Why these are the most historic moments of the past year…

The first year of a new monarch’s reign is almost always the most important. It’s the one that sets the tone for their chapter in our history.

And as King Charles stepped into the shoes he was born to fill, certain moments from the past year captured the tone for the New Carolean Age brilliantly, with a mutual respect for tradition and adaptation to the modern world.

Indeed, these traditional roles of the King are so ingrained in our history that five new 50p coins have been issued with authorisation from King Charles III himself to mark the first time that each role has been carried out by King Charles.

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Five official British Isles 50p coins issued to mark the inaugural year of King Charles III

Let’s take a look at what they are and why they’ve become so integral to British identity

The Royal Maundy Service – 6th April 2023

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Credit: PA via ITV News

This is an annual service held in the Church of England on Maundy Thursday, ahead of the Easter weekend. During the service the British monarch distributes small silver coins known as ‘Maundy money’ as symbolic alms to elderly recipients.

On 6th April 2023, in the beautiful York Minster, the King gave 74 men and 74 women two small purses each – one red and one white – each containing Maundy money.

Importantly, the number of recipients and the value of the coins within the white purse reflects the King’s age. While the red purse held two commemorative coins, one issued to mark his 75th birthday and one to mark the 75th anniversary of the Windrush Generation.

The Coronation – 6th May 2023

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Official Invitation to the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla

Now, we’ll all remember where we were on 6th May 2023, as the nation came together to witness the first Coronation in 70  years, with 20 million of us watching the live TV broadcast.

The crowning of a King or Queen is an ancient ceremony, rich in religious significance, history and pageantry.

A Coronation Liturgy (or Order of Service) was authorised by the Archbishop of Canterbury and produced in close consultation with the King and the UK Government and comprised both traditional and completely new elements.

Trooping the Colour – 17th June 2023

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Credit: Henry Nicholls / Getty Images via Town and Country Magazine

Trooping the Colour is a ceremonial event performed every year on Horse Guards Parade in London by regiments of the Household Division, to celebrate the official birthday of the British Sovereign. This ancient ceremony has occurred since 1748 and is the highlight of the military ceremonial calendar.

King Charles III led the way on horseback with Prince William, Princess Anne and Prince Edward also on horseback behind him.

The colour trooped in 2023 was that of The Welsh Guards for the first time in 30 years.

The Garter Service – 19th June 2023

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Original artwork by Jean-Michel Girard

In medieval times, King Edward III was so inspired by tales of King Arthur and the chivalry of the Knights of the Round Table that he set up his own group of honourable knights, called the Order of the Garter.

Today, the Order includes The King, several senior members of the Royal Family, and twenty-four knights, chosen in recognition of their work. In 2023 two new members of the Order of the Garter were appointed by the King – Chris Patten, the final governor of Hong Kong, and former Labour minister Catherine Ashton.

Every June, a grand procession of the knights takes place at Windsor Castle, accompanied by a marching band and Officers of the Order, all in grand ceremonial dress.

The State Opening of Parliament – 7th November 2023

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Lords Chamber Credit: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street via GOV.UK

“His Majesty’s most gracious speech to both Houses of Parliament” marks the beginning of a new parliamentary year.

The speech sets out the programme of legislation that the Government intend to pursue in the forthcoming parliamentary session.

Importantly, the 2023 State Opening of Parliament was held much later in the year than usual due to the Coronation in May.

These moments will go down in history as the first in the reign of King Charles III, and the most important British traditions upheld in 2023.

That’s why all 5 moments have been immortalised further on five official 50p coins which will remain highly collectable long after this chapter in our history is closed.

Click here to shop the King Charles III Inaugural Year Range

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