The politician who went viral for carrying swords at King Charles' coronation said she took painkillers before the strenuous task

  • British politician Penny Mordaunt played a key role in King Charles' coronation on May 6.

  • Her duties comprised of carrying swords throughout the ceremony, which lasted over an hour.

  • Speaking on the BBC's "Political Thinking" podcast, she revealed she took painkillers to prepare.

The British politician tasked with handling traditional swords at King Charles' coronation said she took painkillers to deal with the sheer strain of holding them up for over an hour.

Penny Mordaunt, 50, was center stage at Charles and Queen Camilla's coronation on Saturday. The first coronation in the UK in 70 years, the royal event saw roughly 2,200 special guests gather at Westminster Abbey to witness Charles formally begin his reign while millions watched the historic moment unfold on TV.

Although Charles' coronation was much more condensed than that of his predecessor, Queen Elizabeth II, the ceremony still lasted for well over an hour. Mordaunt, a representative of the Conservative Party, took on the role of Lord President of the Privy Council, which involved her carrying two swords throughout the coronation.

Penny Mordaunt and King Charles III at his coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023 in London, England
Penny Mordaunt and King Charles III at his coronation at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023 in London, EnglandRichard Pohle - WPA Pool/Getty Images

She arrived at Westminster Abbey holding the Sword of Estate before swapping it out for the Jewelled Sword of Offering.

According to iNews, the first sword weighs approximately 3.6 kilograms, or roughly 8 pounds, and is 1.2 meters long. It was made in the 17th century for King Charles II and is still used for the opening of State Parliament in the UK, as iNews reported.

Meanwhile, the Jewelled Sword of Offering is encrusted with diamonds, rubies, and features a gold hilt — a design suggested by King George IV in the 19th century, according to the Royal Collection Trust.

Reflecting on the task during a recent appearance on the BBC's "Political Thinking" podcast, Mordaunt said she prepared for her role by taking pain medications.

"I did take a couple of painkillers before just to make sure I was going to be all right," she told the podcast's host Nick Robinson, adding that she'd not trained otherwise and had not been in the gym for six months prior to the royal event.

In order to maintain her blood circulation, Mordaunt — who was the first woman to be take up the ancient task, as the BBC noted — said she relied on tricks she picked up during her navy training such as "wriggling" her toes. She also said having "a good breakfast" and "comfortable shoes" was helpful.

Before the coronation, Mordaunt joked that she had been preparing to carry the swords by doing "press-ups" in an interview on "The Red Box Politics Podcast."

While many coronation watchers on the big day praised Mordaunt for her ability to hold the swords without faltering, some social media users took the opportunity to poke fun at her sword-wielding stamina.

One social-media user edited a photo of her holding the sword for a kebab. Meanwhile, others joked that she deserved to be in the Olympics for holding the swords for as long as she did.


But Mordaunt didn't seem fazed by the memes — in fact, she was a fan.

"I was reunited with my phone and found I had become a meme," Mordaunt told the BBC. "I say well done to the Great British public."

Read the original article on Insider