Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral will take place on Monday, September 19, royal officials announced on Saturday, as her son Charles was officially proclaimed Britain’s new king in a colorful ceremony laden with pageantry and dating of several centuries.
The death of the 96-year-old monarch has prompted tears, sadness and warm tributes, not only from the Queen’s close family and many Britons, but also from around the world – reflecting her presence on the world stage. for 70 years.
“We all thought she was invincible,” said her grandson Prince Williamnow heir to the throne.
“It was surreal,” he said during a walk outside Windsor Castle where he and his wife Kate appeared closely in public for the first time in two years with his younger brother Harry and his wife Meghan – a sign that Elizabeth’s death could help heal a rift between Charles’ sons.
Elizabeth’s oak coffin, covered with the Royal Standard of Scotland and topped with a wreath of flowers, rests in the ballroom of Balmoral Castle, her summer residence in Scotland where she died peacefully on Thursday .
On Sunday, he will be driven by hearse through remote highland villages to Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, on a six-hour journey that will allow people to pay their respects.
The coffin will then be flown to London on Tuesday where it will remain at Buckingham Palace before being taken to Westminster Hall to rest until the funeral service at Westminster Abbey at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) on September 19.
The death of Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, has sparked outrage around the world. Buildings and monuments in Europe, America and Africa were lit up in the red, white and blue of the UK flag.
Charles, 73, immediately succeeded his mother but an Accession Council met at St James’s – the UK’s oldest royal palace built for Henry VIII in the 1530s – to proclaim him king on Saturday.
The council – made up of privy advisers whose centuries-old role is to advise the monarch – included his son and heir William, his wife Camilla and Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, who signed the proclamation of his accession.
Six former prime ministers, senior bishops and a group of politicians shouted “God Save The King” as the announcement was endorsed.
“I am deeply aware of this great heritage and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of Sovereignty which have now been handed down to me”, Charles said. “I will strive to follow the inspiring example given to me.”
Later, on the Proclamation Gallery, a balcony above Friary Court of St James’s Palace, the Garter King of Arms, David White, accompanied by others in gold and red heraldic robes, read the main Proclamation, to the sound of trumpets.
Soldiers in traditional scarlet uniforms shouted “hip, hip, hooray” as White called for three cheers for the king.
A few hundred people were allowed into the court, including young children on their parents’ shoulders, a woman holding flowers and elderly people on mobility scooters.
Charles is the 41st monarch in a line whose origins can be traced back to Norman King William the Conqueror who seized the throne of England in 1066. Saturday’s events reflected proclamations announcing new kings and queens that date back hundreds of years. ‘years.
He became king and head of state not only of the United Kingdom, but of 14 other kingdoms, including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
It was the first proclamation by a monarch to be televised. And for most Britons it was the first such event in their lives as Elizabeth was the only monarch they had ever known. Charles himself was only 3 years old when she became queen in 1952.
Britain has declared a period of mourning until Elizabeth’s state funeral, which will be a public holiday. Leaders from around the world are expected, including US President Joe Biden, who has said he will be there.
Charles’ coronation will take place at a later date – and the timing is not yet clear. There was a 16-month gap between Elizabeth becoming queen and her coronation in 1953.
He has already made his eldest son William, 40, the new Prince of Wales, a title traditionally held by the heir to the throne, and William’s wife Kate becomes Princess of Wales, a role last held by the late Princess Diana.
The couple had a very public falling out with Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, after deciding to step down from royal duties and move to California in 2020.
Coincidentally, Harry and Meghan were in Britain last week attending charity events and didn’t even expect to see William – until their grandmother died.
However, the foursome held together and chatted briefly, although they seemed rather awkward and didn’t spend much time together during the 40-minute walk in Windsor, which followed an invitation from William to his brother.
It was an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family, a royal source said.
Meanwhile at Balmoral, the Queen’s three young children – Anne, Andrew and Edward – and their own families also made a public appearance, visiting a nearby church before inspecting messages among flowers and thanking the crowd for their support.
Princess Eugenie, one of Prince Andrew’s daughters, was seen wiping away tears and hugging her father.
“It was a very emotional moment, it was very heartfelt,” said Ian Smith, a local businessman who was in front of the barriers. “It was really special that they came to thank us and we were able to show them our support.”
Elizabeth, who was the world’s oldest and longest serving head of state, ascended to the throne following the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952, when she was just 25 year.
Over the decades, she witnessed a sea change in the social, political and economic structure of her nation. She has received praise for modernizing the monarchy during her long reign, despite intense media scrutiny and the often very public setbacks of her family.