Sunday, 8 February 2015

Crown Wearing Ceremonies

After his inaugural coronation, William I wore his crown three times a year as a re-enactment of the coronation, usually at Easter in Winchester, at Whitsuntide in Westminster, and at Christmas in Gloucester. The ‘crown-wearing’ ceremonies were not always observed by his successors but Henry III increased the number of these to fifteen times a year. In Edward II’s reign, an ordinance of 1323 named four principal feasts – those of Easter Day, Whitsunday, All Saint’s Day and Christmas Day – for the ‘crown-wearing’. Epiphany and the two feast days of St. Edward the Confessor were added in the fifteenth century. On these occasions the Laudes Regiae – ‘Christus Vincit (Christ conquers, Christ rules, Christ commands)’, from the medieval coronation service – were sung by the clerks of the Household Chapel, although apparently the custom had ceased after the reign of Richard II.

Crown wearing ceremonies were festive coronations, re-enactments by the king of his original coronation on special religious days, in which his crowning was repeated.

Sometimes the rivalry between Canterbury and York over which archbishop should "crown" the king, who should be the spiritual coronator on these occasions led to unseemly scenes.

Known Crown Wearing Ceremonies of Henry II

Robert William Eyton (1878). Court, Household, and Itinerary of King Henry II. Taylor and Company. p 26.
The king was crowned at Bury St. Edmunds, 19th May 1157.

Robert William Eyton (1878). Court, Household, and Itinerary of King Henry II. Taylor and Company. p 31.
The king was crowned at Wikeford a suburb of Lincoln, 25th December 1157

Henry II on 17th July 1157 he laid his crown on the altar of Worcester cathedral swearing never to wear it again.


Natalie Fryde (2001). Why Magna Carta?: Angevin England Revisited. LIT Verlag Münster. pp. 52–. ISBN 978-3-8258-5657-1.
David Hilliam (16 September 2011). Crown, Orb & Sceptre: The True Stories of English Coronations. History Press Limited. pp. 24–. ISBN 978-0-7524-7079-5.

 Rosamund Allen; Jane Roberts; Carole Weinberg (2013). Reading La Amon's Brut: Approaches and Explorations: Approaches and Explorations.. Rodopi. pp. 232–. ISBN 978-94-012-0952-6.

Thomas N. Bisson (1 January 2011). Cultures of Power: Lordship, Status, and Process in Twelfth-Century Europe. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 138–. ISBN 0-8122-0076-4.

G. W. S. Barrow (1992). Scotland and Its Neighbours in the Middle Ages. A&C Black. pp. 27–. ISBN 978-1-85285-052-4.

Christopher Daniell (8 October 2013). From Norman Conquest to Magna Carta: England 1066–1215. Routledge. pp. 80–. ISBN 978-1-136-35697-1.

Kings, Crowns and Festivals: the Origins of Gloucester as a Royal Ceremonial Centre
Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society
by M. Hare
1997, Vol. 115, 41-78

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