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King Charles III takes oath at Accession Ceremony and says he will follow Queen's 'inspiring example'
10 September 2022, 10:38 | Updated: 10 September 2022, 11:22
King Charles III has been formally proclaimed monarch at the Accession Council ceremony in the State Apartments of St James's Palace.
His Majesty said: "Even as we grieve we give thanks for this most faithful life.
"I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me.
"I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional government."
He added: "My lords, ladies and gentlemen, it is my most sorrowful duty to announce to you the death of my beloved mother the Queen.
"I know how deeply you, the entire nation, and I think I may say the whole world, sympathise with me in the irreparable loss we've all suffered.
"It is the greatest consolation to me to know the sympathy expressed by so many to my sister and brothers.
"And that such overwhelming affection and support should be extended to our whole family in our loss."
Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William, the new Prince of Wales, Prime Minister Liz Truss and other Privy Councillors including the Prime Minister and Archbishop of Canterbury were in attendance for the ceremony.
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Former prime ministers including Boris Johnson, Theresa May, David Cameron and Gordon Brown, Labour leader Keir Starmer, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon were also present.
Opening proceedings Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt said: "My lords, it is my sad duty to inform you that Her Most Gracious Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, has passed away on Thursday the 8th of September 2022, at Balmoral Castle.
"I propose that, when certain necessary business has been transacted, a deputation consisting of Her Majesty, His Royal Highness, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of York, the Prime Minister, the clerk of the Council, and myself, shall wait on the King and inform him the Council is assembled."
The Proclamation was then signed by members of the Privy Council including Prince William, Camilla, the Queen Consort, Ms Mordaunt, Ms Truss and the Archbishop Welby.
After the signing, Ms Mordaunt said: "Drafts of eight orders of council - one, ordering the proclamation to be printed and published in specialist supplements in the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes.
"Two - directing the Lord Chancellor to affix the great seal to the proclamation proclaiming His Majesty, King Charles III.
"Three - directing the Kings, Heralds and pursuivants of arms to attend at the court of St James to proclaim His Majesty King Charles III.
"Four - directing the Lord Mayor the court of alderman and commons of London to attend at the Royal Exchange to proclaim His Majesty King Charles III."
Continuing to list the eight orders of Council, Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt said: "Five - directing His Majesty's Secretary of State for Defence to give directions for the firing of guns at Hyde Park as soon as His Majesty is proclaimed.
"Six - directing the constable of His Majesty's Tower of London to give directions for the firing of guns at the Tower of London as soon as His Majesty is proclaimed.
"Seven - directing His Majesty's Secretary of State for Scotland to cause the proclamation for proclaiming His Majesty King Charles III to be published in Scotland.
"Eight - directing the clerk of the Council to issue circular letters for causing His Majesty King Charles III to be proclaimed."
Reading the text of the proclamation, the clerk of the council said: "Whereas it has pleased almighty God to call to his mercy our late Sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth II of blessed and glorious memory, by whose decease the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is solely and rightfully come to the Prince Charles Philip Arthur George.
"We, therefore, the lords spiritual and temporal of this realm, and members of the House of Commons, together with other members of Her late Majesty's Privy Council, and representatives of the realms and territories, aldermen, and citizens of London and others, do now hereby, with one voice and consent of tongue and heart, publish and proclaim that the Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, is now, by the death of our late Sovereign of happy memory, become our only lawful and rightful liege lord, Charles III, by the grace of God, of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and of his other realms and territories, King, head of the Commonwealth, defender of the faith, to whom we do acknowledge all faith and obedience with humble affection, beseeching God, by whom kings and queens do reign, to bless His Majesty with long and happy years to reign over us."
He declared to the room "God Save the King" and the packed room repeated the famous phrase.
The Accession Council is often convened within 24 hours of a monarch's death and it will be held at St James's Palace.
It is presided over by the Lord President of the Council, Penny Mordaunt, and is split into two parts.
Part one sees some Privy Counsellors (members of the Privy Council, a part of the machinery of the state that, in part, advises the monarch and includes Government figures), Great Officers of State, the Lord Mayor and High Sheriffs of the City of London, Realm High Commissioners, some senior civil servants and others meet.
The Lord President announces the death of the sovereign, and a proclamation is signed.
Silence is then called and outlines any items of business relating to the proclamation.
In part two, the new sovereign holds their first Privy Council and only Privy Counsellors attend this.