Imperial encounter with the True Cross
The Emperor and his parents this afternoon saw what is believed to be part of the wooden cross on which Christ was crucified.
Jonathan I, Emperor Mother Margaret and Emperor Father Terry met in Knightsbridge to walk the short distance to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God, where part of the Cross was being brought. The relic, usually kept in Jerusalem, is currently on a “tour” of the United Kingdom.
The Emperor and his parents arrived at the start of an hour and a half long service, during which the piece of the Cross arrived and was placed on a stand in the middle of the church while hymns and psalms were sung and prayers were chanted. After the service, members of the congregation went up to venerate the relic, which is encased in an icon of silver and gold.
Jonathan I has been an Orthodox Christian since 2011, but this was the first time that his father has been to an Orthodox service, while the Emperor Mother has previously been to two.