Penny Mordaunt 'did press-ups' so she could carry massive sword at King’s coronation
The commons leader carried the Sword of State at Westminster Abbey on Saturday.
Carrying the King’s sword is no easy gig and apparently requires a lot of upper-body strength.
The sword of state was presented to Charles at his coronation on Saturday by lord president of the council Penny Mordaunt.
The Tory MP and Commons leader was seen holding up the heavy-looking blade with relative ease during the service in Westminster Abbey.
And it turns out Mordaunt carried out some strength training in order to ensure they were no hiccups, telling Times Radio presenter Matt Chorley she had done press-ups to get into proper shape.
Read more: Prince Andrew booed as he's driven down the Mall ahead of King Charles coronation
Chorley tweeted: “Penny Mordaunt told me she had been doing press-ups to prepare for carrying the sword.
“And had her outfit made specially, with the gold braiding based on the traditional Privy Council court dress – but wanted something actually designed for a woman.”
The intricate tapered sword, made for George IV’s 1821 coronation, has a hilt encrusted with diamonds, rubies and emeralds and a scabbard decorated with jewelled roses, thistles and shamrocks.
Watch: King Charles welcomed to Westminster Abbey by chorister
The sword was blessed by the archbishop and presented to the King by Mordaunt – the first time the sword had been carried and presented by a woman.
It was placed in the King’s right hand, then clipped onto his girdle and eventually unclipped.
Charles stepped forward and offered the sword to the Dean, who placed it on the altar.
The sword was “redeemed” by Mordaunt, who places the redemption money on an almsdish, held by the Dean.
Read more: 'God save Virginia Giuffre': Protesters wave placards on Coronation route
Mordaunt then drew the sword and carried it in its naked form – without its scabbard – before the monarch for the rest of the service.
Even opposition Labour MP Emily Thornberry was impressed by how Mordaunt wielded the sword, adding: “Got to say it, @PennyMordaunt looks damn fine! The sword bearer steals the show. #Coronation”
Charles became the 40th reigning sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, the nation’s coronation church since 1066, as Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby placed St Edward’s Crown on his head.
Before the crowning, the archbishop delivered a sermon to the 2,300 guests, a gathering of world leaders, celebrities, UK politicians, foreign royalty, everyday heroes and the royal family.