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Arrangements are ‘in hand’ to change ‘Queen’ to ‘King’ in the Prayer Book

16 September 2022


A ROYAL warrant will be issued in due time to update the Book of Common Prayer to reflect the accession of King Charles III, it was confirmed this week.

The Prayer for the Queen’s Majesty will be changed, as will the Prayer for the Royal Family, which currently asks for blessings on “Charles Prince of Wales” and all the Royal Family. The response “O Lord, save the Queen” will become “O Lord, save the King.”

The warrant will be prepared by the Cabinet Office in collaboration with the Church of England. When the Queen Mother died, in 2002, it took “a couple of years” for the removal of her name to be authorised, a spokesman for the Church of England said this week. He expected that the significance of the change of monarch would mean a much shorter timescale in this instance. “Arrangements are well in hand,” he said on Monday.

In the mean time, the clergy are permitted under Canon B5 to use their discretion to make variations to the liturgy “according to particular circumstances”.

The new King became the Supreme Governor of the Church of England on his accession. This will be reflected in the oaths he will make at his coronation. In 1953, the late Queen pledged to “maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel”; to “maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion”; to “maintain and preserve inviolable the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof”; and to “preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them”.

A spokesman confirmed that there is no requirement to dissolve the General Synod. References to the Queen in Acts of Parliament, Measures of the General Synod, and the Canons are now automatically to be read as references to the King.

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