Pope Francis presents King Charles with gift containing shards of Jesus' cross
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The Pope has gifted King Charles with fragments believed to belong to the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.
The splinters from Christ's cross will form a new processional cross which will be used at during the coronation of the new King next month.
The cross, made from recycled silver, Welsh slate, and reclaimed wood was a gift from the then-Prince Charles to the Church in Wales back in 2020 to mark its centenary.
The cross has now been gifted back to the King and will lead the coronation procession on May 6 at Westminster Abbey.
The cross has a whole new feature for the coronation: two shards from Pope Francis believed to be from the cross Jesus died upon.
The two shards have been intersected behind a rose crystal gemstone to form the shape of a cross.
The Church in Wales, a branch of the Anglican Church, said in a statement that the gift from the Pope is a significant gesture to the new King.
"In a significant ecumenical gesture, the Cross of Wales will incorporate a relic of the True Cross, the personal gift of Pope Francis to His Majesty The King to mark the Coronation," the statement read, as per Reuters.
Anglican Archbishop of Wales Andrew John blessed the cross at a service on Wednesday (April 19) in North Wales.
"Its design speaks to our Christian faith, our heritage, our resources and our commitment to sustainability," he said.
"We are delighted too that its first use will be to guide their majesties into Westminster Abbey at the Coronation Service."
King Charles III, 73, ascended to the throne on 8 September, upon the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.
A national period of mourning followed, before the late 96-year-old was laid to rest on 19 September.
The deeply religious ceremony will be held at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6 May next year, with the Queen Consort being crowned alongside Charles, Buckingham Palace announced.
The Palace said the ceremony will be 'rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry' but also 'reflect the monarch's role today and look towards the future'.
Charles will be anointed with holy oil, receive the orb, coronation ring and sceptre, be crowned with the majestic St Edward's Crown and blessed during the historic ceremony.
Camilla will also be anointed with holy oil and crowned, just like the Queen Mother was when she was crowned Queen in 1937.