Diverse coronation represents new era in British history

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Diverse coronation represents new era in British history

The ceremony featured the Chief Rabbi, former Board of Deputies chief executive Gillian Merron, female clergy and a Bible reading from practising Hindu Rishi Sunak.

The coronation was hailed as a diverse, inclusive ceremony that represents a new era in British history by academics, celebrities and members of the public.

For many, the events have shown just how much Britain has changed in the years since the late Queen was crowned in 1953.

The coronation ceremony featured female clergy members for the first time and a Bible reading from the practising Hindu prime minister Rishi Sunak.

The coronation is a “watershed moment” for people to move on from the pandemic, said Rhys Mallows, 27, from Cardiff, who was a guest at the coronation.

Mr Mallows repurposed his family-run gin distillery to produce more than a million bottles of hand sanitiser for emergency services during the Covid pandemic and was awarded a British Empire Medal in 2022.

 The coronation “symbolises moving on from where we were with the virus into that brave new future,” he told the PA news agency.

“This coronation is very different from past ones and represents a more inclusive, more diverse future,” he added.

Historian David Olusoga told BBC News the coronation has been a “huge effort to show the diversity of faith within Britain”.

Dr Olusoga, professor of public history at the University of Manchester, was made an OBE in 2019, and recently provided commentary on the royal family’s relationship to the British Empire for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Netflix documentary.

“Today we’ve been reminded of the deep religious history of the country,” he said, adding the ceremony had “echoes of the mediaeval age”.

“That sense of continuity, that sense of tradition, as a historian is absolutely fascinating.

“I think what you saw today was a strong representation and a huge effort to show the diversity of faith within Britain, one of the things that’s very different between the Britain of today and the Britain of 1953.”

The King has long made efforts to showcase and praise Britain’s diversity, and he ensured representatives of a number of faiths took part in the coronation, with Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh leaders all playing an active role alongside Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis.

However, it has drawn criticism in some Commonwealth countries, with Rev Sean Major-Campbell, an Anglican priest in Kingston, Jamaica, saying the coronation is “only relevant in so far as it kicks us in the face with the reality that our hHead of state is simply so by virtue of biology”.

British-Australian author Kathy Lette said on Saturday the King understands how “painful” Britain’s colonial heritage is.

Speaking on Sky News, the writer, who has been described as a friend of Queen Camilla, said: “I think he [the King] understands that the colonial heritage is so painful and so fraught, and of course the world is moving on.”

Ms Lette said while young Australians “don’t have an allegiance” to the royal family, the King “might connect” with young people “through the environment”.

“Boomers and zoomers alike are so worried about climate change, and he was so ahead of his time, so prescient in those concerns, so he might actually resonate with young people and find a whole other connection,” she said.

The ceremony had been adjusted up to the last moment to avoid controversy and a planned “homage of the people” was toned down shortly before the King was crowned, after the addition was criticised as too divisive.

Jonathan Dimbleby, the King’s friend and authorised biographer, said the King would find the idea of a call for members of the public to pledge their allegiance “abhorrent”.

Instead, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby “invited” a show of support from the congregation.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: