- Charles officially proclaimed king
- Queen’s Funeral 19 Sept
- ‘We thought she was invincible’ – William
- Queen Elizabeth (96) died on Thursday
LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth will be given a state funeral on Monday, Sept. 19, royal officials said on Saturday, as her son Charles was officially named Britain’s new king. Centuries
The 96-year-old monarch’s death sparked tears, sadness and warm tributes, not only from the Queen’s own immediate family and across much of Britain, but from around the world – reflecting her presence on the world stage for 70 years.
“We all thought she was invincible,” said her grandson Prince William, now heir to the throne. Read on
Register now for free unlimited access to Reuters.com
“It’s surreal,” he said as he strolled outside Windsor Castle, where he and his wife Kate appeared in public for the first time in two years with his younger brother Harry and his wife Meghan – a rift likely to be bridged by Elizabeth’s death. Among the sons of Charles.
Elizabeth’s oak coffin, draped with the royal standard of Scotland and topped by a floral wreath, lies in the ballroom of Balmoral Castle, her summer home in Scotland where she died peacefully on Thursday.
On Sunday, a six-hour journey will take place in Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, through remote hill villages by hearse to allow people to pay their respects. Read on
The coffin will then be flown to London on Tuesday where it will remain at Buckingham Palace until the funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 19 at 11am (1000 GMT) before being moved to Westminster Hall.
The death of Elizabeth, who reigned for the longest time in Britain, has caused an outpouring of emotions from all over the world. Buildings and landmarks in Europe, the Americas and Africa are lit up in the red, white and blue of the United Kingdom flag.
Charles, 73, immediately succeeded his mother but on Saturday met a council of accession at St James’s – the most senior royal palace in the United Kingdom – built for Henry VIII in 1530, to declare him king.
The council – made up of privy councilors whose centuries-old role is to advise the king – included his son and heir William, wife Camilla and Britain’s new prime minister Liz Truss, who signed his accession declaration.
As the proclamation was passed, six former prime ministers, senior bishops and several politicians chanted “God Save the King”.
“I am deeply conscious of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me,” said Charles. “I will try to follow the inspiring example I set.”
Later, in the Proclamation Gallery, on the balcony above the Friary Court of St James’s Palace, the Garter King of Arms, David White, with others in gold and red heraldic dress, read the main proclamation as trumpets sounded.
Soldiers in traditional crimson uniforms chanted “Hip, hip, hurrah” as White called out three cheers for the king.
A few hundred people, including babies on parents’ shoulders, women clutching flowers and elderly people on mobility scooters, were admitted to the court.
Charles is the 41st monarch since the Norman King William the Conqueror, who seized the English throne in 1066. Saturday’s events mirrored the announcements of new kings and queens hundreds of years ago.
He became the king and head of not only the United Kingdom but also 14 other states, including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
This was the first announcement by an emperor to be televised. And for many Britons, it was a first in their lives as Elizabeth was the only monarch they had ever known. Charles herself was just 3 years old when she became Queen in 1952.
Britain has declared mourning until Elizabeth’s state funeral, which will be a public holiday. World leaders are expected to attend, including US President Joe Biden, who has said he will be there.
Charles’ coronation will take place at a later date – and the timing is not yet clear. There was a 16-month gap between Elizabeth becoming Queen and her coronation in 1953.
He has already made his eldest son William, 40, the new Prince of Wales, a title traditionally held by the heir to the throne, and William’s wife Kate has become Princess of Wales, a role last held by the late Princess Diana.
The couple held heated talks with Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, after deciding to step down from royal duties and move to California in 2020.
Harry and Meghan coincidentally were in Britain last week to attend some charity events and had not expected to meet William until his grandmother’s death.
However, the four stood together and chatted briefly, although it looked very awkward, and they didn’t spend much time together during the 40-minute walk in Windsor, which William had invited his brother to.
A royal source said it was an important show of unity during an incredibly difficult time for the family.
Meanwhile at Balmoral, the Queen’s three young children – Anne, Andrew and Edward – and their own families also made a public appearance, visiting a nearby church before inspecting messages in flowers and thanking the crowd for their support.
Princess Eugenie, one of Prince Andrew’s daughters, was seen wiping away tears and hugging her father.
“It was a very emotional moment, it was very heartfelt,” said Ian Smith, a local businessman who was in front of the barriers. “It was really special that they came to recognize us and we were able to show them our support.”
Elizabeth, the world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state, came to the throne on February 6, 1952, when she was just 25, after the death of her father, King George VI.
Over the decades she witnessed seismic changes in the social, political and economic structure of her nation. Despite intense media scrutiny and her family’s often highly public troubles, she won praise for modernizing the monarchy during her long reign.
Register now for free unlimited access to Reuters.com
Muwija M, reporting by Kate Holton and Michael Holden, additional reporting by Peter Nicholls and Alastair Smout in London and Andrew MacAskill in Balmoral, Scotland; Edited by Andrew Havens, Christina Fincher and Frances Carey
Our Standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.