One of the more obscure byways of law and religion.
The Coronation of HM King Charles III will take place on Saturday 6 May. The Cabinet Office has announced that “In line with His Majesty’s wish for the event to be rooted in tradition but reflective of today, and in accordance with Government advice” it has created a Coronation Claims Office to consider claims to perform a historic or ceremonial role at the Coronation. It replaces the Court of Claims, which fulfilled a similar role for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953.
When looking at claims, the Coronation Claims Office will consider matters including whether or not the role or service was performed in 1953, what the basis is for it to be performed now and the claimant’s connection to those who previously performed the role or service.
Officials from the Coronation Claims Office will consult with ecclesiastical experts from Lambeth Palace and ceremonial experts from the Royal Household when considering claims.
All claims must be submitted in writing to the Coronation Claims Office by 5.30 pm on Friday 3 February 2023.
See also Victoria Ward, Daily Telegraph, King Charles keeps 700-year-old tradition as he issues call for Coronation claims.
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I was wondering if the Court of Claims was a permanent or ad hoc institution, and found one reference to it in the Law Reports: Scrymgeour Wedderburn v Earl of Lauderdale  AC 342, HL at p 343. There may be more reports in the Session Cases, of course.
If I have time I will delve into this in more detail.
I assumed from the terms of the announcement that it was ad hoc – but I’d be interested in any further information you can find.
“it has created a Coronation Claims Office to consider claims to perform a historic or ceremonial role at the Coronation. It replaces the Court of Claims, which fulfilled a similar role for HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation in 1953″
That’s pretty conclusive wording that it’s 100% ad hoc”, I’d say.
It appears to be an ad hoc institution. There’s some background in Bob Morris “INAUGURATING A NEW REIGN: PLANNING FOR ACCESSION AND CORONATION“, (2018), [paras 3.12 ns 3.13] in which he correctly predicts “…it is not at all clear what the traditional Court brings to proceedings which, apart from their solemnity and expense, have no modern substance that could not be dealt with administratively”.
This paper comprises the substance of the HC Library Briefing “The coronation: history and ceremonial” (2022).
There are more fun facts from the Supreme Court in relation to an Exhibition held in 2013.
Thanks David. That’s extremely helpful. I’ve now added this to my Glossary entry: https://www.iclr.co.uk/knowledge/glossary/court-of-claims-coronation/
It has been, apparently, a tradition, for 700 years or so, to do this sort of thing ad hoc, every time a monarch dies ad hoc, requiring his or her successor to be crowned if he or she lives long enough.
My father was at the last Coronation Can I as a Peer of the United Kingdom attend this Coronation? Newall.
You need to address that question to the Coronation Claims Office.
The decision has been taken – incorrect I believe – that only peers who are members of the House of Lords will be entitled to enter into the ballot for attendance.
My great great great great great grandfather Daniel O’ Connell, attended Queen Victoria’s Coronation in 1838 in the Commons chamber. Daniel was a lawyer and so viewed the proceedings from the Commons chamber. He reportedly “looked very well” in his court dress.
Daniel was known as ‘The Liberator’ as he secured the first instalment of Catholic Emancipation which allowed him to take a seat in the UK Parliament.
Could I be considered for an invite to King Charles’ coronation in your opinion?
Thank you for the information in your Comment. Decisions on attendance are made by the Coronation Claims Office, and the closing date for all claims, 5.30 pm on Friday 3 February 2023, has now passed.
Thank you for taking time to respond David.