The Accession Council gathered this morning at St James’s Palace for the first part of the transition to a new reign.
Part one of the Council took place without The King, as per tradition, in the Picture Gallery.
Led by Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons which gives her a senior role in the council, formally announced the death of the Queen on Thursday from a platform.
She was joined by William, the newly-created Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Queen Consort, alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prime Minister. This delegation is known as the Platform Party, who stand on a raised platform.
The room at the palace was full of politicians and leading figures of society, many of whom are Privy Councillors.
The Platform Party then signed the proclamation, beginning with The Prince of Wales and Queen Consort. After all signatories added their names, the Accession Council has formally declared the death of Elizabeth II.
Part two is for Privy Councillors only, of which there are over 700, and it was here King Charles III made his appearance.
Moving to the Throne Room, it was time for Charles to talk at his first Privy Council meeting.
He gave a short address, reflecting on the loss of his mother and his intentions for his reign: ‘My lords, ladies and gentlemen it is my most sorrowful duty to announce to you the death of my beloved mother the Queen.
‘I know how deeply you, the entire nation and I think I may say the whole world sympathise with me in the irreparable loss we’ve all suffered.
‘It is the greatest consolation for me to know the sympathy expressed by so many to my sister and brothers and that such overwhelming affection and support should be extended to our whole family in our loss.
‘To all of us as a family, as to this Kingdom and the wider family of nations of which it is a part, my mother gave an example of lifelong love and selfless service.
‘My mother’s reign was unequalled in its duration, its dedication and devotion. Even as we grieve we give thanks for this most faithful life.’
He also spoke of the ‘heavy responsibility’ of the role that has passed to him and the ‘inspiring example’ that was set for him by his predecessor, Elizabeth II.
He finally prayed ‘for the guidance and help of almighty God’ in his role.
Charles III, holding a bible, then pledged his oath to the Church of Scotland, before signing the declaration with ‘Charles R’ – Charles Rex – alongside other members but with some new additions, like the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon.
Flags are being flown at full-mast today for 24 hours, when they will be lowered once more out of respect to the late Queen.
Shortly after, outside in Friary Court, the Principal Proclamation was made by the Garter King at Arms.
On the balcony overlooking the court, he said that they ‘publish and proclaim that the Prince Charles Philip Arthur George is now, by the death of our late Sovereign of happy memory, become our only lawful and rightful lieged Lord, Charles III.
‘By the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of his other realms and territories, King, head of the Commonwealth, defender of the faith, to which we do acknowledge all faith and obedience with humble affection.
‘Beseeching God, by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless His Majesty with long and happy years to reign over us. Given at St James’s Palace, this tenth day of September, in the year of our Lord 2022.’
A proclamation will be made in the City of London, at the Royal Exchange before it goes to the other capital cities across the UK.
The Duke of Kent, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince Michael of Kent were photographed watching the proclamation at St James’s Palace.