Today is the 950th anniversary of the coronation of Harold Godwinson as King Harold II in Westminster Abbey.
His predecessor King Edward the Confessor had died only the day before, apparently nominating the Earl when on his deathbed. The fact that the new King was crowned the very next day is often commented upon as being a sign of haste - which it doubtless was - but it was also the Epiphany, a very suitable day for a king to have his coronation, and medieval coronations were usually on a feast day. Thus King Edgar was crowned on Whitsunday, and King John on Ascension Day, whilst Charlemagne had been crowned Emperor on Christmas Day
The crown is offered to Earl Harold and he is crowned as King Harold II
The scene of the coronation of King Harold II in the Bayeux Tapestry appears to be the earliest surviving depiction of a specific English coronation, even if it has been questioned whether he was in fact crowned by Archbishop Stigand of Canterbury, who was under censure as a pluralist, and not by Archbishop Ealdred of York.
The enthroned King, with crown orb and sceptre, flanked by the Archbishop and the officers of state holding the sword is an image that thas been repeated down the centuries.
The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
For King Harold II however it was not to be a long reign.