Rishi Sunak on Saturday made history as the first Indian-origin British Prime Minister to perform a reading at the Coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey in London.
The 42-year-old British Hindu leader read from the Epistle to the Colossians from the New Testament reflecting the theme of service to others, in keeping with the recent tradition of UK Prime Ministers giving readings at State occasions.
He and his wife Akshata Murty, the daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, led the procession of flag-bearers as the UK’s Union Jack flag was carried into the Abbey by a high-ranking Royal Air Force (RAF) cadet.
“In the Abbey where monarchs have been crowned for almost a thousand years, representatives of every faith will play a central role for the first time,” said Sunak, in a statement on the eve of the historic event.
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“The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla will be a moment of extraordinary national pride. Together with friends from across the Commonwealth and beyond, we will celebrate the enduring nature of our great monarchy: its constancy, devotion to duty, and service to others. No other country could put on such a dazzling display – the processions, the pageantry, the ceremonies, and street parties,” he said.
However, he stressed the Coronation – the first in 70 years since Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in June 1953 – is not just a spectacle but a proud expression of history, culture, and traditions.
He noted: “A vivid demonstration of the modern character of our country. And a cherished ritual through which a new era is born… And in a fitting tribute to the spirit of service that will define the Carolean Age, people across our country will help their communities with thousands of acts of kindness.
“So let’s celebrate this weekend with pride in who we are and what we stand for. Let’s look to the future with hope and optimism. And let’s make new memories, so we can tell our grandchildren of the day we came together to sing: ‘God Save The King’.”