Skip to main content

Monty Python Fans Had a Field Day with King Charles III’s Coronation

Please turn to the Book of Armaments

King Arthur and his knights look up in fear in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

It seems feelings are mixed about King Charles III. Not many people seem to like the guy! Here in the U.S., he’s known mainly for divorcing Princess Diana and helping drive his own son out of the country because of racist harassment against Meghan Markle. His coronation, which happened last Saturday, sparked a plethora of memes. Monty Python fans, in particular, went to town on one detail.

During the coronation, the British monarch holds an item called the Sovereign’s Orb. The Sovereign’s Orb, according to the Royal Collection Trust, “is a representation of the monarch’s power. It symbolises the Christian world with its cross set on a globe.” That’s a cool message for a brutal empire to send to all the nations it conquered, subjugated, and robbed over the years! Aside from that, the Orb is basically a golden ball covered in gems, with a cross on top.

And it resembles the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

What, you ask, is the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch? Why, it’s a sacred relic in Monty Python and the Holy Grail! When King Arthur and his knights are confronted with a truly terrifying monster, they get out the Holy Hand Grenade, recite a passage from the Book of Armaments (chapter 2, verses 9-21, to be exact), and then lob the grenade at the hideous thing. (Seriously, it’s so scary.) Here are the relevant verses, for the more pious among you:

And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, “O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.” And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large chunks of … And the Lord spake, saying, “First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.”

The Sovereign’s Orb has been used in coronations for centuries, but what’s special about this coronation is that it’s the first one since Monty Python and the Holy Grail came out. We’ve never been able to joke about this in real time before! It turned a humdrum Saturday church visit into a historic event!

Monty Python fans just had so much fun, it was heartwarming to see.

A few people also took the opportunity to point out that all the cool sparklies in the Crown Jewels are stolen!

Here’s another gem (so to speak): when British politician Penny Mordaunt carried a large sword in the procession, a few people pointed out that strange women distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. It’s a good point in Holy Grail, when Arthur claims he’s king because the Lady of the Lake gave him Excalibur, and it’s a good point now!

Apologies for any inaccuracies or typos in this post. Those responsible have been sacked.

(featured image: EMI Films)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Julia Glassman (she/they) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and covers film, television, and books for The Mary Sue. When she's not making yarn on her spinning wheel, she consumes massive amounts of Marvel media, folk horror, science fiction, fantasy, and nature writing. You can check out more of her writing at, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.