The Archbishop of York pays homage to The Queen

Published 21 July 2020

The Archbishop, who was appointed to the role in December, has made the traditional oath of allegiance to Her Majesty by video call. 

The Queen today received the oath of allegiance from the newly-appointed Archbishop of York during a video call. 

The Archbishop paid “homage” to Her Majesty, in a tradition dating back to the reign of Elizabeth I. This marked the first time homage has been paid to a Sovereign virtually. 

The Queen is pictured with The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell in 2014. 

Normally, new Archbishops visit Buckingham Palace for an Audience with Her Majesty after their appointment, during which they pay homage and give their oath. The act of paying homage is the formal acknowledgement of allegiance to the Sovereign, who is the ‘Defender of the Faith and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.’ 

The act of paying homage is also an established part of the Coronation ceremony, as Bishops swear to be “faithful and true” to the new Sovereign: 

It also helps to mark other milestones in a monarch’s life. Queen Victoria received homage when she ascended to the throne, and also on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee in 1897: 

As Head of the Nation and Head of the Commonwealth, The Queen recognises other faiths, and celebrates religious diversity and tolerance across the network of countries.

In 2019, Her Majesty hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to meet those contributing to the vital work of faith and belief groups across the UK.