Unmasked! The mysterious ‘grim reaper’ at the coronation explained

As more than 20 million people tuned into watch the King’s coronation on Saturday (6 May), only a handful of eagle-eyed viewers spotted the mysterious cloaked figure holding a “scythe” and walking through Westminster Abbey.

A clip of the moment went viral online, with viewers joking that it had been the grim reaper, a mythological character known as Death personified, who collects souls after they die.

​​“Anyone else just notice the Grim Reaper at Westminster Abbey?” wrote one person on Twitter, while another added: “Who invited the Grim Reaper?”

Social media users were left asking whether the figure had been someone pulling a prank, knowing the coronation was being televised, or if it had just been a random passerby.

When contacted by Newsweek, Westminster Abbey identified the figure as a verger, a member of the abbey community who assists with religious services but who is not a member of the clergy.

A verger is sometimes seen carrying a rod before a bishop or dean as a symbol of office.

Other viral blink-and-you’ll-miss-it highlights of the coronation included American popstar Katy Perry looking extremely lost as she struggled to locate her seat in the abbey, Penny Mordaunt’s triceps, and Ant and Dec’s peculiar facial expressions throughout the service.

Camilla was also accompanied by her companions – her sister, Annabel Elliot, and one of her close confidantes, Fiona, the Marchioness of Lansdowne –with social media users pointing out that all three blonde women, who all wore ivory-coloured dresses, looked quite similar to one another. They joked they were the Queen’s “stunt doubles”.