The proclamation will be read from the balcony of St. James's Palace in London: Charles will be officially proclaimed king on Saturday morning, two days after the death of Elizabeth II which opened a period of national mourning in the United Kingdom .
Step by step, with the greatest solemnity and respect to the millimeter of protocol and tradition, Charles III installed himself as Head of State. < /p>
On Friday evening, for the first time in 70 years, the British anthem “God save the King” was sung in its male version at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, at the end of a service monk in homage to Elizabeth II. It replaces “God save the Queen”, the anthem since the accession to the throne of the late sovereign in 1952.
A little earlier, from Buckingham Palace, Charles III gave his first televised speech as sovereign, a recorded address in which he paid moving tribute to Elizabeth II, his “darling mother”, who died at 96 after reigning 70 years and 7 months. He called Elizabeth II an “inspiration and example” to him and his family.
He promised to serve the British all his life, as his mother Elizabeth II had done on her 21st birthday. “As the Queen had done with unwavering devotion, I too solemnly pledge myself now, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles which are at the heart of our nation,” a- he declared, in a sober and confident tone.
Portraits of Charles are on the front page of all the newspapers on Saturday. “God save the King”, soberly titles the Times, with a photo of Charles with his head tilted, as if he were meditating. Daily newspapers take up a quote from the new king. “I will strive to serve with loyalty, respect, love”: these three words cross the covers of The Independent, the Guardian, the Financial Times. The Sun chose a photo of Charles behind his mother with these few words: “To my dear mother, thank you”.
– Ovationné –
On Saturday morning, the Accession Council, a group of dignitaries, will meet at St. James's Palace in London and proclaim that Charles has become king. The proclamation will be read from the balcony of Saint James's Palace, then relayed by the King-at-Arms of the Order of the Garter and half a dozen heralds in horse-drawn carriages who will also read it in Trafalgar Square, then at the Royal Exchange. /p>
Then Parliament will take a pledge of allegiance and express its condolences. In the afternoon, the new king will receive the Prime Minister and the main ministers.
Charles III ascends to the throne at a difficult time, with the UK facing the worst economic crisis in 40 years, as four prime ministers have succeeded each other in six years.
At 73 years, he is the oldest British monarch at the beginning of his reign.
Charles III is infinitely less popular than his mother, who had known how to maintain the prestige of the monarchy, giving no interviews and keeping her opinions to herself.
But the new king received a standing ovation when he arrived in Buckingham on Friday afternoon after returning from Scotland. Accompanied by his wife Camilla, who became queen consort, he shook hands with dozens of people pressed against barriers in front of the Palace.
Thousands of people have flocked since the announcement of the disappearance of 'Elizabeth II to lay bouquets of flowers and words of tribute.
“Our condolences”, “God bless you”, “I wish you the best”, threw the crowd to her.
– Books of Condolence –
Elizabeth II died “peacefully” on Thursday at her castle at Balmoral in Scotland, where her son Charles and daughter Anne were then. His other two sons Andrew and Edwards, and Prince William, now heir to the Crown, then Prince Harry alone, arrived after the death.
The King has made it known that the royal mourning – which involves family, staff and representatives of the Royal Household – will last until seven days after the Queen's funeral, the date of which has not been confirmed.
The royal residences will remain closed until after the funeral and the flags there will be at half mast.
National mourning, decreed by the government, must last until the day of the funeral . The Queen will be buried privately in the chapel at Windsor Castle.
Thousands of Britons, some moved to tears, came to lay flowers outside Buckingham Palace, Windsor and Balmoral.
< p>“I wanted to be here today… It's very powerful to come together here with so many other people, to show how much we respect her. She has done so much for this country, it will not be the same without her, ”adds David Renn, 42, who came by bike from London to Windsor.
The portrait of Elizabeth II adorns the stops London bus lines, replacing adverts, and condolence books have been opened in some churches, as well as online at the Royal Family's official website.