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All in the Family: the Coronation of King Charles III

The 6th of May 2023 will be recorded in the annals of history as the first coronation of a British sovereign in the twenty-first century. Charles Philip Arthur George Windsor is the fifth monarch of the House of Windsor, with his predecessors including George V, Edward VIII, George VI, Elizabeth II.

King Charles III ascended to the throne on the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II on 8th September 2022. His coronation marks the moment when he is sanctified, in the eyes of God, as the embodiment and focus for national identity, unity and pride. The ritual provides a sense of stability and continuity as well as officially recognising success and excellence. The words and actions used in the ceremony are a visible representation of the invisible duty and responsibility of the monarch.


On a secular level, the Coronation formalises the monarch's role as the head of the Church of England and marks the transfer of their title and powers.


History, Ritual & Ceremony

The Coronation is centred on a solemn religious ceremony and has remained largely unchanged for over a thousand years. For the last 900 years, the ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey and is conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. English coronations held at Westminster Abbey had the monarch seated on the Coronation Chair [i]. The main elements of the coronation service and the earliest form of oath can be traced to the ceremony devised by Saint Dunstan for Edgar's coronation in 973 AD at Bath Abbey.

The Coronation Chair, known historically as St Edward's Chair or King Edward's Chair, is an ancient wooden chair on which British monarchs sit when they are invested with regalia and crowned at their coronations. From 1296, the Coronation Chair also housed the Stone of Scone, also called Stone of Destiny, in Scottish Gaelic Lia Fail. When Edward I of England invaded Scotland in 1296, the stone (and other Scottish regalia) was moved to London. There, at Westminster Abbey in 1307, Edward I had a special throne, called the Coronation Chair, built so that the stone fitted under it. This was to symbolise that kings of England would be crowned as kings of Scotland also. In 1996 the British government returned the stone to Scotland on the proviso that it be returned to Westminster Abbey for use at future coronations.[ii]


The ceremony itself is made up of several parts. If we look to the Coronation Chart [iii] let us consider the different significators of these parts and see what they might say about this reign:

The Recognition: the monarch is presented to those gathered in the Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The congregation shouts "God Save the King!" and trumpets sound.


The Sun, symbol of the monarch in the Coronation chart, sits in the Tenth house reflecting his position and power. Its conjunction to Uranus suggests that there is something unusual about the monarch. King Charles is the oldest monarch to assume the British throne at the age of 73 years. The King also comes to the throne with a reputation as a reformer and a non-traditionalist with big ideas about climate change, urban blight, organic farming and the dehumanizing nature of modern architecture. The Sun rules the Leo Ascendant suggesting that his reign reflects the changing nature of the United Kingdom, its people and the world.


The Oath: The sovereign swears to uphold the law and the Church of England.


Mercury, lord of oaths and contracts sits with the elevated Sun in the Tenth house. Its retrograde condition could represent Charles’ ascension to the throne later in life, as well as his unorthodox position and ideas. According to Robert Hardman, a royal biographer, “He will be a different sort of monarch. Charles is a deep thinker, romantic, sentimentalist.” [iv] Mercury sits with the North Node, describing the fated or destined position Charles takes on. The tight sextile to Saturn describes both the solemnity as well as the binding nature of the oath. During his life, Charles has always taken his role seriously as heir to the throne and has forged his own legacy. Mercury’s rulership of the Second, Third and Eleventh houses formalises his role which will have direct effect on resources, siblings and groups. We know that he has already taken formal steps to minimise the Royal household, hold his siblings especially Prince Andrew to account as well as asking for profits from a £1bn-a-year crown estate wind-farm deal to be used for the “wider public good” rather than as extra funding for the monarchy. [v]


The Anointing: The Archbishop of Canterbury anoints the King's hands, breast and head with holy oil known to contain ambergris, orange flowers, roses, jasmine and cinnamon. This is the most sacred and also the most secret part of the ceremony. It is screened from public view by a canopy.


The Moon is the representation of this part of the ceremony as she sits in the Fourth house, away from public view, in the sign of her Fall, and in a grand trine with Mars and Neptune. The Moon also rules the Twelfth house of secrets. It seems fitting that this part of the ceremony symbolises the anointing which is a token of honour, and a symbol of consecration. Until the seventeenth century the sovereign was considered to be appointed directly by God and this was confirmed by the ceremony of anointing. Although the monarch is no longer considered divine in the same way, the ceremony of Coronation also confirms the monarch as the Head of the Church of England. In a way, the Moon can also describe the elevation of the ordinary and the mundane to the sacred via this ritual.


The Investiture: The sovereign is presented with items including the Royal Orb, representing religious and moral authority; the Sceptre, representing power; and the Sovereign's Sceptre, a rod of gold topped with a white enamelled dove, a symbol of justice and mercy. Finally, the Archbishop places St Edward's Crown on the King's head symbolising the sovereignty (or authority) of the monarch.

Saturn’s signification of authority and tradition describes the nature of this part of the ceremony as the King is presented with the symbols of office. Saturn in Pisces, sits in the Eighth house, in a sextile to the MC perhaps reminding us that “Heavy is the head that wears the crown.” [vi]


The Enthronement and Homage: The King leaves the Coronation Chair and moves to the throne. Peers kneel before the monarch to pay homage.


Jupiter as the signifier of royalty, royal position as well as royal prerogative sits in the Ninth house in Aries. Jupiter squares Mars and describes the modern sovereign whose position is titular and symbolic but holds no real authority in terms of government. The sovereign is also the head of the Church of England.

The King and his Reign

The Coronation Chart brings to prominence certain facets of the King’s personal chart and also describes the event’s impact on the individual. There is no doubt that this Coronation is about Charles as the position of certain important planets in the natal chart are reflected in the Coronation chart. As a result, they bring to prominence those particular matters they represent.


The Moon

The bi-wheel shows the King’s personal chart in the inner wheel and the Coronation chart on the outer wheel. The King’s Taurus Moon is in the Coronation’s Tenth house both by sign and quadrant house, reinforcing his position and status as well as the impact this has on his own physical and emotional security. The Moon rules his Twelfth house suggesting that his fears and anxieties are reflected in his position and status.


The Coronation Moon at 24 Scorpio, in the sign of its Fall, sits on the King’s Scorpio Sun in the Fourth house and it too, rules the Coronation Twelfth house reflecting the fears and anxieties but also the secret machinations that go on behind the scenes of any event of this nature. What is interesting is Mars, sitting in the Twelfth, in the sign of its Fall, trining the Moon and Neptune. This could be seen as the issue of the Sussexes and what they may spring in public to cause difficulty. Popular opinion as represented by the Moon, is also indicated. Charles popularity has never been high but his approval rating rose to over 60% on his ascension in September last year. It is believed that Charles, conscious of the difficulties imposed on the population by the cost of living, has streamlined the ceremony and cut the guest list by nearly 75%. Where his mother had 8,000 attendees at Westminster Abbey in 1952, there will be just over 2000 at his Coronation.


Saturn

Coronation chart opposes the King’s natal Saturn, highlighting the fact that he takes on the responsibility of the throne at his third Saturn opposition. There will certainly be obstacles and challenges to both his position and his ability to face them.

Looking back at his first Saturn opposition at approximately 16 years of age, the then Prince of Wales was at Gordonstoun, his father’s old school in Scotland. He reportedly described Gordonstoun, noted for its especially rigorous curriculum, as "Colditz in kilts". He subsequently praised Gordonstoun, stating it had taught him “a great deal about myself and my own abilities and disabilities. It taught me to accept challenges and take the initiative.” [vii]


Just before the second Saturn opposition in March 1994 at approximately 46 years of age, King Charles's separation from his first wife Diana was announced in December 1993. In 1994, his autobiography, The Prince of Wales, was published on 1st November 1994. The author Jonathan Dimbleby, with full access to the then-Prince and his papers and diaries, revealed details of his infidelity and suggestions that Diana was mentally unstable. Also in 1994, Charles was the target of a fake assassination attempt during an event in Sydney when an Australian protester (David Kang) jumped on stage with a gun and fired two blanks. In this period, Charles also faced the challenges of parenting his two sons after the separation as well as developing his relationship with Camilla. These presented the challenges not just of balancing a former with a present relationship, but also managing his public position. Painted as the villain in his marriage break-up, Charles lived through a period of public opprobrium and overt hostility from the press.


His third Saturn opposition occurs with three hits: 29 April and 8 August 2023 and the third on 21 January 2024. This will be interesting as the first hit of the three-pronged transit occurs less than a week before the Coronation with the subsequent ones occurring later in the year and the third at the beginning of 2024. The suggestion is that the King faces some very daunting challenges at this time given both his position and his age.


The Coronation Saturn transits through the King’s Eighth house bringing to light crisis and vulnerabilities which can be daunting. We have seen in the past how Charles has overcome these Saturnian challenges through perseverance and tenacity. Saturn rules his Sixth, Seventh and Eighth houses bringing those matters of obligations, alliances and inheritance to the fore. He is finally in the position for which he was born, raised and trained and comes to it juggling both official and personal challenges. The demands of his position will put increasing pressure on him and this will be exacerbated by the situation created by his son, the Duke of Sussex.


Harry, the Duke of Sussex is his second son, and by derived houses, is represented in the King’s life by his Seventh house [viii]. We will continue to see the Sussex saga rear up during this time and it will be interesting to see if and how money becomes a feature in the discussion. Much like his great-uncle Edward, the Duke of Windsor, a monetary settlement may be negotiated to ‘appease’ the Sussexes.


The King’s age is also another factor. Already in his seventies, the King must face punishing schedules of official duties as well as the expectations of office and popular opinion. The King’s personal popularity rose significantly on his ascension to the throne after the Queen’s death in September last year with over 60% of Britons giving him the nod. He now faces one of the major challenges of his reign: demonstrating the relevance of the monarchy to younger generations.


The Ascendant

The Coronation Ascendant sits a few degrees from the King’s own Ascendant in Leo and conjuncts his natal Pluto. If anything, I believe that this is a telling indicator of the powerful and perhaps significant impact Charles’s reign will have on the British nation, on Commonwealth relations as well as the world at large.


The British monarchy is perhaps one of the most well-known and well-regarded in international circles. Successive British governments have utilized the sovereign as ambassador, conciliator and representative of the United Kingdom’s interests and positions on the world stage.


The Leo Ascendant of the Coronation chart mirrors the King’s own Ascendant and while the Sun in the King’s natal chart sits in the Fourth house of family, the Coronation Sun sits high in the Tenth house. We know that throughout his life Charles has had to sublimate his own desires to the demands of duty and obligation. Now as the sovereign, he has to a certain extent, the power to influence matters on a larger scale. His legacy as Prince of Wales is seen in his support of the environment and his strong advocacy for governments around the world to address climate change as well as his concerns for youth unemployment and the preservation of indigenous languages and traditions. The Sun, lord of the Leo Ascendant sits with Uranus, giving us a picture of a monarch who may not always toe the line, or one who will seek to make the changes where he can. As we noted earlier, Charles has moved swiftly on his desire to reduce the costs of the monarchy on the public purse as well as put to use the Royal assets and resources for the benefit of the public. However, his new role will certainly curtail much of his previous activities, something the King himself acknowledged in his ascension speech:


“It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply,” he said. “But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.”[ix]


The Sun and the Moon

Both the King’s Moon and the Coronation Sun sit in earthy Taurus describing an underlying pragmatism that colours both expressions. Over the centuries, the longevity of the British monarchy has been due fundamentally to an innate sense of pragmatism which has underscored many of its principles and endeavours. The King’s commitment to his principles of sustainability, ecological diversity, education and inclusion have been demonstrated over the years through his various charities and the the activities of the Duchy of Cornwall of which he is head.


The placement of the luminaries of the sect[x] of both charts in prominent positions suggest that we may see the support for the King’s interests become prominent or defining to his reign.


2023 May Eclipse

The Coronation chart also captures the lunar eclipse at 14 Scorpio on 5th May and it falls in both the King’s and the Coronation’s Fourth houses emphasising the impact of the eclipse on the King’s personal family as well as the national ‘family’ of the UK and maybe even the Commonwealth. The eclipse is part of the Saros series 7 North and Brady describes this eclipse as being characterised by “…deep passions which are rekindled and are experienced suddenly and unexpectedly…[xi]

The eclipsed Scorpio Moon is disposited by Mars in its Fall in Cancer in the Twelfth house and in an exact trine to the King’s Sun. Mars having just returned from being ‘out of bounds’ presents the drive to reveal previously unknown matters and whose effects may be the centre of allegations involving his children (Mars rules the Fifth house). Mars also rules the Aries Tenth house of status and Government. I believe that the King may find himself if not in conflict, then in a difference of opinion with his Government’s or Palace policies or protocol. This may not always sit well with Charles’s principles but his position as a constitutional monarch and the head of the Royal Family precludes him from acting although according to the constitutional writer Walter Bagehot:


“the sovereign has, under a constitutional monarchy ... three rights – the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn.” [xii]


What this could describe is perhaps a focus on what commentators have described as a move by Commonwealth nation towards a breaking of ties with the British monarchy. This will form a significant backdrop to Charles III’s reign as the historical effects of colonialism and slavery rise to prominence where they have in the past, remained unmentioned, out of sight and out of mind. This is reflected in the placement of the ruler of the Cancer Twelfth house, the Moon in the prominent Tenth house. How the UK Government responds to the rising calls from previous colonies to acknowledge the impact of these historical actions, and the eventual break of the political ties enshrining the British sovereign as their head of state will also define the reign of this new sovereign.


More importantly, the eclipse will also have more immediate effects starting with the ceremony itself. We are already aware of the tension between the Royal family and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, whose attendance or not at the Coronation will be a talking point at the very least. Emotions run deeply within and between members of the Royal family and the Coronation will most likely be a defining moment for future relations.


On a Personal Note


The charts reproduced here show that Charles entered a profected Third house year on his birthday in November 2022, shortly after ascending the throne and the Queen’s death in September. His Third house has Libra on the cusp and also contains a Venus-Neptune conjunction. Venus also rules his natal Taurus Tenth house and it aptly describes his taking on the role which he has been training for, his entire life.


The Third house profection suggests that matters highlighted this year have to do with the new King’s opinions and ideas and how they may or may not sit in accordance with his new position. The Third house profection is also reflected in the manner in which he has dealt with his brother Prince Andrew’s indiscretions. With swift action, the King moved him onto the ‘inactive Royals’ list and has been pressing him to move out if his opulent grace and favour accommodation to a more modest one, reflecting his change in status.


In the 2022 Solar Return, the Lord of the Year, Venus is in Scorpio in the Fifth house. Venus in Scorpio is in Detriment, in close conjunction to Mercury and in a partile trine to Jupiter in Pisces which is conjunct the Solar Return MC in the Ninth house. It is interesting that the Fifth house of children again looms prominently suggesting that the ongoing feud between his sons continues to dominate the year, way past the Coronation itself. Venus as Lord of the Year is in poor condition to deliver the cooperation and unity she promises however her trine to an elevated and dignified Jupiter in Rulership should help lift her to produce at least some modicum of conciliation. But there is a bite to this Scorpio Venus as the trine to the MC suggests a very public outcome.


The narrative continues when we see the King’s natal Ascendant at 5 Leo conjuncting the Solar Return Moon in the Second house bringing to the fore natal issues of money and wealth. It highlights the King’s pre-occupation with a continued campaign of minimising the costs of the monarchy on the public purse. It may also reflect the effect that the ongoing issue with the Sussexes has on his own personal wealth. There is the matter of the Sussexes being reimbursed £2.4 million spent on refurbishments and rent paid up front after being evicted from Frogmore Cottage.[xiii]


The King’s 2022 Solar return Ascendant at 22 Cancer falls into his natal Twelfth house. I expect the fear and anxieties of his position and the fact that he is finally being able to fulfil his lifelong destiny as sovereign is now under threat from his own son. It is said that public opinion in the UK especially, is such that an appearance by the Sussexes may draw public opprobrium in the form of booing and other anti-social expression. This is something that the King will hardly tolerate. The Coronation is a litmus test for both his own public approval as well as a crucible for either a reconciliation or a final break within the Royal family ranks.


Full Circle: the Firdaria

The King is in the last few months of his South Node Firdaria which started in 2018 and finishes on 15 November 2023 at which time the Moon takes over as the time lord for the next nine years. As a nocturnal birth, Charles has now come full circle of the nocturnal Firdaria[xiv], and returns to the first period ruled by the Moon.


Since 2018, Charles as the oldest Prince of Wales in history has had to meet some very difficult challenges as the heir apparent to the British throne while trying to meet the demands of both sides of the generational divide.


On the one hand, as the eldest child of ageing and one ailing parent, he has had to ensure the well-being of both by assuming greater responsibilities on behalf of the reigning monarch, his mother, the Queen. At the same time he has been supporting her as an ageing parent and also as a grieving wife. In this period, the Queen’s husband and Charles’s father died. The Queen lost her partner of nearly eighty years, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh who was the longest-serving royal consort in history.


On the other, the King has had to play the referee between his warring sons, suffer the heart-breaking accusations of his son, Harry the Duke of Sussex and his wife, dealt with the fall-out of his brother Prince Andrew’s indiscretions, all the while manoeuvring his way through the protocol that defines his role as monarch as well as his responsibilities as a father.


Charles’s Nodal axis straddles the Fourth-Tenth axis with the North Node in the Tenth and the South Node in the Fourth, reflecting the narrative of this period that is the emotional tug-of-war between the public and private life.


It is fitting then to see that he comes full circle with the Moon Firdaria [xv] in this his first year as monarch. With his natal Taurus Moon exalted and in the Tenth house it is suggested that he may see out his reign playing a nurturing role to a Britain that is entering a new phase of its evolution from empire to modern nation. Part of this process will also involve the nurturing of a new Britain acknowledging the consequences of the past and using it to secure its future. Although his mother, the former Queen saw former colonies gain independence and gather together under the umbrella of the Commonwealth, Charles is the figurehead that will define a new era.


Charles, as King, brings to the throne a lifetime of achievements where he has worked to better not only the physical world but also the material well-being of many. At his birth, he was hailed as the heir and a new generation of the Windsor family. The Taurus Moon also mirrored the role women played in his life at that time: his mother and his grandmother were both pivotal figures growing up. Now, he will be crowned together with the Queen Consort, Camilla [xvi] drawing the circle to a close as he embarks on perhaps the greatest challenge, for which he has prepared all his life.


NOTES [i] Westminster Abbey. Sourced at https://www.westminster-abbey.org/about-the-abbey/history/the-coronation-chair Accessed: 24/2/23.
[ii] The Coronation Chair. Sourced at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronation_Chair#/media/File:Coronation_Chair-0001.jpg Accesed: 1/03/23 [iii] As of writing this article, an official time has not been announced. Taking a lead from previous coronations over the last one hundred or so years, there has been a tendency to select a late morning or noon time for the beginning of the ceremony.
[iv] William Booth & Karla Adam What kind of monarch will King Charles III be? Different from his mum. The Washington Post, September 9, 2022. Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/09/09/how-will-king-charles-rule/
[v] Alex Lawson and agencies. King Charles redirects £1bn windfarm profits towards ‘public good’. The Guardian. 19 Jan 2023. Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jan/19/king-charles-redirects-1bn-windfarm-profits-towards-public-good Accessed: 27/02/23.
[viii] In the technique of derivng the houses, the second child is represented by the Seventh house as it is the Third from the Fifth i.e. the sibling of one’s child.
[ix] Sean Boynton As King Charles III begins his reign, what legacy will he bring to the British throne? Global News September 14, 2022 8:56 pm. Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/8288828/queen-elizabeth-death-charles-legacy/#:~:text=Charles%20was%20named%20Prince%20of,languages%20to%20addressing%20youth%20unemployment Accessed: 3/03/23
[x] The Sun of the diurnal Coronation chart is in the diurnal position in the Tenth house and the Moon of the King’s natal nocturnal chart is placed in the hemisphere away from the Sun, also in the Tenth house. Each is the luminary of its sect i.e. Sun of the diurnal chart, and Moon of the nocturnal chart.
[xi] Brady, B The Eagle and the Lark: a textbook of predictive astrology. Samuel Weisser Inc., 1992. P. 318.
[xii] Bagehot, W (2001). Smith, Paul (ed.). The English Constitution. Cambridge University Press.
[xiii] Rory Tingle and Jamie Phillips and Rebecca English. Will Meghan and Prince Harry get a refund after King Charles kicked them out of Frogmore Cottage? Daily Mail UK. 3 March 2003. Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11816269/Will-Meghan-Prince-Harry-refund-King-Charles-kicked-Frogmore-Cottage.html Accessed: 9/03/23
[xiv] The Firdaria for nocturnal births has the Moon as the main ruler of the first period of life, while diurnal births have the Sun as the main ruler of the first period of life.
[xv] The Moon Firdaria, for nocturnal births starts at birth and goes to 9 years of age.



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