How Penny Mourdaunt prepped for Coronation sword holding – from pain killers to shoe choice
11th May 2023

Penny Mordaunt almost stole the show at King Charles’ historic Coronation, holding the 8lb (3.6kg) Sword of State aloft for nearly half of the two-hour ceremony.

The Conservative MP, who also serves as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Privy Council, says she took a "couple of painkillers" before the ceremony to manage the weight of the sword.

Her display of strength made headlines, with articles popping up all over the place with titles like "How to get arms of steel like Penny Mordaunt" and "How to get Penny Mordaunt's sword-bearing arms". This was the first time a woman had carried the swords in a Coronation, making it an even more notable feat.

Penny revealed on Nick Robinson's Political Thinking podcast that she hadn't been hitting the gym for six months prior to the ceremony.

She revealed: "You want to make sure you are in good nick" adding, "I did take a couple of painkillers beforehand just to make sure I was going to be alright."

She also shared her tips for anyone who might find themselves having to do some sword-carrying of their own: "Practice", "have a good breakfast", and "wear comfortable shoes".

And "Like anything you’re preparing for, don’t leave anything to chance."

Penny didn't just stop at carrying the Sword of State at the King's Coronation, she was also presented with the stunning Jewelled Sword of Offering.

This smaller, yet no less impressive item, is decorated with silver, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds and is a symbol of Royal power. Before presenting it to the King, the sword was blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

After accepting the sword from Penny, the King clipped it into his girdle, which was an iconic moment for the ceremony. The sword was later returned to Ms Mordaunt, who proudly carried it as she walked ahead of the newly-crowned king.

Despite the heavy lifting and the pressure of such a momentous occasion, Penny credits the support of her colleagues and fellow participants in the ceremony for helping her through.

She told the podcast host she was pleased by the praise on social media, explaining: “I was reunited with my phone and found I had become a meme,” adding that “it is nice to be recognised”.

She said: "The chaps who haven’t got any plaudits at all are the former defence chiefs who were standing behind me with the other swords in the ceremony.”

Penny’s outfit also attracted plenty of attention. The MP sported a fitted teal number with a cape and matching headdress. Her headwear and flattering dress both featured the golden fern motif of the Privy Council.

“I think we can all agree that Penny is SLAYING it today,” wrote one fan.

BBC presenter Tina Daheley even branded Penny as the “new Pippa Middleton.”


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