Roger II being crowned by the hands of Christ

The mosaic panel depicting Roger being crowned by Christ was presumably located in the narthex, which was demolished at the end of the 16th century due to structural changes to the church layout. It can now be seen in the entrance hall, on the right, symmetrically to the one depicting Admiral George of Antioch kneeling before the Virgin Mary. Two figures emerge from the gold background, one of Roger II, the first king of Sicily, and the other of Christ. The sovereign has his head reclined, his eyes turned towards the faithful and his hands outstretched in a prayerful and adoring attitude. He is dressed in a sumptuous and rich Byzantine robe and a crown with pearl side pendants. Christ is placed slightly higher, his gaze is majestic and stern, he holds a scroll in one hand and crowns Roger with the other. Both are accompanied by Greek inscriptions identifying them as “King Roger” and “Christ”. This mosaic panel, with its strong symbolic importance, also holds a political message: Roger is crowned directly by Christ, with no other earthly intermediary; his power comes from God.