Charles proclaimed himself King of Britain in a historic ceremony

Britain’s King Charles gestures outside Buckingham Palace following the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in London, Britain on September 9, 2022.

Henry Nicholls | Reuters

King Charles was officially announced as Britain’s new king at a ceremony at St James’s Palace on Saturday, as former prime ministers, bishops and other politicians chanted “God save the king”.

Death of Queen Elizabeth aged 96 On Thursday, 70 years later, the train will mark a week of national mourning and state funerals, the longest-established and most choreographed.

Charles, 73, succeeded his mother on Thursday, but an accession council met on Saturday to announce his succession, with his son and heir William, wife Camilla and Britain’s new prime minister Liz Truss among the signatories of the declaration.

Charles made his personal announcement: “I now devote the remainder of my life to the accomplishment of the difficult task that has been laid upon me, and I pray for the guidance and assistance of the Almighty.”

The declaration was read publicly in other capitals of the United Kingdom – Edinburgh in Scotland, Belfast in Northern Ireland and Cardiff in Wales – and elsewhere.

Tributes have poured in at home and around the world for the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Elizabeth. Signs have been used to celebrate his life, with buildings in Europe, America and Africa lit up in the red, white and blue of the United Kingdom.

In Britain, people gathered outside royal palaces in the early hours of Saturday morning, with thousands arriving at Buckingham Palace to pay their respects to the Queen and Charles – who was proclaimed king at nearby St James’s Palace.

“It’s a poignant time in our country’s history,” said Ian Bilbo, 54, a design manager. “(We’re) here to be a part of it and pay our respects to the late queen and the new king.”

Charles is King and Head of State of the United Kingdom and 14 other territories including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

‘Grandmother of the Nation’

Britain has declared a period of mourning until the funeral of Elizabeth, described by her grandson Harry as the “grandmother of the nation”. No date has been announced but it is expected within a week.

Leaders from around the world are expected in London for the funeral, which US President Joe Biden said he will attend on Friday.

Charles’ coronation as king will take place at a later date – the timing of which is not yet clear. There was a 16-month gap between Elizabeth becoming Queen in 1952 and her coronation in 1953.

The new monarch on Friday vowed to serve the nation with “loyalty, respect and love” in his first address to the nation as king.

Earlier on Friday, when he returned to London from Scotland, where his mother died, he made his first public appearance outside Buckingham Palace, singing “God Save the King” to cheers, applause and crowds.

Charles also said in his speech that his eldest son William, 40, would be the new Prince of Wales, a title he has held for more than 50 years and is traditionally heir to the throne.

William’s wife Kate becomes Princess of Wales, the last role held by the late Princess Diana.

Thousands gathered at royal palaces from Thursday to pay tribute to the late queen, some laying flowers and shedding tears, while others wanted to celebrate the life of a monarch known only to most Britons.

Elizabeth, the world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state, came to the throne on February 6, 1952, aged 25, following the death of her father, King George VI.

Over the decades he witnessed a seismic shift in the social, political and economic structure of his country. She has won praise for leading the monarchy into the 21st century and modernizing it in the process, despite intense media scrutiny and her family’s public troubles.

Charles, who polls indicate is less popular than his mother, is now tasked with securing the company’s future.

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