King Charles has made a controversial change to one tradition surrounding the coronation of a new monarch.

Instead of hereditary peers swearing an oath to him when he's crowned on Saturday, he's asked the public to take that role.

What has traditionally been called "homage of the peers" will now be "homage of the people."

Charles asks anyone watching to say: "I will pay true allegiance to your majesty and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God."

People have mixed emotions about the move, with some calling it tone-deaf and others welcoming the opportunity to be included.

"I think the changes are laughable, to be honest," Tristan Gray, convenor of Scottish political party Our Republic, told CTV News. "The best he can think of doing in terms of involving the public is to ask them to pledge their loyalty to him, despite him having done absolutely nothing to earn it."

But others, including one who spoke to CTV National News in London, called it "a momentous occasion, and I think we should show our respect."

Another told CTV News' Joy Malbon he would watch the ceremony in his home and likely say the pledge out loud.

The controversy surrounding the pledge comes from both a historical and new age awareness, royal historian and commentator Carolyn Harris told CTV's Your Morning on Wednesday.

"I think there's a blend of tradition and modernity here," she said.

Harris pointed to the traditions of Scottish coronations, including a pledge of allegiance for the people, and to the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, where she "strongly" focused on bringing the British aristocracy together.

"Whereas we're seeing a much more inclusive approach in the reign of Charles III in 2023," Harris said.

But if the King's intention was indeed to make the ceremony more inclusive, Harris believes the idea was not communicated properly.

"I think one of the challenges is that when we have a homage to the Monarch, in this fashion, that often the public will view this in a very personal way, that the goal is to personally swear allegiance to King Charles," she said, rather than as an attempt to include the public in what has historically been limited to the aristocracy.

To better reflect that goal, Harris believes the oath should be used to focus on the Monarchy as the "personification" of the nation, allowing for an opportunity to discuss further how constitutional monarchy works.

"We need to think bigger than just the Monarch himself to what he symbolizes," she said.


To hear the full interview click the video at the top of this article.