on the Mount of Olives, which plays a prominent role in the Bible, and has been flavored with sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin, amber oil and orange blossom.

Karl’s paternal grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece, is buried in the monastery of Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives.

“This demonstrates the deep historical connection between the coronation, the Bible and the Holy Land,” Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said in a statement. “From ancient kings to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place.”

Charles will be formally crowned on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London. During the ceremony, according to the palace, elements of tradition will be combined with modern touches that will highlight the changing face of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

Charles became king on September 8 after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who ruled for over 70 years.

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