Prince Charles records Gerard Manley Hopkins poem for Christians at Easter

The Prince of Wales Credit: PA

The Prince of Wales has recorded verse by acclaimed poet and Catholic priest Gerard Manley Hopkins to show support for Christians at Easter.

Charles has narrated the Hopkins poem God’s Grandeur which will be played during a virtual service on Sunday morning at Stonyhurst College, a Catholic boarding school in Lancashire where the Victorian cleric taught.

Listen to the Prince of Wales recite the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem

Clarence House said: "The Prince of Wales has recorded the Gerard Manley Hopkins Poem, God’s Grandeur, to show support for Christians around the world at Easter.

"Easter is the most important festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion, and Hopkins’s poem captures the hope and joy associated with that season."

The poem begins with the lines: "The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

Stonyhurst College Credit: PA

"It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed.”

Hopkins was one of the most influential poets of the Victorian era who converted to Catholicism but gave up writing poetry after deciding to train to become a priest.

Some years later he took up his pen again when inspired to write a long poem in memory of five nuns who died in a shipwreck.

The Queen and the Prince of Wales enjoyed a walk in the grounds of Frogmore House, Windsor. Credit: PA

His poems were not published in full until 1918, almost 30 years after his death, and Hopkins’ use of language, new rhythmic effects and unusual word combinations were a huge influence on major literary figures like WH Auden and Dylan Thomas.

Alongside the poem recording, photos of the Prince of Wales with the Queen walking together in the grounds of Frogmore House were released to commemorate Easter.

The family would usually mark the Easter weekend with a church service in Windsor, but the event has been cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

Listen to our Royal Rota podcast: