King Charles vows to follow Queen’s ‘inspiring example’ as he is proclaimed sovereign

·3-min read

King Charles III was formally declared head of state a historic ceremony televised for the first time.

His title was confirmed during a meeting of the Accession Council attended by privy counsellors at St James’s Palace in London on Saturday afternoon.

Making his declaration, the King said: “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 to 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.”

He continued: “In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these islands, and of the Commonwealth realms and territories throughout the world.

“In this purpose, I know that I shall be upheld by the affection and loyalty of the peoples whose Sovereign I have been called upon to be, and that in the discharge of these duties I will be guided by the counsel of their elected parliaments.”

Continuing the declaration, the King said: “In all this, I am profoundly encouraged by the constant support of my beloved wife.

“I take this opportunity to confirm my willingness and intention to continue the tradition of surrendering the hereditary revenues, including the Crown Estate, to my Government for the benefit of all, in return for the Sovereign Grant, which supports my official duties as Head of State and Head of Nation.

“And in carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me, and to which I now dedicate what remains to me of my life, I pray for the guidance and help of Almighty God.”

After the proclamation was signed, Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt said: “Drafts of eight orders of council – one, ordering the proclamation to be printed and published in specialist supplements in the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes.

“Two – directing the Lord Chancellor to affix the great seal to the proclamation proclaiming His Majesty, King Charles III.

“Three – directing the Kings, Heralds and pursuivants of arms to attend at the court of St James to proclaim His Majesty King Charles III.

“Four – directing the Lord Mayor the court of alderman and commons of London to attend at the Royal Exchange to proclaim His Majesty King Charles III.”

Broadcast cameras were allowed into the historic event giving the world a first glimpse of an ancient ceremony dating back centuries – and one of the first changes to convention instigated by the new King.

More than 200 privy councillors – a group of mostly senior politicians past and present, some members of the monarchy and other national figures – were present to hear the Clerk of the Council read the Accession Proclamation.

The new monarch became King the moment his mother died, but an Accession Council must be convened following the death of a sovereign – usually within 24 hours.