Why does the Archbishop of Canterbury crown the monarch?


The office of Archbishop of Canterbury dates back to St Augustine of Canterbury, the first Archbishop of Canterbury.
St Dunstan crowns King Edgar Lawrence OP

St Augustine established the See of Canterbury in 597 after coming to Britain from Rome; bringing the Christian faith to southern England.

As senior bishop of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury has crowned most monarchs over the past 1,000 years.

The first detailed coronation service is thought to have been drawn up by St Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, for the grand coronation of Edgar, first King of All England, at Bath Abbey in 973. 

There have been occasions when someone other than the Archbishop of Canterbury has crowned the sovereign, normally when the Archbishop has been indisposed or the See was vacant, but this has not happened in recent times.

The Archbishop is senior bishop of the Church of England, Primate of All England and spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

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