On Saturday, trumpets rang out as Charles III was proclaimed king in a ritual with Anglo-Saxon roots.
The momentous ceremony at St James’s Palace in London takes place just days after Queen Elizabeth II’s death.
The Accession Council, when Charles, 73, took his oath, was also televised for the first time, giving the globe a behind-the-scenes look at a moment never previously seen publicly.
A public proclamation and a fanfare of eight trumpets followed from the palace balcony, a blast from times past when it would have broken the news to a new king’s subjects.
Thousands of well-wishers gathered outside the brick-walled palace for the 2022 version of the ceremony, applauding after the formal announcement that Charles is king.
While Charles automatically became monarch after Elizabeth died on Thursday aged 96, the pomp-filled ceremony puts the constitutional seal on his succession before his eventual coronation.
“It’s a moment in history,” said Kelly Maynard, a 48-year-old from Australia, one of the countries that, like Britain, counts Charles III as its new head of state.
The 200 members of Britain’s Privy Council present included his King Charles’ wife, Camilla, eldest son William, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Prime Minister Liz Truss, and all the living former prime ministers of Britain.
Representatives from the 14 countries where the queen is head of state apart from Britain – the “Commonwealth Realms” including Australia, New Zealand and Canada – were also invited.
The clerk of the council announced, “Prince Charles Philip Arthur George is now, by the death of our lady sovereign of happy memory, become our King Charles III… God save the king!”
Charles then joined them for the second part in the palace’s crimson-and-gilt throne room, during which he took the royal oath.
He hailed his mother’s “example of lifelong love and of selfless service” during a reign spanning seven decades from just after World War II, and said he was “deeply aware” of the “heavy responsibility of sovereignty”.
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