Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Coronation in Budapest

Today is the 95th anniversary of the coronation of the Bl. Emperor Charles as King Charles IV of Hungary in 1916. The fact that he had received this sacramental was of enormous spiritual significance to the King and his Queen Zita, and why he refused to renounce his rights in 1921.

The ceremony, central to the traditional Hungarian concept of kingship, was both deemed to be a constitutional requirement and also. it seem, as a means of binding the new King, who had succeeded to the throne in late November, to the existing balance of political pwer within the realm by the Prime Minister, Count Tisza.

There is an account of the preparations for the coronation in Miklos Banffy's memoir The Phoenix Land and there is a detailed description of the day, set within the action of a sprawling novel about a Magyar aristocratic family, in Lajos Zilahy's The Dukays.


The King taking the Coronation oath


The King on horseback upon the hill composed of soil from every county in Hungary.
This part of the ceremonial involved the King riding up the hill and brandishing his sword to the four points of the compass to symbolise his defence of the frontiers of the kingdom - indeed the oath speaks of extending them.


King Charles IV, Queen Zita and Crown Prince Otto.
The King died in 1922, Queen Zita in 1989 and Otto in 2011.


King Charles IV wearing the Holy Crown
and mantle of St Stephen and holding the sceptre.

Images: The Emperor Charles League of Prayer

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