By law, Charles automatically became King the moment his mother died, and this evening (local time) he is about to give a speech he has been preparing to deliver his whole life.
At 73, he is the oldest person to accede to the throne in British history.
Huge crowds cheered the new king and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, as they arrived at the palace…
…having traveled down from Balmoral to London, before greeting members of the public.
As we reported yesterday, a detailed list of royal protocol has been actioned following the Queen’s passing in Balmoral, and this includes the new monarch delivering a televised address to the country.
Here’s Bloomberg’s guide to how the early days of Charles’s reign are expected to play out (details are still subject to change):
Day 0 (Thursday) – Queen Elizabeth II dies. Charles automatically becomes King.
Day 1 (Friday) – UK enters a 10-day mourning period, during which no government announcements will be made. The prime minister leads tributes to the Queen in the House of Commons at midday, and holds a private audience with the King in the afternoon. Normal business of parliament will be suspended. The King addresses the nation at 6 p.m. There will also be a service of remembrance at St. Paul’s Cathedral, with a reading from the prime minister.
Day 2 (Saturday) – Charles is formally proclaimed King after the Accession Council meets at 10 a.m. MPs will hold a rare weekend sitting as they continue to pay tribute and express their condolences, according to the Speaker’s office. They will later swear an oath of allegiance to the new King. Buckingham Palace will make an announcement on the date and details of the Queen’s funeral arrangements.
Later – The Queen’s coffin will be returned to London.
Day 5 – Coffin of the Queen expected to arrive at Westminster Hall for formal lying-in-state.
Day 10 – State funeral at Westminster Abbey. National holiday if it falls on a weekday. Markets will be closed. Two minutes’ silence will be observed.
His coronation won’t take place immediately.
Planning will only begin in earnest once the period of national mourning has finished. Almost 16 months elapsed between his mother acceding to the throne and her coronation in 1953. But it’s unlikely Charles will wait as long given his age and reduced public deference to the institution.
Watch the King’s first address to the nation live here:
Long Live King Charles III…. yet, historians will note both Charles I and Charles II reigned in times of huge political turmoil…