Chief Rabbi plans sleepover with King Charles before Shabbat coronation

Invitation to stay at the royal residence at Clarence House on Friday night will make it easier to walk to the event the following day


LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 10: External view of the royal residence, Clarence House on February 10, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Ming Yeung/Getty Images)

The Chief Rabbi and his wife will stay with the King and Queen Consort at Clarence House the night before the coronation to allow them to attend without breaking the laws of Shabbat, the JC understands.

Clarence House is less than a mile from Westminster Abbey, allowing Rabbi Mirvis and his wife Valerie to avoid taking a car on 6 May, a Saturday.

Rabbi Mirvis will follow a 120-year-old precedent set by his predecessor, Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler, who also attended the coronation of King Edward VII on a Shabbat in 1902.

Rabbi Adler stayed at nearby Western Synagogue where he led early Shabbat prayers and had a shul breakfast before walking in his robes to Westminster Abbey, escorted by police.

Chief Rabbi Mirvis will also celebrate Shabbat with local communities.

This is not the first time the Chief Rabbi’s observances have been taken into account by the King.

Following the Queen’s death, a Buckingham Palace reception with the King was moved earlier on a Friday so Rabbi Mirvis could get to shul before Shabbat.

Besides Chief Rabbi Adler, members of the Rothschild and Sassoon families attended Edward VII’s coronation of Edward VII, as well as the Mayor of Grimsby, Councillor M Abrahams.

According to the Reverend Arthur Barnett’s history of the Western Synagogue in London, not all went quite according to plan in 1902.

“Unfortunate to relate, while he was away in the Abbey his travelling-case was stolen from the home of his host, as well as a pair of silver Sabbath candle-sticks — a sad reward for his loyalty!” Mr Barnett recorded.

There are hopes that 12 decades on, Chief Rabbi Mirvis will be able to attend the coronation of King Charles III without falling victim to theft.

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