King Charles III: What happens at the Accession Council?

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The Accession Council meets at St James’s Palace on Saturday to formally proclaim King Charles III as the new sovereign today.

The Privy Council gathers first without the King to proclaim him as the new monarch.

The King then holds his first Privy Council, accompanied by Camilla, the new Queen Consort, and William, who are also privy counsellors, and makes his personal declaration and oath.

The Lord President will announce the death of the sovereign and call upon the Clerk of the Council to read aloud the text of the Accession Proclamation. It will include Charles’s chosen title as King, already known to be King Charles III.

At 11am a Principal Proclamation will be read in public for the first time by the Garter King of Arms in the open air from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James’s.

It will be followed by Proclamations around the country, with the second at City of London at the Royal Exchange at midday. Charles will then hold an audience with the prime minister and the cabinet.

Tomorrow Proclamations in the devolved nations are expected to be simultaneously made at noon in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

The Queen’s coffin is expected to be moved by hearse from Balmoral to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh by road, to rest there until the following day.

In recognition of the new Sovereign, union flags will be flown at full-mast from the time of the Principal Proclamation at St James’s Palace until one hour after the Proclamations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, after which flags will return to half-mast in mourning for the death of the late Queen.

The ceremony is being staged a day later than usual because the announcement of the Queen’s death did not come until early evening on Thursday, meaning there was not enough time to set the plans in motion for Friday morning.

The Palace said: “His Majesty The King will be proclaimed at the Accession Council at 10.00hrs (on Saturday) in the State Apartments of St James’s Palace, London.

“The Accession Council, attended by Privy Councillors, is divided into two parts.

“In Part I, the Privy Council, without The King present, will proclaim the Sovereign, and formally approve various consequential Orders, including the arrangements for the Proclamation.

“Part II, is the holding by The King of His Majesty’s first PrivyCouncil.

“The King will make his Declaration and read and sign an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland and approve Orders in Council which facilitate continuity of government.”