‘Katherine Grainger is the new Penny Mordaunt’: Gold-winning Olympian is praised for Herculean effort after carrying sword at St Giles service that is TWICE the weight of one used at Coronation
- Elizabeth Sword weighs 16.5lb (7.5kg) but was deftly carried by Dame Katherine
- She was taking part in National Service of Dedication and Thanksgiving
- King Charles was honoured inside Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral
Olympian Dame Katherine Grainger today deftly carried King Charles’s specially-made sword at a ceremony in Scotland to mark his Coronation.
The ceremonial weapon forms part of the Honours of Scotland, which were presented to the King this afternoon at the historic National Service of Dedication and Thanksgiving inside Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral.
It is more than twice as heavy as the English Sword of State, which Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt was hailed for carrying without a hitch at the King’s Coronation in Westminster Abbey in May.
The new sword, named after the late Queen Elizabeth, was made specifically for the ceremony to replace the original 16th century Scottish Sword of State, which was considered too fragile to feature.
It was presented to the King by Dame Katherine, 47, who won a gold medal in rowing at the 2012 London Olympics.
Olympian Dame Katherine Grainger today deftly carried King Charles’s specially-made sword at a ceremony in Scotland to mark his Coronation
Penny Mordaunt wished Dame Katherine luck on Twitter last night. She said: ‘Best wishes to Olympian Dame Katherine Grainger… who is carrying the magnificent new Elizabeth sword at @StGilesHighKirk tomorrow.
‘The first person to have the honour of this role. Now she really does have arms of steel!’
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The Elizabeth Sword weighs 16.5lb (7.5kg) and is also ten inches longer than the English Sword of State.
It cost £22,000 to make and was designed by former Ormond Pursuivant of Arms Mark Dennis, 73, of St Andrews.
It was presented to the King along with the Crown of Scotland and the Sceptre, both of which are older than the English Crown Jewels.
Engraved on one side of the blade is engraved the Royal motto: ‘In my defens God me defend’; on the other the motto of the Order of the Thistle ‘Nemo me impune lacessit’, which means no one harasses me with impunity.’
At today’s ceremony, the King and Queen heard a stark environmental message for the planet to be safeguarded for future generations and not left ‘baking to a crisp’.
The Right Reverend Sally Foster-Fulton, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, delivered the sermon, which took the environment as one of its themes.
The ceremonial weapon forms part of the Honours of Scotland, which were presented to the King this afternoon at the historic National Service of Dedication and Thanksgiving inside Edinburgh’s St Giles’ Cathedral
It is more than twice as heavy as the English Sword of State, which Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt (above) was hailed for carrying without a hitch at the King’s Coronation in Westminster Abbey in May
She told the congregation that society will be on the ‘right track’ if we understand that ‘the Heavens and Earth’ are not ‘human commodities or possessions’.
CLICK TO READ MORE: King is presented with the Crown of Scotland in ceremony marking Coronation
‘Blessed are we, on the right track are we when we understand that our children do not inherit this Earth from us – we have borrowed it from them,’ she said.
‘And it is our duty to return it still singing and surging and bathing, not baking to a crisp.’
Charles spoke extensively before becoming King about the importance of the environment, tackling climate change and protecting wildlife. He runs his Aston Martin sportscar on sustainable fuel and even recycles his bathwater at Clarence House.
On Wednesday, spectators watched a people’s procession make its way from Edinburgh Castle to the cathedral – a group around 100 strong, reflecting all aspects of Scottish society from the arts and politics, to education, civil society and business, including charities which the King supports as patron.
At its head was Shetland pony Corporal Cruachan IV, regimental mascot of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Protesters and royal fans lined the streets, with republican groups chanting ‘Not my King’ countered by others shouting ‘God save the King’.
Paul Macdonald, custom sword and knife maker, holds the Elizabeth sword which now forms part of the Honours of Scotland
It cost £22,000 to make and was designed by former Ormond Pursuivant of Arms Mark Dennis (above), 73, of St Andrews
Scottish Government minister, Green MSP Patrick Harvie, told an Our Republic rally outside the Scottish Parliament, the service was a ‘Game Of Thrones-style cosplay exercise’ which is ‘fundamentally at odds with the kind of modern and democratic society we are trying to build here’.
Participants from the people’s procession sat in the cathedral’s pews as the Moderator said ideals like ‘mercy and peace’ should not be ‘domesticated or downgraded’ but be the ‘fabric of our being’.
She also said that society is on the ‘right track’ if people are ‘brave enough’ to ‘choose collaboration and trust over fear-filled circling of our wagons’.
King Charles is presented with the Crown of Scotland during his Scottish Coronation at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh watched by his wife, Queen Camilla, and the Prince and Princess of Wales
Charles was presented with the symbols of his authority in Scotland – the Crown, the Sceptre and the Sword of State – known as the Honours of Scotland during a day of pomp, pageantry and prayer in Edinburgh
William and Catherine could be seen sharing a joke as the service got underway in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh
‘Sisters and brothers, look around you. We are one global neighbourhood – intricately inter-related and completely co-dependent, woven together, like a tartan,’ she said.
Scotland’s First Minister, Humza Yousaf, gave a Bible reading from the Old Testament during the service, and Olympic rower Dame Katherine Grainger carried the Sword of State.
The Rt Rev Foster-Fulton concluded by telling the King and Queen: ‘Your Majesties, you have made it part of your mission to speak alongside creation, advocating for it. As we present the Honours of Scotland to you, we commit ourselves to walking that journey with you.
‘We are all a small part of something so much bigger – this beautiful, sacred creation and everyone and everything in it. Thanks be to God.’
As the royal party left the cathedral to return to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, a 21-gun salute was fired from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.
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