In a pompous ceremony rich in historical precedent and political allegory, King Charles III was formally installed as the ruler of the United Kingdom. This was the first time the event was streamed live online and on television.
Following the ceremony on Saturday, London and the other capital cities of the UK—Edinburgh in Scotland, Belfast in Northern Ireland, and Cardiff in Wales—read proclamations and fired gun salutes.
When his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away on Thursday, Charles, who had been the heir apparent for seven decades, immediately became king.
But as a holdover from a time before mass communication, the accession ceremony served as an important constitutional and ceremonial step in introducing the new king to the nation.
Several dozen prominent British politicians, including Prime Minister Liz Truss and five of her predecessors, met for the Accession Council meeting at the opulent state apartments of St. James’s Palace.
King Charles III was formally crowned when they convened without him and declared him to be so, promising to uphold his mother’s “inspiring example” as he assumed the responsibilities of the monarch.
“I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me,” he announced.
Speaking of his personal grief, he said: “I know how deeply you and the entire nation, and I think I may say the whole world, sympathise with me in this irreparable loss we have all suffered.”
A number of orders, including one designating his mother’s funeral day as a public holiday, were formally granted by the new monarch.
Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince William and Princess Kate gathered at Windsor Castle hours after the wedding to see the sea of floral tributes left by the people in memory of the princes’ grandmother.
The two spouses were making their first public appearances since the queen’s passing.
The princes and their wives were spotted interacting with the populace by shaking hands and engaging with them.
The body of Queen Elizabeth II will be transported from Balmoral to Edinburgh and then to London, where it will lie in state for four days beginning on Wednesday.
On September 19, the state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey.
The ceremony was billed as “a fitting farewell to one of the defining icons of our times,” according to the organizers.
A few hours after the first coronation since Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne in 1952, the palace made the news.