Charles III was officially declared Britain’s new king by the Accession Assembly on Saturday in a historic ceremony following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.
The council, televised for the first time, was a centuries-long form of recognition of the new king’s sovereign rights even though he automatically became king after the queen’s death.
King Charles, 73, was officially sworn in as the new king, saying he was “deeply aware” of the “heavy duty and responsibility of the sovereign”.
Several hundred privy councilors including current Prime Minister Liz Truss and all of her surviving predecessors, Charles’s wife Camilla and eldest son and heir William attended.
Charles said his mother, who died Thursday in Balmoral at the age of 96, “set an example of lifelong love and selfless service” that he promised to follow.
“I know that I will be supported by the affection and loyalty of the peoples to whom I have been called to be sovereign,” he said.
He added that he was “deeply encouraged by the support of my beloved wife”.
Held in a large room at St James’s Palace decorated in gold and red, the Accession Council took place in two parts, the first of which Charles was absent while they proclaimed him king.
The council’s secretary announced that “Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, now, by the death of a memorable sovereign woman, becomes our King Charles III… God save the king!”
The assembled MPs then repeated “God save the king”.
Charles’ accession will be announced publicly with a trumpet and a proclamation from the palace balcony at 1000 GMT.
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