Homage of the People: What is the coronation allegiance pledge?

As part of the ceremony, members of the public will be invited to join in the 'homage of the people'

FILE - Britain's Prince Charles, right, and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, listen as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II delivers the Queen's Speech, in the House of Lords, during the State Opening of Parliament, at the Palace of Westminster in London, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Britain's queen consort, Camilla, has come a long way. On May 6, she will be crowned alongside her husband and officially take her first turns on the world stage as Queen Camilla. It’s been a remarkable and painstakingly slow transformation over five decades. (Carl Court, Pool Photo via AP, file)
People will be invited to pledge their allegiance to King Charles during his coronation alongside Camilla, the Queen Consort. (AP)

Brits watching King Charles's coronation will play a part in proceedings – but the jury's out on whether they're particularly keen on the idea.

As part of the ceremony, members of the public will be invited to join in the "homage of the people", which will be used for the first time and replaces the traditional "homage of peers" in the service, in what has been dubbed the pledge of allegiance.

But campaign group Republic branded the pledge "offensive, tone deaf and a gesture that holds the people in contempt".

For the first time in the coronation of a British monarch, someone who is not a member of the Church of England will participate in the service, as prime minister Rishi Sunak, whose religion is Hindu, will read from the Bible.

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak talks to Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni during bilateral talks at 10 Downing Street in London, Thursday, April 27, 2023.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali, pool)
UK prime minister Rishi Sunak will take part in the ceremony. (AP)

Additionally, there will be a procession of faith representatives into Westminster Abbey, and King Charles will receive a greeting from representatives from the Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Buddhist faiths after he is crowned.

The service will also for the first time feature female bishops, as well as a hymn sung in English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic – which is reportedly intended to represent the diversity of modern Britain.

What is the coronation allegiance pledge?

Officially called the homage of the people, the pledge replaces the homage of peers, which saw dukes pledge their allegiance to the monarch.

The order of service will read: “All who so desire, in the Abbey, and elsewhere, say together:

“All: I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”

A fanfare will play following the pledge.

Royal fan John Loughrey speaks to passerby along the King's coronation route at The Mall in London, Tuesday, May 2, 2023. The coronation of King Charles III will takes place at Westminster Abbey on May 6. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Royal enthusiasts will no doubt take part in the pledge of allegiance to King Charles. (AP)

A Lambeth Palace spokesperson said: “Those watching and listening at home and elsewhere will be invited to make their homage by sharing in the same words – a chorus of millions of voices enabled for the first time in history to participate in this solemn and joyful moment."

Why is the pledge controversial?

While the palace may view the homage of the people as "a chorus of millions of voices", the people don't necessarily feel the same.

A recent poll from YouGov showed that the majority of Brits are not interested in the coronation, while an exclusive survey for Yahoo showed that 54% of people said they would not be tuning in to watch King Charles's big day.

The idea of swearing an oath to the monarch was dismissed as "tone deaf" by critics of the Royal Family, with Graham Smith from the campaign group Republic commenting: "This oath plan has been widely mocked, and the chances of more than 0.001% of the country taking this seriously are zero. With just 9% of people enthusiastic about the coronation, this plan shows just how out of touch the royals are."

Protesters hold placards with the message
Protesters hold placards with the message 'Not my king' before King Charles III arrives to attend the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March. (AP)

Political economist and chartered accountant Professor Richard Murphy wrote on Twitter: "I don't mind swearing. It's the allegiance to an outdated legacy of eugenic feudal power that I have a problem with."

A poll from Yahoo News UK showed that more than 70% of users dd not plan to swear their allegiance to the king during the coronation. Have your say here.

Protests have been threatened during the coronation, which, alongside security fears, has pushed the expected coronation bill up to an estimated £250m, according to The Mirror.