Penny Mordaunt’s sword becomes Tower attraction after Coronation popularity
Penny Mordaunt acting as sword bearer
The sword wielded by Penny Mordaunt at King Charles III’s Coronation has become an attraction in the Tower of London after the Leader of the House of Commons’ popularity at the ceremony.
A new display is opening this week in the Jewel House, alongside the crowns and regalia in the Tower.
Officials at the historical site have said the sword of state, wielded by Ms Mordaunt at the ceremony, has become a talking point for visitors ever since.
Charles Farris, a historian of the monarchy at Historic Royal Palaces, told the BBC: “It’s not an object we might have seen visitors looking for, particularly in the past – but we expect that they definitely will now.
“It’s wonderful to see the ways in which the recent Coronation has given people a newfound appreciation of the crown jewels.”
The 17th-Century sword, which is more than 3ft in length, was carried by Ms Mordaunt.
As Lord President of the Council, she was responsible for bearing The Sword of State and presenting The Jewelled Sword of Offering to the King – the first time it has been carried and presented by a woman.
Dressed in a custom-made teal outfit with a matching cape and headband with gold feather embroidery, she held and carried the pieces for more than an hour at the service at Westminster Abbey.
Ms Mordaunt, who is also the Leader of the House of Commons, said she had been doing press-ups in preparation and practising in rehearsals with weighted replicas.
The Portsmouth North MP, who took part in the ITV diving show Splash! in 2014, also said her experience as a Royal Navy Reservist helped prepare her for standing for long periods of time without fainting.
Speaking to The Times’ Red Box Politics podcast ahead of the ceremony, Ms Mordaunt said: “The Lord President of the Council is really the chairman of the King’s Privy Council.
“It used to be the executive for the King, and it still does a lot of business and it’s an important part of our constitution and the authority that we have in Parliament.
“On the day I am representing the King’s authority, and I am going to be doing a number of things.
“One of them will be carrying the Sword of State which is the heaviest sword so I’ve been doing some press-ups to train for that.
“It has to be carried at right angles to the body, hence the need to do press-ups.
“It’s pointing upwards, holding out in front of you, for some time.”
Asked if she was able to practice with the real thing, she said: “We get to practice with some replicas which are weighted.”
On whether her Navy experience was coming in handy, Ms Mordaunt added: “It is, especially standing for long periods of time not fainting.”
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