Is the King’s anointing oil still made from controversial ingredients?

Is the King's anointing oil still made from controversial ingredients?

is holy oil PC? Photo credit: Mark Jones / Wikimedia Commons

The anointing oil is one of the most sacred elements of the centuries-old coronation ceremony, and it used controversial animal ingredients that many find unacceptable today.

The traditional coronation oil contained an ingredient obtained from the intestines of sperm whales, called ambergris, and also a secretion from the glands of the civet, according to Metro, Thursday, May 4.

But with the increasing awareness of animal rights, not to mention the many eco-protest groups, questions have been asked about the upcoming coronation of King Charles.

The oil used for the coronation is called Chrism oil and is contained in the Ampulla, an eagle-shaped vessel which dates back to 1661, along with the actual crowning they constitute the two main elements of the ceremony.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will pour the oil on the head, heart and hands of the King. However, this will take place privately behind a screen away from the television cameras.

In 1953, at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the oil used contained secretions from a musk deer, civet and a sperm whale. But today many see the use of these ingredients as outdated even barbaric, with some countries banning the trade of ambergris.

It has been revealed that the oil to be used on Saturday, May 6, has been made without any animal-based products whatsoever.

It is a well-known fact that King Charles is passionate about conservation and the environment, the new monarch has even said he has cut animal-based products from his diet on several days during each week.

So what exactly will the new coronation oil be made from?

The royal household has said it is a kind of olive oil, chosen from groves located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

One of the groves is at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene, where Princess Alice, the King’s grandmother was buried.

Other ingredients also include amber, cinnamon, jasmine, orange blossom and Rose.

In March this year, the olives were ‘pressed’ outside of Bethlehem, and the oil was consecrated at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.