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Church and State represented at Accession Council for the new King

12 September 2022

Proclamation ceremonies held across the UK


The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome (far left), in Carlisle on Sunday afternoon, where two accession proclamations were heard

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome (far left), in Carlisle on Sunday afternoon, where two accession proclamations were heard

CHARLES III was formally proclaimed King in London on Saturday morning at the Accession Council, attended by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

The Accession Council, held in St James’s Palace, in London, formally recognised the King’s accession to the throne. The many other Privy Councillors present included the Prime Minister, Liz Truss, and all six of her surviving predecessors in office. They were joined by Commonwealth High Commissioners, judges, and other officials.

The Lord President of the Council, the Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt, formally announced the death of Queen Elizabeth II, before the Clerk of the Council, the retired civil servant Richard Tillbrook, read out the proclamation:

“Charles III, by the grace of god of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of his other realms and territory, 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.”

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York was among the members of the platform party who signed the proclamation, as were the Queen Consort and the new Prince of Wales.

Lord Williams of Oystermouth and Lord Carey of Clifton were among those present, as were Lord Sentamu, Lord Hope of Thornes, Lord Chartres, and the present Bishop of London.

The Privy Councillors then moved to the throne room for the first Privy Council meeting of the new reign. At the meeting, King Charles paid tribute to his mother’s reign, which he described as “unequalled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion. Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life.”

One of the King’s very first acts was to take the customary oath to secure the Presbyterian settlement of the Church of Scotland.

Shortly after the meeting there followed the principal proclamation of the King’s accession from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James’s Palace, with much traditional ceremony. The proclamation was then repeated at the Royal Exchange in the City of London.

Proclamation ceremonies were subsequently held in Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Hillsborough Castles, and across the UK and the Commonwealth on Sunday. Vast crowds lined the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, to which the late Queen’s cortège was meanwhile en route from Balmoral.

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, and the Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Revd Rob Saner-Haigh, attended the proclamations for the county and for the district in Carlisle on Sunday afternoon.

Bishop Newcome described the events as “moving occasions”, and said that it was “humbling to be a part of such a moment of history.”

Bishop Saner-Haigh had been due to be officially installed as the new Bishop of Penrith on Sunday afternoon, but the service was postponed and replaced by a service of commemoration for the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

In Devon, the Bishop of Crediton, the Rt Revd Jackie Searle, said: “As the proclamation is made, our prayers are with His Majesty King Charles III as he both mourns his mother and begins his reign.

“We pray for God’s blessing for him and the Queen consort, Camilla. May he be guided by his faith in God and his love for the people he serves.”

The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Robert Atwell, revealed that the King had written to him three weeks previously, thanking him for editing a book on rural churches (Book Reviews, 15 July).

The Bishop attested to King Charles’s “enormous feel and passion for the farming community, for the well-being of all our rural communities, [and for] our rural churches as the new Supreme Governor of the Church of England”.

In Oxford, the proclamation was briefly interrupted by a passer-by, who shouted “Who elected him?”

According to reports in The Guardian, Symon Hill was briefly arrested. Thames Valley Police confirmed that he was detained “on suspicion of a public order offence”.

Mr Hill told the Guardian that he had not planned to attend the event, but had come across it as he walked home from church.

In Edinburgh, a woman holding a placard calling for the abolition of the monarchy was arrested at the site of the proclamation ceremony.

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