Government unveils first-ever digital version of formal coronation document

A special Coronation Roll has been created for each new monarch over the past 700 years and King Charles III is the first to be presented with an electronic format

The government has, for the first time in the document’s 700-year history, created a digital version of the formal record of the coronation of the king.

The Coronation Roll was first introduced in 1307 upon the ascension to the throne of Edward II. Since then, a roll has been created following the coronation of each new monarch.

The document – which, until the 17th century, was published in Latin or French – is a specially created and highly ornate scroll inscribed with the official proclamations made by the new monarch, as well a full record of their coronation service.

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The roll for King Charles III was “hand-written by calligrapher Stephanie Gill, and decorated by heraldic artist Timothy Noad” with emblems of the four nations of the UK, according to the government. The document was authored and undersigned by Antonia Romeo who, in her role as permanent secretary of the Ministry of Justice, also holds the position of the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery.

Romeo and deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden presented the roll the King and Queen Camilla at Buckingham Palace last week. For the first time in 717 years, this also included the presentation of a digital version of the Coronation Roll – which has also been replicated online for the public to examine.

As well as the text of the document, the public website features a range of photos and videos.

“The Coronation Roll is a beautifully illustrated record and an important document of the accession and coronation of their majesties the King and Queen,” Dowden said. “The coronation marked a new chapter in our national story and it reflects the very best of our national traditions – which are admired the world over. For the first time, this Coronation Roll will be digitised – bringing the tradition into the twenty-first century and giving as many people as possible the opportunity to see it.”

The physical version of the roll will be stored in the National Archives in Kew, alongside its predecessors.

Sam Trendall

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