- Nicholas Witchell
- BBC royal correspondent
Great Britain has a new king and a new head of state, as do 15 other countries, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand, which also have the British monarch at the head of state: Charles Philip Arthur George.
Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign ended at the moment of her death. At that moment, the throne immediately passed to the eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales.
This is how genetic ownership works. The sequence of succession is determined by laws dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and there is not a second of vacancy.
The new king chose to be called Charles III. He can choose any of his four names: Charles Philip Arthur George. Charles’ grandfather’s first name was Albert, but when he became king, he chose to be called George VI, one of his middle names.
There was speculation that the new king might choose to be named George VII, in honor of his grandfather, who ruled during World War II.
Upon the Queen’s death, Prince William automatically inherited his father’s title of Duke of Cornwall. His wife, Kate, also became the Duchess of Cornwall, a title formerly held by Camilla, Charles’s wife who would now become Queen Consort.
The Board of Boarding at St. James, within about 24 hours of the Queen’s death being announced.
This is the only time the Privy Council meets. The council is made up of about 500 notables, among whom are deputies, ministers and civil servants. After the boarding complex is over, the announcement will be read from the main balcony of St. James by an official known as the Garter King of Arms.
Reading the main announcement will follow the 41 salute shots fired in Hyde Park and 62 salute shots at the Tower of London.
The announcements will also be read in the City of London – the country’s financial hub – at the gates of Edinburgh Castle in Scotland and Hillsborough Castle in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The national anthem “God Save the Queen” will be immediately changed to salute the new King and thus become “God Save the King”.
The coronation is the highest point on access to the throne and is a symbolic ceremony: a religious service held at Westminster Abbey and presided over by the highest authorities in the Church of England.
Because of the preparations required for such a celebration, it is unlikely that the coronation would take place soon after Charles was proclaimed king. Elizabeth II became queen in February 1952, but was not crowned until June 1953.
The coronation was held at Westminster Abbey for 900 years – William the Conqueror was the first king to be crowned there and Charles would be forty. The ceremony will be moderated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Anglican Church. The most anticipated moment is when he places the crown of St. Edward, from 1661, on Charles’ head.
This crown is only worn at the time of the coronation and weighs 2.23 kg. Unlike royal weddings, coronations are a formal ceremony: the government bears the costs and decides the guest list.
The order of mourning by the new king
The new king’s first appointment is to command the national mourning for his mother.
A large and meticulously planned operation began. Five days after her death, the sarcophagus containing the Queen’s body is expected to be transported in a traditional cannon cart from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Palace.
He must spend three days in Westminster Hall so that the public can respect them. Nine days after her death, the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled to take place at Westminster Abbey.
Britain has not had a state funeral since 1965, when former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who led the country in World War II, died.
The funerals of Princess Diana in 1997, the Queen Mother in 2002 and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 2013 were major ceremonial events and had no official funeral status. Even the funeral of the Queen’s husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 2021, was not a state funeral. He was buried according to the protocol of a royal ceremony.
After the funeral, the coffin with the Queen’s body will be carried in an artillery cart, led by Marines to Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II will be buried, at St. George.
His remains will be next to those of his father and mother.
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