The King’s Coronation

June 23, 2022

Louis XVI taking the holy oath, Jean Michel Moreau, after Girault et Boquet, 1779.

On Sunday, the 11th, at six o’clock in the morning, the canons, in their copes, entered their stalls in the choir of the basilica; they were soon followed by the archbishop, the cardinals, the ministers, etc. At half-past six the lay peers took their places. At seven o’clock, the king, led by the bishop-duke of Laon and the bishop-count of Beauvais, arrived at the cathedral. After being addressed on the threshold by the Cardinal de la Roche-Aymon, who felicitated him on having all the virtues, and in particular the love of order, he entered the ancient edifice to the noise of popular acclamations; and the archbishop, after having administered to him the oath on the Book of the Gospels, poured on his head, breast, and shoulders some drops of the holy oil, which had been solemnly carried from the Abbey of St Remy by the grand prior, wearing a coat of cloth-of-gold, and mounted upon a white horse covered with a housing of cloth-of- silver richly embroidered.

The Crowned King Louis XVI, walking under the covered walkway built for the coronation, on the Western portal of the cathedral of Reims.

The king was then invested with the royal cloak, and received from the hands of the archbishop the crown, the scepter, the main de justice, and the sword of Charlemagne. Then, followed by the peers and high officials, he was conducted to the throne, raised upon the rood-loft; after which the archbishop and the peers gave him the kiss of peace, saying, “Vivat rex in æternum.” The multitude who filled the galleries echoed these words. Immediately the doors were thrown open, and the people pressed into the basilica with cries of joy.

The Life of Marie Antoinette; Translated from the French By Maxime de La Rocheterie · 1893, Chapter XI, Pg.129

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 834


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