Mystery of grim reaper appearance at Coronation solved as identity announced

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    Royal fans who tuned in to watch King Charles III's Coronation were left baffled when they saw an ominous spectre cross their TV screens as the ceremony got underway at in Westminster Abbey on May 6.

    The cloaked figure was spotted scurrying beneath the rood screen of the abbey, holding what looked to be a long staff, although some people described it as a scythe, something that the Grim Reaper would be holding.

    Some took to social media, claiming the mysterious figure was the "Grim Reaper" making an appearance.

    READ MORE: 'Grim Reaper' spotted lurking at Coronation in unnerving sign for King's reign

    However, Westminster Abbey have since been asked about the true identity of the curious figure to lay the speculation to rest.

    In response, it seems it was just a verger going about his daily business, albeit at the first coronation in 70 years, coverage which was watched by nearly 19 million people in the UK.

    A verger is a member of the abbey community who assists with religious services but as a layperson isn't actually a member of the clergy.

    He is basically a glorified caretaker or attendant in the abbey or other such place of worship.

    They can sometimes be seen carrying a rod before a bishop or dean as a symbol of office.

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    In a recent job vacancy advert for a verger at Ripon Cathedral, they were looking for someone to be ‘involved in the presentation and maintenance of the Cathedral’.

    Main duties and responsibilities included ‘ensuring effective communication’, ‘assisting with the effective management of all events, liturgical and secular in the Cathedral, ‘with the proper care, preparation and maintenance of all items used in services’, as well as many more tasks.

    For readers of an older persuasion, a verger conjures up images of Edward Sinclair Perry who played the jovial verger Mr Yeatman at St Aldhelm’s, and who was the vicar’s loyal servant, in Dad’s Army.


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