Saluting the Horse, and other Royal succession traditions

THE loss of a monarch and the instatement of a new ruler comes with pomp, pageantry and wonderful traditions dating back centuries. Look for these: 

The Saluting of the Horse

When leaving Westminster Abbey this week, King Charles III is required to formally salute the Duke of Buccleugh’s horse. The tradition began after the coronation of William III in 1689 when King William, who was short-sighted, greeted the Duke of Buccleugh’s horse believing it was the Duke and the Duke was too embarassed to say anything.

The Seven Chimney Sweep Witnesses 

Seven chimney sweeps who reside within five miles of Buckingham Palace must be present throughout all ceremonies or ‘greate perill will befall ye kingdom’, a custom dating from King Charles I’s coronation when sweeps foiled an assassination plot by turnip-throwers. Due to the shortage of chimney sweeps, retired 92-year-old Bill McKay is back to work for a single day.

Kipper Breakfast

King Charles will be served two smoked kippers for breakfast every day this week. They must have been caught between the first and fifth high tide prior to his ascension to the throne, and must be smoked over a fire using wood from an oak grown on the southern slope of Snowdon and felled by the Archbishop of Cardiff. It is not known why or when this tradition started.

The National Emblems

Look closely and you’ll see a leek in Charles’s top pocket. Every monarch since the formation of the union has been required to carry the emblems of the home nation: a leek in his pocket for Wales, flax in his hair for Northern Ireland, a rose between his teeth for England and a thistle tucked in his waistband for Scotland. Wales is not represented by a daffodil because in 1952 the shop had run out.

The Right of Overthrow

At the start of Sunday’s church service, the Archbishop of Canterbury must declare ‘Does anyone claim the Right of Overthrow?’ At this point the second in line to the throne can reply ‘I claim that right’ and the rivals must fight with swords right there in the aisle. This clause of the Magna Carta has never been invoked out of politeness.

The Unlucky Flagstones

King Charles will walk very carefully through Westminster Abbey with his head bowed to avoid stepping on a crack between the Abbey’s flagstones. In 1694, Mary II died aged only 32 of smallpox, blamed on her stumbling on a crack in the flagstones. The superstition is thought to have inspired a similar scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

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Couple solemnly commence first shag of Carolean era

AS Britain enters a bold new era, one couple reverentially made love for the first time under the reign of King Charles III. 

Jordan Gardner and Charlotte Phelps of Kings Norton agreed the time was right for them to resume their sex lives and consummate the rule of the new King by having an afternoon quickie.

Post-coitally, Jordan explained: “As proud monarchists, like all young people, we thought it appropriate to hold off full relations for a few days following the nation’s tragedy. Of course we’ve done oral to tide us over, but with a deep degree of respect and reverence.

“But this afternoon seemed like the right time for us to commence our first lovemaking of the Carolean age. Perhaps it was the afrodisiac effect of the crisp sandwiches we enjoyed for lunch.

“So, we stood for the national anthem, placed a towel on the sofa and saluted a photo of our new king – and I challenge anyone not to be wildly aroused after that – before making sweet, pro-Royal love.

“In accordance with custom, I finished most satisfactorily and it’s my assumption that Charlotte did too. Then we turned the sound back up on BBC1.”

Partner Phelps said: “Everyone’s talking about this being a brand new age for the country, but Jordan’s as useless at foreplay as ever.”