The Seigneur's Address at The Coronation Service

The Seigneur of Sark, Major Christopher Beaumont. Address to the Sark Celebration Service for the Coronation of King Charles III

The Coronation was a spectacular event witnessed by us all, joined by 100s of millions of people around the world.  More erudite commentators than I have said all that can be said of the meaning of King Charles’ coronation.  Well almost all, because in all the commentaries I heard throughout the day and in all the written words I have read about it in the past few weeks, there has not been one mention of Sark.  I’m here to put that right!

Why was this event so important to us?  To put it simply, without the Constitutional Monarchy we have lived with for the past millennium the Fief of Sark would not exist.  All the privileges we have being part of this unique community would not exist.  We would not be independent and self-governing.  We would not have the ability to create our own laws, or have our own Court which allows us to consent to our own form of justice, which suits our way of life.  The existence of the feudal system in Elizabeth the First’s reign created the bond between the first Seigneur and his Monarch.  During the intervening 22 Seigneurs or Dames and the 19 Kings or Queens that bond has remained intact.  This relationship has provided a legitimacy to our very existence for the past 457 years.  It must be the most treasured part of our heritage and the most important aspect of our future if we wish to maintain our ability to determine the future ourselves, and not let others trespass over our right to do it our way.

I was moved by the act of homage paid to the King by the Prince of Wales.  He said, “I pledge my loyalty to you, and faith and truth I will bear unto to you as your liege man of life and limb.”  This oath is like the one which I will swear to the King on your behalf when he visits next year.  Mine is slightly shorter “Sovereign Lord, I remain your liege man to bear you faith and homage against all.”  The sentiment is the same, and by continuing this tradition of affirming our allegiance to the Monarch, we protect ourselves from the tyranny of assimilation from those who would seek to eradicate difference.

One commentator observed yesterday that King Charles became Sovereign on the death of his mother, but he would feel his reign starts today with his Coronation.  It’s the Coronation which gives his position legitimacy.  That legitimacy will trickle down to us when my tenure as Seigneur can start formerly once I have given my oath to King Charles the Third, our new Duc de Normandie.