(Llandudno) A silver ceremonial cross containing fragments the Vatican says comes from the cross on which Jesus was crucified was blessed on Wednesday ahead of its use for the coronation of King Charles on May 6.

Pope Francis gave two fragments of the cross, one five millimeters, the other one centimetre, as a gift to mark the coronation of the British monarch from his wife Camilla.

They were shaped into a small cross and incorporated into its design, appearing behind pink rock crystal.

The Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, blessed the new cross in front of dignitaries and parishioners during a ceremony in Llandudno, North Wales.

It will now be taken to London, where it will be used at the head of the coronation procession.

The cross “speaks to our Christian faith, our heritage,” the Archbishop said, “we are delighted that it is being used for the first time to guide His Majesties [Charles and Camilla] to Westminster Abbey for the coronation ceremony”.

Charles had presented the Cross of Wales to the Anglican Church for its centenary.

Designed by Michael Lloyd, the cross took two years to manufacture from recycled silver ingots, with fragments of wood and slate.

After the coronation, it will be shared by the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches in Wales.

Charles affixed the king’s authentication mark, a leopard’s head, to the silver part of the cross during a visit to London last year.