A kiss in the crowd as King Charles era begins
King Charles III was greeted at Buckingham Palace today by a sea of well-wishers as he began his first full day as the new monarch following the Queen’s death at Balmoral Castle.
Accompanied by the Queen Consort Camilla, he flew from Aberdeen to RAF Northolt and was driven onwards to London where a large crowd shouting “God Save The King” gathered at the gates of the palace to witness the start of a new royal era.
He spent several minutes shaking hands with the public, one of whom reached out and gave him a kiss, before he and Camilla inspected the hundreds of bouquets left by the public and entered the gates of their new home as King and Queen Consort for the first time.
In an address to the nation this evening he appointed his eldest son William Prince of Wales in addition to his titles the Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay. The King said he would follow his mother’s example of devoting himself to the UK and Commonwealth in the service of others. He sent his love to his youngest son Harry and his wife Meghan.
The period of Her Majesty’s coffin lying in state in Westminster Hall – where her father’s body lay for three days after his death in 1952 – is expected to begin on 14 September and the state funeral is scheduled for Westminster Abbey on 19 September.
The Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel – where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret. Her late husband Prince Philip’s coffin will move from the Royal Vault to the memorial chapel to join that of the Queen.
King Charles’ journey south came ahead of his return in a few days to Edinburgh where his mother’s coffin will be being taken to Holyroodhouse on Sunday (11th) for the ceremony of the keys.
Roads were being closed in the city in anticipation of large crowds wanting to observe a ceremonial procession on Monday (12th) along the Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral where the Royal Family will attend a service.
Afterwards. the Cathedral will open to the public for 24 hours for a period of lying at rest, not lying in state because that will take place in London.
The Reverend Calum MacLeod, minister of the cathedral, paid tribute to such a “strong and faithful servant”.
The Queen’s children are expected to stage a vigil around the Queen’s coffin – known as the Vigil of the Princes – while it lies in St Giles’.
During his visit to Scotland, King Charles will have his first audience with Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and will also receive a motion of condolence at the Scottish parliament.
The cause of the Queen’s death has not been confirmed but one medical expert noted that as she greeted the new Prime Minister Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle her hands were coloured blue.
This, apparently, is evidence of peripheral vascular disease, a blood circulation disorder. It can be a sign of multi organ failure and can be quite painful.
Business, cultural and sporting fixtures have been cancelled or postponed as a mark of respect for the Queen.
The Bank of England said the next decision on interest rates has been pushed back from 15 September to 22 September. Current banknotes featuring the image of the Queen will continue to be legal tender, the Bank said.
Some retailers, including Liberty, French Connection and Selfridges shut for today, while some closed early. The London Stock Exchange remained open, but will close for the Queen’s funeral.
The Scottish Parliament is suspended, but the House Commons has been sitting to give parliamentarians a chance to pay their respects and will sit on Saturday.
A number of business functions were called off, including events organised by the CBI and SCDI.
All Scottish and English football fixtures are off, though the government gave them clearance to play.
The third day of the St Leger Festival was cancelled but the classic race has been moved from Saturday to Sunday when the racing world will pay tribute to its biggest supporter.
Latest events called off
- The Scottish Parliament is suspended, but the Commons sits on Friday and will sit on Saturday
- Royal Mail staff and rail workers who were due to go on strike have called off their industrial action.
- The SCDI has called off the Highlands and Islands Awards dinner due to take place today.
- CBI’s Future of Work conference scheduled for Tuesday 13 September is postponed
- Today’s third day of the St Leger Festival at Doncaster has been cancelled, along with other race meetings, but the classic race itself will be moved from Saturday to Sunday as part of a massive nine-race card. The Queen’s horse Dunfermline won the race in her Silver Jubilee year in 1977.
- Premier League and English Football League matches this weekend and on Monday have been postponed.
- Today’s play in the Test match between England and South Africa was called off.
- The second day of the PGA Championship will also not take place.
- Scotland women’s Test international against Spain on Sunday has been called off.
- Scottish Rugby has also postponed all domestic competitive games this weekend.
- The sixth stage of the Tour of Britain today will also not take place.