The Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday has generated acres of international media coverage and tens of thousands of social media posts, with striking images from the Westminster Abbey service and supporting events circulated all around the world.
One unusual take on this centuries old ceremony has come from Jannes the head of the Istanbul office for Stiftung Mercator, a humanitarian foundation. Inspired by his friend Alev Dogan, the German social activist took to Twitter to compare photos from Saturday’s royal ceremony with that of a circumcision party in Turkiye.
The comparison is not as weird as it sounds, especially when you look at the four sets of photos Tessmann presents.
In his first tweet, Tessmann focuses on the thrones. King Charles is pictured in his ceremonial robes and crown holding the Sceptre with the Cross and the Sceptre with the Dove in either hand. He is seated on the ornate oak and gold leaf Coronation Chair that has been part of every coronation since 1308. He is flanked by the Bishop of Durham and the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
Coronation ceremony in UK vs. circumcision ceremony in Turkey. A thread: pic.twitter.com/clT84n5qoq
— Jannes Tessmann (@JannesTessmann) May 7, 2023
In Turkiye, a young boy in the turban and attire of a young Ottoman prince sits atop a gold-plated throne guarded by mock Ottoman soldiers.
The second pairing shows the Prince of Wales tenderly kissing the cheek of his father King Charles III after swearing allegiance to him. Similarly, a boy in his circumcision prince costume gets a kiss from a young woman, possibly his mother.
The third set of photos is about the travelling arrangements for our VIPs on this special occasion. We see the newly crowned King Charles III holding the Sovereign’s Orb from 1661 — a 1.3 kg hollow golden sphere and cross that is set with precious stones.
His Majesty is sitting in the 260-year-old Gold State Coach with Queen Camilla as they are taken back to Buckingham Palace after the conclusion of the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
A carriage is also used for the circumcision party. The boy is dressed in his fancy ceremonial suit and hat, and he holds his own mock gold spectre as he sits in a windowless carriage with his family members. The stagecoach, while much less plush, is decorated with white thread curtains and gold and red material for the carriage body.
In the final set of images, Tessmann brings into sharp focus the horse and carriage that is common to both ceremonies.
He shares a photo of the Diamond Jubilee State Coach carrying Their Majesties to Westminster Abbey on Saturday. Six Windsor Greys sporting black blinkers pull this grand modern carriage, although only two horses are on show in the picture.
For the circumcision party, we see a single grey horse, also in blinkers, at rest. Its harness is connected to a simple white open-top wagon, as its passenger, the young boy in his circumcision dress and play sword and money pinned to his outfit, happily poses by the horse.
Truly, these two seemingly disparate events have far more in common than most of us could have ever imagined.