King Charles III is set to make a televised address to the nation following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral.
Both Houses of Parliament are due to sit at 12pm today to allow members to pay their respects, with normal politics on hold for a period of mourning. The tributes, led by Prime Minister Liz Truss, are due to last until 10pm.
There will also be a rare Saturday sitting, where senior MPs will take an oath of allegiance to the King from 2pm, with condolences continuing again until 10pm. King Charles is set to make a televised address to the nation tonight, reports The Mirror.
The grieving King is expected to receive a motion of condolence at Westminster Hall before undertaking a whistle-stop tour of the UK. It will start in Edinburgh with a visit to the Scottish Parliament and a service at St Giles’ Cathedral. The new King paid tribute last night to his “beloved mother”.
Charles, the nation’s longest-serving heir apparent, having been in that role since he was three, is now fulfilling his royal destiny as monarch. He will be supported by wife Camilla, who will now be known as Queen Consort.
Elizabeth II declared during her Platinum Jubilee message to the nation in February that it was her “sincere wish” for Camilla to be given that title. The reign of Charles III will herald a change in everyday life, from passports to post boxes and stamps to coins.
Despite the King’s grief, duty calls at the start of this new royal era. He must immediately turn his hand to matters of state and lead the nation in mourning.
When His Majesty arrives in Northern Ireland during the forthcoming tour, he will receive another motion of condolence at Hillsborough Castle.
He will also attend a service at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.
A rehearsal will also take place for Operation LION, the procession of the Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster. With the end of one reign and the start of another, the public will notice many changes in the coming months.
Coins featuring the new King will show him facing to the left, while Elizabeth II’s effigy faces to the right.
It is a tradition from the 17th century to alternate the way successive monarchs are facing.
New coins and notes will need to be designed and minted or printed, but are not likely to appear in general circulation for some time.
Charles’ image will appear on stamps, while new post boxes will be adorned with the initials CR to signify his reign.
The words of the national anthem have immediately changed to “God save our gracious King” with substitutions of “him” and “he”. Charles’ signature will also change, altering from “Charles” to the name he takes as King, with an additional R for Rex – Latin for King – at the end.
The former Prince of Wales no longer needs his own passport, but for the rest of the UK, passports will be issued in his name.
The wording in new passports will also be altered because Her Majesty’s Passport Office will become His Majesty’s Passport Office. HM Armed Forces and HM Prison Service will also need a slight name change.
Military medals featuring the monarch’s effigy will also be altered.
In criminal court cases, the R to denote the Crown now stands for Rex rather than Regina (the Queen). And Charles will need a new personal flag as King.
As well as being the oldest person to take the throne, he has also become one of the oldest British monarchs to ever reign. At 96, his mother was the oldest Queen, and at 81, George III was the oldest ever king.
Royal sources last night said Camilla, who married Charles in 2005 after a relationship that had spanned more than 30 years, has been a “steadfast supporter” of her husband in his darkest hour.
Camilla, 75, has taken on numerous charitable causes, such as becoming president of Barnardo’s and patron of the Friends of Erlestoke Prison, the Poppy Factory and Children’s Hospice South West.
She has also championed literacy. A royal source said last night: “The King will no doubt draw immense strength from the support and love from his family as they collectively mourn the loss of Elizabeth II.”
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