A nation meets its new King: Crowds greet Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla at Buckingham Palace

9 September 2022, 11:34 | Updated: 9 September 2022, 16:12

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla have arrived at Buckingham Palace
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla have arrived at Buckingham Palace. Picture: Getty

By Sophie Barnett

A grief-stricken Charles and Queen Consort Camilla greeted crowds as they arrived at Buckingham Palace following the Queen's death.

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There were cheers from the crowds as the King's state Bentley arrived at the gates of the Palace on Friday.

He stepped from the car to greet the hundreds of well-wishers gathered outside.

Charles shook hands with countless members of the public lined up behind a barrier, thanking them for their good wishes.

Camilla appeared close to tears at the end of the 15-minute walkabout after the couple shook every outstretched hand and acknowledged words of sympathy from the crowds.

Read more: MPs fall silent in poignant tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen's son and successor left Balmoral shortly after 11am en route to Aberdeen airport, where he flew to RAF Northolt.

The King was pictured in the back of a car, with the Queen Consort in the front passenger seat, as they were driven in convoy over the River Dee towards Ballater.

They landed at RAF Northolt shortly after 1pm and travelled to Buckingham Palace, ahead of meeting with Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Crowds were waiting to greet King Charles
Crowds were waiting to greet King Charles. Picture: Getty
Members of the public offered their condolences to King Charles
Members of the public offered their condolences to King Charles. Picture: Getty

One of the first to offer words of support to the new King was Laura Ohmona.

She said after shaking hands with Charles: "I said to him 'sorry for your loss' and he said 'thank-you'."

Among the crowds at Buckingham Palace, retired Ammar Al-Baldawi, 64, from Hertfordshire, said: "It was impressive, touching, a good move to come out to the crowds.

Read more: Andrew Marr's poignant reflection on the life of the Queen

"I think that's where the royal family needs to communicate with the people now.

"These are true loyalists here and it's nice to see him back in post, taking charge of the family and the Crown, which is reassuring.

"Just seeing a glimpse of him gives you the sense we were there at that moment.

"I'm sure he wants to be on his own to think about his mother but he's doing his duty."

The King and Queen Consort arriving at Buckingham Palace
The King and Queen Consort arriving at Buckingham Palace. Picture: Getty

Film director Raynald Leconte, 47, who is from New York, said he was lucky enough to speak to the King and Queen outside Buckingham Palace.

"It was quite a moment," he said.

"I said, 'condolences'. He said, 'really, really thank you very much.

"And to his wife I wished her good luck and she said, 'thank you very much'.

"I think she said, 'I'll need it'."

King Charles reads tributes to his mother at Buckingham Palace
King Charles reads tributes to his mother at Buckingham Palace. Picture: Getty

King Charles and the Queen Consort spent Thursday night at the estate following the death of the 96-year-old monarch, who Charles described as a "cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother".

In a tribute, King Charles III, wrote: "The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.

Read more: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96, Buckingham Palace confirms

Read more: Queen died 'with Charles and Anne' at her bedside as other Royals rushed in vain to be by her side

The King and Queen travel to London from Balmoral

"We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much loved Mother.

"I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.

"During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held."

Read more: Grieving Harry consoles airport worker before flying back from Balmoral after Queen's death

Read more: Operation London Bridge: What happens now the Queen has died?

King Charles III leaves the Balmoral estate.
King Charles III leaves the Balmoral estate. Picture: Getty

World leaders pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen died with Charles and Anne at her bedside on Thursday afternoon as the rest of her family raced across the country to say their goodbyes.

The Queen's four children - Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward - as well as her grandsons Harry and William, flew to Scotland as soon as Buckingham Palace announced she was under "medical supervision".

But her two eldest children were the only ones to make it to Balmoral before she died, according to the MailOnline.

Camilla, the Queen Consort, was pictured in the front, while King Charles III sat in the back.
Camilla, the Queen Consort, was pictured in the front, while King Charles III sat in the back. Picture: Alamy

The paper said the pair had already been in Scotland and so were able to reach the estate in time to say goodbye.

Meanwhile, Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex landed at Aberdeen airport at 3.50pm.

Read more: Gun salutes, church bells and an address from King Charles III: Britain begins tributes to Queen Elizabeth

Read more: World pays tribute to 'kind-hearted' Queen who 'defined an era'

However, Prime Minister Liz Truss was informed of the Queen's death at 4.30pm.

The 73-year-old King will address the nation at 6pm this evening.

He has announced weeks of mourning, with royal members mourning until the funeral - expected to be in about 10 days' time - and a further seven after it takes place.

The Duke of Sussex was pictured leaving Balmoral around 8.30am before he got on a British Airways plane at Aberdeen International Airport, after he travelled to Scotland alone.

The other royals are understood to still be at the Scottish estate consoling one another.

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