Henry V’s sword. Analysis
King Henry V’s sword was carried through London’s Westminster Abbey on Thursday as England celebrated the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, one of its greatest-ever victories in war.
A service was held in the royal church where the king is buried, six centuries on from the day when news of the victory arrived in London, triggering joyous celebrations.
The battle on October 25, 1415 saw a heavily-outnumbered and exhausted English army inflict a catastrophic defeat on the French that altered the course of the Hundred Years’ War.
King Henry was 28 and two years into his nine-year reign. His longbow archers routed the French nobility.
Westminster Abbey holds king Henry’s “funerary achievements” — the personal items carried at his funeral, namely his sword, shield, saddle and helmet.
His sword was carried through the church once again and placed on the altar next to his helmet.
Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, joined around 2,200 people at the service, many of whom were history buffs who snapped up the tickets.
The choir sang “The Agincourt Carol” in its original 15th-century English.
It begins: “Owre kynge went forth to Normandy / With grace and myght of chyvalry / There God for hym wrought mervelusly / Wherefore Englonde may calle and cry / Deo gratias!”