Charles the King promises unswerving devotion as his mother

A new era began at the same moment as the previous one ended

Charles III the longest surviving heir to the British Throne, now the King(Getty Images)

BBC News
London, August 10, 2022

Charles III will be formally proclaimed king at a historic ceremony at St James’s Palace on Saturday (September 10, 2022) morning.

Flags lowered in mourning for the late Queen will fly full mast after the Accession Council, which will be televised for the first time.

A wave of further proclamations will take place across the UK until Sunday (September 11, 2022), when flags will return to half-mast.

Darling Ma’s Life of Service

It comes after the King pledged to follow his “darling mama’s” life of service in an emotional first address.

He told the nation on Friday (September 9, 2022) evening of his “profound sorrow” at the loss of his mother, praising her warmth, humour and “unerring ability always to see the best in people”.

The King promised to serve the nation with the same “unswerving devotion” as the late Queen had during her 70-year reign.

Charles became king the moment his mother died, but the Accession Council is held as soon as possible after the death of a sovereign to make a formal proclamation of the successor.

At the Council, which starts at 10:00 BST, the King will make a personal declaration about the death of the Queen and take an oath to preserve the Church of Scotland – because in Scotland there is a division of powers between the Church and the State.

Among those attending will be Camilla, Charles’s wife of 17 years who now has the title of Queen Consort, and the King’s son, William, the new Prince of Wales.

The King’s accession will be proclaimed in the City of London’s Royal Exchange, as his mother’s was more than 70 years ago
(Getty Images)

The First Public Proclamation

The first public proclamation will take place from the Friar Court balcony of St James’s Palace in London at 11:00, a moment that is usually accompanied by centuries-old pageantry, with trumpeters playing a fanfare and gun salutes fired in Hyde Park and at the Tower of London.

Although they are not part of the formal proclamation, the words “the Queen is dead, long live the King” are often added afterwards.

On Friday, Charles was met by cheers and shouts of “God save the King!” as he met people in the crowds who had gathered at Buckingham Palace.

Later, he gave his televised address, expressing a wish that Prince William and his wife Catherine would – as the new Prince and Princess of Wales – “continue to inspire and lead our national conversation.”

He expressed his “love for Harry and Meghan” and praised the “steadfast devotion to duty” of the Queen Consort.

The King acknowledged that his life had now changed, saying he would not be able to give “so much of my time and energies” to the charities and issues he had supported for decades as heir to the throne.

The 73-year-old monarch said he hoped that despite their sorrow at the Queen’s death, people in the UK and the Commonwealth “remember and draw strength from the light of her example.”

The ‘slimmed down’ Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, June 2022 (Getty Images)

What happens at the Accession Council?

  • Historically, it is attended by all members of the Privy Council, a body of advisers to the Sovereign that dates back to the time of the Norman Kings. But with the membership standing at 700, mostly past and present politicians, only 200 are to be summoned.
  • They initially gather at St James’s Palace without the King. Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt, appointed Lord President of the Privy Council by Prime Minister Liz Truss, will announce the death of the Sovereign.
  • The Clerk of the Council reads aloud the text of the Accession Proclamation, including Charles’ chosen title as King – which we know to be Charles III.
  • The proclamation is signed by a group including the Queen Consort, the Prince of Wales, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of York and the Prime Minister.
  • The Lord President calls for silence and reads the remaining items of business, dealing with the public proclamations and orders for the gun salutes at Hyde Park and the Tower of London.
  • The King enters for the second part of the Council, attended only by privy counsellors and makes a personal declaration about the death of the Queen.
  • He takes an oath to preserve the Church of Scotland and signs two documents to record it, with the Queen Consort and the Prince of Wales among those witnessing his signature.
  • Privy counsellors will sign the proclamation as they leave.

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