The Cross of Wales will lead the way at the coronation procession (Picture: PA)
We’ve now learned that the procession – which will see thousands turn out for a glimpse of the monarch and Camilla Queen Consort as they journey to and from Westminster Abbey for the service – will be led by The Cross Of Wales, which was given by the King to the Church of Wales.
However, it’s been given added significance with the addition of two shards of the True Cross, given to Charles by Pope Francis as a Coronation gift.
Those small fragments have been incoporated into the Cross of Wales, which will be seen by millions as it leads the royals into the Abbey on May 6.
But just what is the religious significance of the Cross of Wales and the True Cross?
Here’s what you need to know about both…
What is the Cross Of Wales?
The Cross Of Wales was given by the King to the Church of Wales in 2021, as they marked their centenary.
The Church of Wales was founded in 1920, six years after the country broke away from the Church of England, becoming an independent part of the Anglican Communion.
This happened after pressure from Wales’ Nonconformist community – a major religious movement which resented paying taxes to the Church of England – led to the passing of the Welsh Church Act in 1914.
However there was a delay in the Act actually coming into force due to the outbreak of the First World War.
The cross itself is crafted from recycled silver bullion which was provided by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, South Wales, as well as a shaft of Welsh windfall timber and a stand of Welsh slate.
Words from the last sermon of St David are inscribed on the back of the cross in Welsh, which read: ‘Byddwch lawen. Cadwch y ffydd. Gwnewch y Pethau Bychain,’ which translates as: ‘Be joyful. Keep the faith. Do the little things.’
It also bears the Royal Mark of a leopard’s head, which was applied by the King himself in November 2022 during a visit to The Goldsmiths’ Centre in London.
Archbishop Andrew John, the Archbishop of Wales, said: ‘We are honoured that His Majesty has chosen to mark our centenary with a cross that is both beautiful and symbolic.
King Charles put his mark on the cross during a visit to the Goldsmiths Centre last November (Picture: Getty Images)
‘Its design speaks to our Christian faith, our heritage, our resources and our commitment to sustainability.
‘We are delighted too that its first use will be to guide Their Majesties into Westminster Abbey at the Coronation Service.’
What is the True Cross?
The True Cross is a term used to describe the wood of the cross on which Jesus was said to have been crucified.
Although it was said to be hidden following the crucifixion, legend has it that St Helena, the mother of Constantine The Great, found the True Cross during her pilgrimage to the Holy Land in around 326.
The Cross which will be carried in the procession, above, contains two shards of the True Cross (Picture: PA)
It was then said to have been broken into pieces and distributed across Christendom for people to use as relics.
By the end of the Middle Ages so many churches were reported to have a fragment of the True Cross that theologian John Calvin declared there were enough to fill a ship – although it’s quite possible many of these were fake.
These days, the Santo Toribio de Liébana monastery in Spain is said to have the largest of these pieces in its possession.
The King’s mark on the Cross Of Wales, given as a gift to the church of Wales to mark their centenary (Picture: PA)
The fragments held such significance that the Roman Catholic Church used to have a feast day dedicated to them.
Known as the Feast of The Finding Of The Cross, it was celebrated on May 3 every year until Pope John XXIII omitted it from the calendar in 1960.
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The Cross of Wales will lead the way.