King Charles, breaking from tradition, will not be slathered with whale intestines and civet secretions

The BBC reports that the impending coronation of King Charles III will break from the established rituals of the British monarchy, altering the recipe of the sacred "chrism oil" — yes, really — used to anoint the new monarch. This special magic juice is so hallowed that it was not even allowed to be shown on television during the coronation of Chuck's mum, Queen Elizabeth II. Traditionally the "chrism oil" — yes, really — has contained ingredients derived from the secretions of civets (also known as "those poop coffee cats") as well as ambergris from the bile ducts of sperm whale intestines.

Due to concerns about animal cruelty, however, King Charles will use a special, animal-free variant of the "chrism oil." This will also be in keeping with his image as an environmentalist (which is not exactly an image I typically associate with Charles, but whatever).

Here's what the BBC has to say about the traditions of "chrism oil," both new and old:

The new oil includes olive oil scented with a mix of essential oils, sesame, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, neroli and benzoin, with orange blossom also added.

It also has a royal family significance, partly using olives grown on the Mount of Olives at the Monastery of Mary Magdalene, which is where the King's grandmother, Princess Alice, is buried.

In his Christmas message, the King had spoken of his own Christian faith and how much he had been moved when he visited biblical sites, such as Jesus' birthplace in Bethlehem.

The oil was consecrated by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site where it is believed Jesus died and was buried.

Apparently the tools for "chrism oil" anointments are one of the few surviving relics from the original medieval coronation regalia, the rest of which were destroyed on orders of Oliver Cromwell. (Which is also about the nicest thing you'll ever hear me say about Cromwell.)

Anyway. Now you know all about "chrism oil." You're welcome.

Sacred coronation oil will be animal-cruelty free [BBC]