The fragrant chrism oil that will be used to anoint King Charles during his coronation in May was made sacred in Jerusalem on Friday.
A ceremony took place in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the holy oil was consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, and the Anglican archbishop in Jerusalem, Hosam Naoum.
It has been created using olives harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives, at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and the Monastery of the Ascension.
The olives were pressed just outside Bethlehem and the oil has been perfumed with sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli, benzoin, amber and orange blossom.
The king will receive the sovereign’s orb, sceptre and coronation ring and will be crowned and blessed during the ceremony at Westminster Abbey on 6 May. Camilla, the Queen Consort, will also be anointed with holy oil and crowned.
The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “I am honoured and grateful that His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III and Archbishop Hosam Naoum have consecrated the oil that will be used to anoint His Majesty the King.
“I want to thank especially His Beatitude for providing this coronation oil, which reflects the king’s personal family connection with the Holy Land and his great care for its peoples. I am also delighted that the Anglican archbishop in Jerusalem shared in the consecration of the oil.
“Since beginning the planning for the coronation, my desire has been for a new coronation oil to be produced using olive oil from the Mount of Olives. This demonstrates the deep historic link between the coronation, the Bible and the Holy Land.
“From ancient kings through to the present day, monarchs have been anointed with oil from this sacred place. As we prepare to anoint the king and the queen consort, I pray that they would be guided and strengthened by the Holy Spirit.”
The oil is based on that used at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953, with a formula that dates back hundreds of years.