On Saturday 6 May, Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris attended the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla in Westminster Abbey.
Rebecca Harris is a Senior Government Whip, which means she is usually responsible for making sure Government policies, such as Brexit and sanctions against Russian nationals associated with the war in Ukraine, pass through Parliament and into law.
By custom, some Senior Government whips are also ceremonially appointed officers of the Royal Household. When then Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Rebecca Harris as ‘Comptroller of the Household’, Rebecca became the first woman to hold the post in the 624-year history of the office. The office is unsalaried and largely ceremonial.
As this post gave her a ceremonial position in the Royal Household, during the Coronation, it was her duty to walk behind the Royal Standard as part of the procession into Westminster Abbey. Similar to HM Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession, where Rebecca walked ahead of the Royal Navy pulling the state gun carriage with Her Majesty’s coffin, Rebecca carried her ceremonial staff whilst walking behind the Royal Standard in the Abbey.
Rebecca Harris MP commented on the day:
“I was quite nervous and we had a few dress rehearsals but it was an incredible honour. It’s a role that often isn’t held by a woman so there was no rule book about what I should wear. I was worried about it and spent lots of time planning.
“I am still pinching myself about the whole occasion. Everyone was silent and taking it all in, except when praying or saying God Save The King.
The whole day and being involved was just astonishing. While walking down the aisle I was thinking ‘do no trip or fall or hit something’.”
For more information on the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla, please view the Government’s helpful guide at: https://coronation.gov.uk/about-the-coronation/.