Holy oil to anoint King Charles prepared in Jerusalem's Old City
The holy oil that will be used to anoint British King Charles III at his coronation in May has been blessed during a ceremony in Jerusalem's Old City.
The mixture of olive oil, fragrant rose and orange blossom was consecrated by the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, and the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, Hosam Naoum, during a service at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Friday.
The olives were harvested from two groves on the Mount of Olives in occupied East Jerusalem, at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene and the Monastery of the Ascension.
The former church is where King Charles' grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece, is buried.
The olives were pressed near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, where Christians believe Jesus was born.
The coronation oil "reflects the King's personal family connection with the Holy Land and his great care for its peoples", the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who will conduct the coronation service, said in a statement.
Charles's late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was anointed with a similar mixture of holy oils 70 years ago.
His wife, Camilla, will also be anointed with the mixture during the ceremony on 6 May.
"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," Welby said.
"This demonstrates the deep historic link between the coronation, the Bible and the Holy Land."
He added that ancient kings through to present-day monarchs had been anointed with oil "from this sacred place".
His admiration and knowledge of Islamic history and theology have also been well documented.