For his coronation, King Charles III. a special gift from Pope Francis. The pontiff gives the British monarch, the head of the Anglican Church, two fragments of the Holy Cross on which, according to the Bible, Jesus was crucified.

The relics were incorporated into the Cross of Wales, which is to lead the coronation procession at the May 6 ceremony. The Archbishop of Britain, Andrew John, was scheduled to bless the cross at a service in the north Welsh town of Llandudno in the morning (10am BST). It will then be taken to London.

The fragments are one centimeter and five millimeters in size and each have the shape of a cross. They are set in a larger silver cross behind a rose crystal gemstone so they can only be seen up close.

Cross made from recycled silver bullion

The king – who bore the title of Prince of Wales until his accession to the throne – had given the cross to the Church of Wales for its 100th birthday. He had personally put a leopard head on it as a royal mark in November 2022. After the coronation, the cross is to be used in Wales by the Anglican and Catholic Churches.

The cross is made from recycled silver bullion provided by the Royal Mint in South Wales. Also includes a Welsh felled wood shaft and Welsh slate stand. Stamped on the back are words from Saint David’s last sermon in Welsh: “Byddwch Lawn. Cadwch y ffydd. Gwnewch y Pethau Bychain” – in English: “Be cheerful. Keep the faith. Do the little things.”

Archbishop John was honored to receive the crucifixion. “Its design is consistent with our Christian faith, heritage, resources and commitment to sustainability,” he said. “We are also pleased that his first use will be to escort Their Majesties to Westminster Abbey at the coronation service.”