Following a declaration at the St. James’ Palace Saturday morning,King Charles 111, known until Friday as Prince Charles, became the successor to Queen Elizabeth 11, his mother. The late queen died last Thursday at the age of 96. Charles is the late queen’s first child, and thus the natural successor to the throne by tradition. The Accession Council is the ceremonial body that meets after the demise of a monarch to announce the successor. The new king signed official documents for acceptance after the proclamation.
In his address, King Charles said, “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 Government and Head of the Nation.”
Temporarily the flags in Britain were returned to full mast for 24 hours in celebration of the new king.
Prince William and the king’s wife, Camela, who is described as the Queen Consort were the first to sign as witnesses. Other people include Prime Minister Liz Truss and her predecessors.
It is in keeping with the same tradition that Prince William, the 40-year-old first son of the new king becomes the heir to the throne. He has been appointed the Prince and Duke of Wales, a portfolio held by his father until Friday. William’s wife also becomes the Princess and Duchess of Wales, titles held by her late mother-in-law, Diana.
Harry, William’s younger brother and second child of Diana was not at the proclamation because he is not a member of the 700-member Privy Council. In fact, not all members of the council could attend because the room has capacity for 150 people, so those who were there had to be invited. While Queen Elizabeth was alive, she had stripped Harry of some titles, leaving only Prince and Duke of Sussex. The prince had distanced himself from some of the activities of the royal family, claiming in part that there was racial descrimination within the royal enclave. He had relocated to the United States, and hardly participated in official royal matters including at Sussex where he was supposed to hold court. This explains why he was probably not invited for the ceremony.
For King Charles the new role is a great job for him. At 73, he had waited for years to take full charge after his mother. But Queen Elizabeth who reigned for the longest period in Britain was on the throne for 70 years. During her reign the country , and in fact the world, went through a lot of transformations, and she was described as the mother of modern Britain.
But the new monarch appears to be aware of the developments that have evolved over time, which perhaps explains why he approved of some innovation during the proclamation. For instance, it is said that it is the first time that a woman would be allowed into the room where a proclamation was made. If that is the case, then he seems to also know of the challenges ahead. Not only that, he also knows that his mother had raised the bar of service for which he is expected to build upon. He said, “I know that I shall be upheld by the affection and loyalties for the peoples whose sovereign I have been called upon to be.”