King praises artists who worked on Coronation document, telling them: 'You deserve a very stiff drink'

The King has praised the team which created the official record of his coronation, telling them: "You deserve a very stiff drink."

He made the comments as he viewed the Coronation Roll with the Queen on Wednesday, in his second public-facing event since his cancer diagnosis.

The King told heraldic artist Tim Noad and calligrapher Stephanie Gill, who said she worked 56 consecutive days writing the roll: "Thank you very much, I cannot tell you how grateful I am."

The document follows a centuries-old tradition of creating a handwritten record of a monarch's coronation, but is the first to use paper, not the usual animal skin.

It was authored by Antonia Romeo, the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, who signed the document on Friday and described its key features to the King and Queen.

She told them: "It's stitched together, so it's paper, there's no animal product involved and they're sown in what's known as Chancery stitch, there's 30 pages, something like 11,600 words and it's rolled up."

The Queen peered at a section of the roll spread on a table in Buckingham Palace's 1844 room and said: "Goodness me, I won't attempt to read it without my specs", and commenting on how past rolls were written in Latin and French, the King replied: "At least it's in English."

The roll gives a detailed description of the ceremony, listing all the people who took part in the historic event including the procession into Westminster Abbey, the anointing and crowning, as well as describing the last key moments.

Dr Sean Cunningham, head of medieval records at the National Archives where the roll will be stored with 17 other surviving examples, said later: "The roll is really to establish the King's authority and the allegiance of the people who attended the coronation as his loyal leading subjects, so that's the basis on which all these rolls have developed over time.

"And originally they captured who came, what claims they had to perform at the service, at the coronation - this is all part of establishing that relationship between the King and the leading subjects.

"So the new roll is kind of the final version of this, in that it takes elements of those earlier allegiances, oaths and homages and incorporates a kind of narrative story of what happened on the day, so we see much more of what people said, what they were wearing, what the prayers and the anthems and the music (were)."

The royal couple were also shown the digital version of the roll with added features like photographs and video, and watched a recording of their procession into Westminster Abbey on 6 May 2023.

The King said: "Having it on the websites, it makes it more interesting for people."

Dr Sonja Schwoll, head of conservation at the National Archives, said the paper - a watercolour paper called Fabriano Artistico made from cotton - was chosen because "the King is very interested in animal welfare".

"We tried to stay away from any animal products... usually papers have gelatine inside, this paper doesn't have any animal products in them."