Close-up photo of a man wearing glasses standing in front of a bookshelf

College Lecturer in History and Fellow of St Hugh’s College, Professor George Garnett, features on the University of Oxford’s website, discussing the history of coronation traditions in the run up to the Coronation of King Charles III.

In his ‘Oxford Profile’ piece, Professor Garnet explains that the coronation ceremony as we know it today can be traced back to 7th century Visigothic Spain (although that ceremony was modelled on Old Testament traditions going back 1,600 years). He provides insight into the origins of some of the traditions that will be on display at King Charles’ Coronation on 6th May, and discusses some key ceremonial aspects that might be missing from the ‘pared-back’ event, such as the traditional ‘homage’ that is paid to the monarch by the country’s nobility.  

Professor Garnet’s academic interest in coronations began when he was a student at Cambridge University in the late 1970s and early 80s. Initially interested in pursuing Soviet history, Professor Garnet took a paper in medieval history which started him on the path to becoming a medieval historian, with his doctorate focusing on medieval coronations laying the groundwork for much of his later research. He is currently working on the second volume of his comprehensive work on the ways in which the Conquest has been reinterpreted over the course of English history from the 11th century to the eighteenth.