Coronation processions – Czech kings

Coronation procession - Křížovnické square

Coronation and procession participants
High-ranking clerical dignitaries, leading provincial aristocrats and noted nobelmen from abroad
were also invited to participate in the coronation. All the guests were present during the festive coronation procession. The organization of the people in the ceremonious procession has at all times been the responsibility of the highest courtyard marshal. The emphasis has always been placed on the status and belonging to a certain social class. For instance, the higher provincial officers or representatives of the towns always had to walk prior to the knights who had to be placed prior to the representatives of the lordly class.

Traditional Royal Route

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What did the procession look like? Coronation procession - Lesser Town Sqaure (czech: Malostranské náměstí)
At the time of coronation of George of Poděbrady a brand new custom was introduced. It was the act of tossing tiny coins by the future monarch promising prosperity and welfare to the land. People in the streets decorated their windows by precious carpets and draperies, they cheered and celebrated the king, they threw flowers onto the procession, the town representatives welcomed the sovereign by festive speeches. The whole procession had many stops during which members of the guilds and church orders, pupils, students and soldiers were presenting themselves to the king.  After its arrival in Prague Castle the sovereign was welcomed by the leading representatives of the provincial offices coming from high and also lower aristocracy. The bells were ringing, music was playing, it was all accompanied by canon shooting and various theatre performances.


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Curiosities in the procession
Not always the processions took place without troubles. A good example is the year 1527, the time of the coronation of Ferdinand I. when four men jumped in honour of the king  from the Charles Bridge to the river Vltava. One of them even lost his life during the jump. Even the coronation procession of Maxmilián II. was full of curiosities. A herd of six camels led by six Moors occured in the procession in 1564. It was something extraordinary for that period therefore the entire attention was given to the animals instead of the sovereign.

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