President, Otumfuo attends coronation of King Charles, Queen Camilla in London

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II joined the long list of dignitaries from across the world over the weekend to grace the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

President Akufo-Addo (second from right) with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (second from left) and their spouses at the coronati
President Akufo-Addo (second from right) with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (second from left) and their spouses at the coronati

Accompanying them at the flamboyant ceremony in London, England were their spouses; Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Lady Julia who dazzled in Kente apparel to showcase Ghana’s rich traditional heritage.

They were part of the 2,300 people including the royal family, leaders of commonwealth countries and other heads of state who gathered in the Westminster Abbey for the ceremony.

Notable among the guests included the US First Lady Jill Biden and her granddaughter Finnegan; French President Emmanuel Macron and First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska; Britain Prime Minister Rishi Sunak .

It was a blend of royalty, religion and rhythmic ritual in the Abbey as King III officially ascend the throne as the figure head of the United Kingdom (UK) and other Commonwealth realms.

The significant tradition in British history, the first in 70 years, marked the beginning of a new era following the demise of Queen Elizabeth II, on September 8, 2022.

It was a remarkable day of ceremony that culminated in enthusiastic cheering from the crowds gathered at Buckingham Palace with administration from millions of people who watched the two hour event on online.

The BBC reported that despite the rainy weather, thousands of people thronged the Mall, following the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey and a grand procession through London.

The King and Queen greeted the cheering crowds from the Palace balcony while the RAF Red Arrows put on a spectacular show, painting the sky in red, white, and blue- the UK colours.

The King’s day began shortly after 10:00 BST, with the procession to Westminster Abbey in the horse-drawn Diamond Jubilee State Coach, past cheering crowds and an honour guard of 1,000 members of the armed forces.

Faith leaders and commonwealth leaders began the processions, with the King and Queen following behind.

After the crown was placed on Charles’s head cries of “God Save the King” were heard inside and outside, and gun salutes were made across the UK.

The Coronation’s main theme was the importance of service.

“I come not to be served, but to serve,” the King said in his first prayer after reaching the abbey.

Charles was proclaimed as the “undoubted King” in the first stage of the ceremony. The congregation was then asked to show their homage and service, shouting “God Save the King.”

Yet among the music and oaths, there were moments of complete silence as each stage of the ancient ceremony finished.

Traditions rarely seen elsewhere in modern life were maintained – such as the inclusion of the orb and sceptre and the carrying of the gilded Sword of State.

In one part of the service, the King was screened from public for the anointing – seen as the most sacred part of proceedings.

This was where the King was anointed with holy oils by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The need for privacy, the Palace said, was because it “has historically been regarded as a moment between the Sovereign and God.”

In total, 4,000 armed forces personnel and 19 military bands took part – making it the biggest state occasion since the coronation of the late Queen in 1953.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR with additional files from BBC

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