Following the King’s Coronation on May 6 a historic mosaic usually kept roped off will be open to the public, but only if they take their shoes off.
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The mosaic is normally covered with carpet for the ceremony, but this time it will be left uncovered.
Anyone visiting the artwork will be asked to walk in socks to help protect the geometric patterns of marble, stone, glass and metal, with tourist groups to be kept to a maximum of 10 at a time.
First commissioned by Henry III and completed in 1268, the pavement measures 24ft 10in and is supposed to depict the universe.
An inscription on it even predicts the end of the world, claiming it will last for 19,683 years.
King Charles will be officially crowned in less than two months
The mosaic is usually roped off
This number was worked out through a riddle adding together the lifespans of different animals including dogs, horses, men, stags, ravens, eagles and whales.
The mosaic was hidden by a carpet for 150 years until restoration work at the Abbey was carried out, with it being unveiled again in 2010.
Scott Craddock, head of visitor experience at The Crown and Church tours, said: “We hope our events and digital resources give everyone an opportunity to join the celebrations.”
Westminster Abbey has been the venue for royal events going back centuries
Charles and Camilla will be officially proclaimed King and Queen Consort
The mosaic was kept covered with carpet at the late Queen’s Coronation in 1953
A spokesperson for the Abbey said: “It will be the first time in living memory that the Abbey has invited visitors to walk on the Cosmati pavement where the Coronation Chair will be placed for the crowning of HM The King on Saturday 6 May.”
The pavement is situated before the High Altar at Westminster Abbey and is considered the best example of Cosmati stonework outside of Italy.
It is named after the Italian family which developed the technique of elaborate inlays of small triangles and rectangles of coloured stones and glass mosaics set into stone matrices or encrusted upon stone surfaces.
Most senior royals will be in attendance, including possibly Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, although they have yet to confirm this.
Many celebrities who have been invited to royal events in the past are also expected to be there, including Bear Grylls and David and Victoria Beckham.
Sandra Oh was also present at the Queen’s funeral as part of the Canadian delegation, so it is thought she may be at the Coronation too.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK