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Charles proclaimed king as William, Catherine, Meghan and Harry reunite

The meeting of the Accession Council, a modern version of an Anglo-Saxon ceremony, was televised for the first time.
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LONDON — King Charles III was publicly proclaimed Britain’s new monarch Saturday, in a modern version of an Anglo-Saxon ceremony steeped in political symbolism that was televised for the first time.

The event at St. James’s Palace in London was followed by gun salutes, fanfare and declarations across the United Kingdom. The meeting of the Accession Council was attended by Charles, his son and heir William, whose new title is Prince of Wales, and wife Camilla, Queen Consort, as well as a host of senior political and religious figures.

A statement was issued to the public from the balcony of the palace and read throughout Britain.

The ceremony is part of long-established and highly choreographed plans for the days of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, who died Thursday. Buckingham Palace announced Saturday that the queen's state funeral will take place Sep. 19 at Westminster Abbey in London.

Following the ceremony, Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, as well as Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, reunited at Windsor Castle in the afternoon, appearing to put aside their rift to pay tribute to their late grandmother.

Follow here for live coverage.

13d ago / 7:47 AM UTC

Remebrances services to be held for queen to held across U.K.

Remembrance services for Queen Elizabeth II will be held across the U.K. on the first Sunday after her death.

Special guidance has been issued by the Church of England on services during the period of mourning.

“Flags to be lowered to half mast, and to remain at this height until the day after the State Funeral,” it says, adding that bells should be rung at a “practicable” time.

The queen was formally the Defender of the Faith and governor of the Church of England, titles dating back centuries that have now passed to her son.

14d ago / 5:25 AM UTC

Sunday: Queen Elizabeth leaves Balmoral for the last time

On Sunday, the queen's coffin will be driven from Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. 

Public viewing of the vehicle will be possible along the route in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen and Dundee, officials said.

The queen’s coffin will be carried into the Throne Room at Holyroodhouse, where it will remain until Monday.

Proclamations for the queen will be read elsewhere in Scotland, in Northern Ireland and Wales.

King Charles II will be the subject of two public proclamations of his ascension Sunday in Edinburgh, a noontime announcement by Lord Lyon King of Arms to the people of Scotland at Mercat Cross, and the second at Edinburgh Castle.

Large crowds were expected.

14d ago / 4:12 AM UTC

Denmark's queen scales back her jubilee after Queen Elizabeth's death

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe canceled, postponed and scaled back events of her own jubilee this weekend in which she marks 50 years on the throne of Europe’s oldest ruling monarchy.

Queen Margrethe, 82, whose reign is now Europe’s longest, has praised Britain’s late monarch as “a towering figure among European monarchs and a great inspiration to us all,” adding that “We shall miss her terribly.”

The Danish monarch also asked for a moment of silence Saturday evening before a gala performance at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.

14d ago / 3:05 AM UTC

Billboards around the world pay homage to Queen Elizabeth II

Displayed in a solid black background, images of the queen in her earlier years and in her 90s accompanied by the queen’s initials could be seen across buildings in Manila, Philippines.

This is one of the many tributes seen across the world as people continue to commemorate the queen’s legacy.

Manila honors  Elizabeth
An electronic billboard shows a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines.Ezra Acayan / Getty Images
14d ago / 1:58 AM UTC

'Very lovely to see': Happy reaction in Windsor as William and Harry reunite

14d ago / 12:41 AM UTC

Flowers left at former residence recall a young Elizabeth in Malta

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Former Residence Of Queen Elizabeth II In Malta
Flowers lean against the door of the Villa Guardamangia on Saturday in Pieta, Malta. Joanna Demarco / Getty Images

The house, now abandoned and crumbling, once rang with the voices of a young couple military couple. Now, flowers left at the doorstep recall the long life of a beloved queen.

Between 1949 and 1951, then-Princess Elizabeth lived off and on in Villa Guardamangia, just outside the Maltese capital of Valletta. Her husband, Philip, not yet a prince, was a naval officer stationed on the island, aboard the HMS Chequers and then as commander of HMS Magpie.

Official biographies refer to this era as one of the happiest, seemingly normal times of Elizabeth's life. Local newspapers at the time reported her driving herself around the island, going to movies, visiting a local hairdresser and hosting parties for military wives.

Since 2020 Guardamangia has been owned by Heritage Malta, which has announced plans to restore the property and create a museum.

14d ago / 11:45 PM UTC

William, Kate, Harry and Meghan greet the public at Windsor tribute

AP ; Getty Images
14d ago / 10:15 PM UTC

Mourners remember Queen Elizabeth II at memorial outside British embassy in D.C.

14d ago / 8:58 PM UTC

King Charles hosts PM Liz Truss and other British politicians

After he was publicly proclaimed Britain’s new monarch, King Charles III held his first audiences at Buckingham Palace on Saturday afternoon.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Liz Truss and other politicians, including members of her Cabinet and opposition leaders, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Royal family said on Twitter.

14d ago / 8:40 PM UTC

British soccer criticized for canceling play after queen’s death

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British soccer has come under fire for its decision to postpone this weekend’s round of fixtures following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, with some fans questioning the move in contrast to other sports bodies who opted to let play resume.

The Football Supporters’ Association, which represents soccer fans in England and Wales, said the cancelation of games was a missed opportunity for fans to pay their respect.

“We believe football is at its finest when bringing people together at times of huge national significance — be those moments of joy or moments of mourning,” the FSA said.

Grassroots and local soccer games have also been canceled by the Football Association, the game's national governing body.

14d ago / 8:23 PM UTC

Duran Duran pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth at Hollywood Bowl

Duran Duran honored Queen Elizabeth II during a concert in Los Angeles, California, on Friday night.

The British band performed their 1982 single “Save a Prayer” at the Hollywood Bowl, according to videos of the event shared to Twitter, as the audience sang along and illuminated the venue with lights from their cell phones.

“The concert was amazing," Georgina Tsoar, who attended, told NBC News. "I love the fact that they started the concert with a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth."

14d ago / 7:27 PM UTC

King Charles III greets crowds near Buckingham Palace

King Charles III waved to crowds gathered near Buckingham Palace in London on Saturday.

The new king then stopped his car, got out and greeted people on The Mall, a road between the palace and Trafalgar Square, shaking their hands and taking a bouquet of flowers.

Meanwhile, the crowd cheered for the king and chanted, "All hail the King!" and "God save the King!"

14d ago / 6:51 PM UTC
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14d ago / 6:29 PM UTC

Queen’s coffin to make multiple stops ahead of state funeral

The queen's coffin, which currently resides in the ballroom at Balmoral Castle, will make multiple stops as it travels to London ahead of the state funeral, Buckingham Palace said in a statement Saturday.

On Sunday, it will travel by road to Edinburgh, Scotland, making its way to the to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where it will stay until Monday, the palace said.

On Monday, the coffin will be taken to the St. Giles’ Cathedral in Scotland's capital. There, King Charles III and members of the Royal family will attend a service, according to the palace. The queen's coffin will then lie at rest in the cathedral to allow the country's people to pay their respects. 

On Tuesday, the coffin will travel by air to RAF Northolt, a Royal Air Force station in England, before it's transported to Buckingham Palace by road, the palace said. And on Wednesday, the coffin will be led in a procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster, where the queen will lie in state at Westminster Hall until Sept. 19, the day of her funeral.

14d ago / 5:48 PM UTC

Watch: Princes William and Harry on walkabout to meet crowds at Windsor


14d ago / 5:22 PM UTC

William, Harry, Kate and Meghan reunite at Windsor Castle

WINDSOR, England — Prince William, Prince Harry and their spouses reunited at Windsor Castle on Saturday afternoon, appearing to put aside their rift to pay tribute to their late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Hundreds of mourners and visitors lined the four-mile path to the castle, straining their necks to catch a glimpse of the royals and cheering when the foursome appeared.

William, Harry, Kate and Meghan paused at a large flower memorial for the queen, stopping to read handwritten notes and admire the bouquets that mourners had left throughout the day.

The reunion was a notable and striking event given that the siblings have grown distant in recent years, especially following Harry and Meghan’s decision to quit the royals for a life in the United States.

Read the full story here.

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Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, left, and Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, walk to meet members of the public at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England on Saturday.Kirsty O'Connor / Pool via AP
14d ago / 5:03 PM UTC

Lawmakers pledge allegiance to new king at the British Parliament

14d ago / 4:32 PM UTC

William, Kate, Harry and Meghan visit flower memorial for Queen

WINDSOR, England — Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, as well as Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, visited a flower memorial for Queen Elizabeth II in Windsor on Saturday. 

Hundreds have come to pay their respects to the queen, laying flowers outside the gates of the castle.

Prince Harry, Princess Meghan, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Princess Kate, Princess of Wales
Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, left, and Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex view the floral tributes for the late Queen Elizabeth II outside Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England on Saturday.Alberto Pezzali / AP
Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, right, and Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, right, and Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, view the floral tributes for the late Queen Elizabeth II outside Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England on Saturday.Alberto Pezzali / AP
Prince William and Kate, Princess of Wales, left, and Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, left, and Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, walk to greet the crowds after viewing the floral tributes for the late Queen Elizabeth II outside Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England on Saturday.Alberto Pezzali / AP

Following their reunion at the memorial, a spokesperson for William said: “The Prince of Wales invited the Duke and Duchess to join him and the Princess of Wales earlier.”


14d ago / 4:29 PM UTC

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral to be held on Sept. 19

Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral will take place on Sept. 19 at Westminster Abbey in London, Buckingham Palace announced Saturday.

The palace said in a statement that the queen would lie in state in Westminster Hall for four days, before the state funeral, to give the public time to pay its respects.

On Monday morning, the lie in state will end, and the queen’s coffin will be taken in procession to Westminster Abbey, where the funeral service will take place, according to the palace.

14d ago / 4:15 PM UTC

King Charles proclaimed Canada's new head of state

Canada officially announced King Charles III as its monarch in a ceremony on Saturday. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Gov. General Mary Simon attended the accession ceremony in Ottawa, where Charles was formalized as the country’s new head of state. Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth.

14d ago / 3:48 PM UTC

Prince William: 'The world lost an extraordinary leader'

Prince William said in a statement Saturday that “the world lost an extraordinary leader,” following the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. 

“So much will be said in the days ahead about the meaning of her historic reign,” the Prince of Wales said.

“She was by my side at my happiest moments. And she was by my side during the saddest days of my life,” he continued. “I knew this day would come, but it will be some time before the reality of life without Grannie will truly feel real.

“My grandmother famously said that grief was the price we pay for love. All of the sadness we will feel in the coming weeks will be testament to the love we felt for our extraordinary Queen. I will honour her memory by supporting my father, The King, in every way I can."

14d ago / 3:42 PM UTC
14d ago / 3:13 PM UTC

Mourners lay flowers outside British Embassy in Washington, D.C.

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Mourners laid more flowers at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., Saturday as they gathered to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II at a makeshift memorial outside the building.

A visibly emotional Grace Millbank told NBC News that the queen was “a role model of what we as people should be, in a world that is very fractured.

“My parents told me that I was supposed to live to be a gracious person, and I don’t think I’ll ever be as gracious as she was.”

14d ago / 2:45 PM UTC

14d ago / 2:15 PM UTC

Queen's family view floral tributes

Family members, including three of Queen Elizabeth II's children, have been admiring messages of support from the public, at Balmoral.

Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward came to the gates of the Scottish castle where their mother died Thursday and viewed flowers and messages left by well-wishers.

Some of them seemed to become emotional as they read the messages from the public.

Prince Andrew thanked people for visiting. “We’ve been allowed one day, now we start the process of handing her on,” he said.

The Royal Family views flowers laid outside Balmoral Castle
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence look at flowers laid outside Balmoral Castle in Ballater, Scotland on Saturday.Andy Buchanan / AFP via Getty Images


14d ago / 2:06 PM UTC

Queen asked to play the Beatles at state dinner, former French president says

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Queen Elizabeth II once asked an orchestra to play the Beatles at a state dinner in 2014 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings on five beaches in Normandy in June 1944, former French President François Hollande said Saturday.

“She talked about being a friend of France and her taste for French culture and generally for the arts,” Hollande told Reuters.

“At one point, the Republican Guard was playing some classical music and I asked her what she would like and she said: 'Can they play the Beatles?' So the orchestra played several songs by the Beatles,” Hollande said, referring to the military unit that provides guards of honor at official ceremonies.

14d ago / 1:38 PM UTC

A new king proclaimed at the Royal Exchange

Image: BRITAIN-ROYALS-KING
Members of the public and the military in ceremonial uniform attend the second proclamation of Britain's new King, King Charles III, at the Royal Exchange, in London's financial district. Alberto Pezzali / AFP - Getty Images
14d ago / 1:37 PM UTC

How movies, television helped define Queen Elizabeth II in the public consciousness

The Crown S4
Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth II in season Four of "The Crown." Liam Daniel / Netflix

LONDON — In the 21st century, anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection does not lack for information about celebrities. The era of TikTok and TMZ has broken down barriers, making public figures feel nearer to us, reduced to human scale.

The late Queen Elizabeth II was a notable exception. 

In her decades on the throne, cultural mores evolved dramatically, but Her Majesty remained much the same despite being one of the most famous people in the world. She was reserved, withdrawn, poker-faced and, to most, fundamentally unknowable.

That never stopped screenwriters, filmmakers and other creative personalities from attempting to get inside the queen’s head. In doing so, many viewers thought they understood a woman who revealed so little of her inner life to us.

Read more here.

14d ago / 1:30 PM UTC

14d ago / 1:20 PM UTC

Pomp, circumstance and lots of gold braiding

LONDON — King Charles III’s already undisputed claim to the British throne got the royal rubber stamp Saturday when what’s known as the Accession Council formally proclaimed the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II the new monarch.

There was pomp and pageantry and tradition — and zero suspense — because Charles became king when Elizabeth died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Charles’ accession to the throne was a modern version of the Anglo-Saxon Witan, a two-part gathering of notables that predates the Middle Ages that was called after a sovereign died.

But this was the first time this ancient ceremony was televised, and millions around the world watched as Charles, 73, swore to uphold the constitution, protect the Church of Scotland, and signed the proclamation that made him king.

Read more here.

14d ago / 1:00 PM UTC

Police chase man who jumped barrier outside Buckingham Palace

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Police officers chase a man after he ran over a barrier before King Charles III arrived at Buckingham Palace on Saturday. Kin Cheung / AP
14d ago / 12:56 PM UTC

Religious leaders in Scotland unite to offer prayers for the king

Senior Scottish church leaders thanked Queen Elizabeth II for her “faithful service as sovereign” and offered “prayers for His Majesty King Charles III and the royal family at this time.”

“We give thanks for her evident Christian faith and recall that in her first Christmas broadcast as Queen in 1952 she asked us to pray for her ‘that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises that I shall be making, and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life,’ the Scottish Church Leaders’ Forum said in a statement.

“In her faithful service of God and of the Nation she has surely fulfilled the promises that she made,” it added.

14d ago / 12:39 PM UTC

Senior lawmakers pledge their allegiance to the new king

Senior lawmakers, including Britain’s new prime minister, pledged their allegiance to the new king at the British Parliament.

Lindsay Hoyle, the speaker of the House of Commons, told MPs that “time constraints” meant only a small number of them could take their oaths but more time would be available at a later date.

Liz Truss, who was only sworn in as prime minister Tuesday, swore that she would “be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles, his heirs and successors, according to law.”

14d ago / 12:31 PM UTC

Scenes outside St. James’s Palace as King Charles III ascends

Members of the public wait outside St. James’ Palace as King Charles III holds a meeting with lawmakers.

Amara Eno for NBC News
Amara Eno for NBC News
14d ago / 12:15 PM UTC

Thousands welcome King Charles III at Buckingham Palace

Large crowds cheered and applauded as King Charles III arrived at Buckingham Palace in his Rolls Royce.

Thousands of people packed the walkways around Buckingham Palace to try to catch a glimpse of the newly proclaimed king.

Charles could be seen smiling and waving back at the crowds as he drove past them.

14d ago / 12:01 PM UTC

Vladimir Putin sends 'sincere congratulations' to new king

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent King Charles III a note of congratulations on his accession to the throne.

“I wish your majesty success, good health and all the best,” the note said.

14d ago / 11:50 AM UTC

14d ago / 11:41 AM UTC

Anti-monarchy group: New king 'affront to democracy'

A British organization that campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy called the proclamation of a new king an "affront to democracy."

"Britain has changed almost beyond recognition since 1952 and the last royal succession. In this modern and democratic society our head of state cannot simply step into the role without debate or without challenge to his legitimacy," it said in a written statement on Twitter.

14d ago / 11:35 AM UTC

England's cricketers sing 'God Save the King'

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England’s cricket team and fans at the iconic Oval stadium in London rose to sing the national anthem shortly after Charles was proclaimed monarch.

“Such an emotional moment to not only say goodbye to Her Majesty, but also to welcome King Charles III,” fan Paul Steenkamp told NBC News via Messenger.

It is believed to be the first official televised rendition of “God Save the King,” as opposed to “God Save the Queen,” to be sung at a sporting event.

England is playing South Africa.

14d ago / 11:25 AM UTC

Security ramped up in Scottish capital ahead of queen's procession

Armed police were stationed across Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, and roads closed ahead of the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II's coffin later this weekend.

The coffin will be transferred from Balmoral Castle in northern Scotland, where the queen died Thursday, to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. A ceremonial procession will then take it to St. Giles' Cathedral in the heart of the city Monday, where her body will lie in state before being transferred to London.

14d ago / 11:23 AM UTC

Protest outside St. James's Palace during accession

A protester holds a "Not my king" sign outside St. James's Palace as King Charles III is proclaimed the new monarch.
A protester holds a "Not my king" sign outside St. James's Palace as King Charles III is proclaimed the new monarch.Amara Eno for NBC News
14d ago / 11:02 AM UTC

Second proclamation read in the City of London

King Charles III's accession was proclaimed on the steps of the Royal Exchange in the City of London, the country's traditional financial center.

The Royal Exchange is a former financial institution in the City of London, which served as a forum for merchants and traders. It is the capital's ancient Roman core, and is technically classed as a different city from London itself, with its own police force and mayor.

Further proclamations of Charles' accession will be made in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast on Sunday.

14d ago / 10:50 AM UTC

'She was my boss'

Royal Air Force veteran Harry Stelling, 86, describes the late queen in simple terms: “She was my boss.”

Stelling came to Windsor Castle on Saturday to lay flowers in honor of the queen to whom a “swore a covenant.”

“All the guys I served with have got the most respect for the queen,” he said.

Daniel Arkin / NBC News
14d ago / 10:40 AM UTC

Tribute to King Charles III read by Garter Principle King of Arms

David Vines White, the Garter Principle King of Arms, welcomed King Charless III as the new monarch in a flowery public tribute from the balcony of St. James's palace.

“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 of Great Britain 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. God save the King,” he said.

14d ago / 10:27 AM UTC

National anthem and cries of 'God save the king' outside St. James's Palace

Applause and cheers of “God save the king” broke out outside St. James’s Palace in London where Charles was officially proclaimed the new monarch.

Those gathered then gave three cheers for the new king before standing and listening to a gun salute in the distance.

Others sang the national anthem which changed from “God Save the Queen” to “God Save the King,” after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

14d ago / 10:23 AM UTC

Garter King of Arms proclaims Britain's new king

Image: BRITAIN-ROYALS-KING
David Vines White, the Garter Principle King of Arms, reads the proclamation of Britain's new king from the Friary Court balcony of St. James's Palace in London on Saturday.Daniel Leal / AFP - Getty Images
14d ago / 10:22 AM UTC

Public holiday declared for queen's funeral

King Charles III declared a public holiday on the day of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.

He made the announcement after he was formally proclaimed king. “Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life,” he said.

No date has been set for the funeral.

14d ago / 10:15 AM UTC

Holding the Commonwealth together

Narinder Jagdev describes himself as a “lifelong monarchist,” crediting Queen Elizabeth II with “holding the Commonwealth together,” a reference to the association of mostly former colonies that the queen led and fostered.

Jagdev added that he hoped King Charles III would do the same.

“She could solve any problem, just like that,” he said, snapping his fingers for emphasis.

Narinder Jagdev.
Narinder Jagdev.Daniel Arkin / NBC News
14d ago / 10:11 AM UTC

British prime ministers past gather for proclamation

Image: BRITAIN-ROYALS-KING
Former British prime ministers, from left: Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Boris Johnson, David Cameron, Theresa May and John Major gather ahead of the Accession Council ceremony inside St. James's Palace.Kirsty O'Connor / AFP - Getty Images
14d ago / 10:07 AM UTC

Gun salute honors King Charles III

A gun salute has taken place following the proclamation of Charles as king. Guns were fired at St. James's Palace in London, where the new monarch was announced at the Accession Council.

Gun salutes also took place across all four nations of the United Kingdom on Friday in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. Shots were fired 96 times, one for each year of the queen's life.

14d ago / 10:02 AM UTC

Principal proclamation publicly declares Charles king

On a balcony overlooking Friary Court at London's St. James's Palace, the Garter King of Arms, David Vines White, publicly proclaimed Charles the new king after a cacophonous trumpet fanfare.

The national anthem "God Save the King," was then played and gun salutes were then fired in Hyde Park and the Tower of London to announce the new monarch.

At noon (7 a.m ET) similar proclamations will be made in the City of London — the capital's ancient Roman core — as well as in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

14d ago / 9:53 AM UTC

Charles makes first speech after being formally declared king

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King Charles III speaks to members of the Accession Council at St. James's Palace, London, on Saturday.Jonathan Brady / AP
14d ago / 9:53 AM UTC

Hundreds descend on Windsor

Hundreds of people have descended on the royal town of Windsor to pay their respects. Many are laying flowers outside the gates along Windsor Great Park.
Hundreds of people have descended on the royal town of Windsor to pay their respects. Many are laying flowers outside the gates along Windsor Great Park.Daniel Arkin / NBC News
14d ago / 9:49 AM UTC

Queen helped ‘heal the wounds of conflict,’ defense chief says

Queen Elizabeth II helped to “heal the wounds of conflict” during her reign, the chief of Britain's defense staff said in a YouTube video address Saturday.

Highlighting her visits to Germany, Japan and Ireland, Adm. Tony Radakin described her as “the most magnificent ambassador for our country.”

“Her Majesty brought together the very different nations of the Commonwealth in a spirit of fellowship,” he said, adding that the queen was admired both by Britain's allies and adversaries.

Joining the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II in 1945, Elizabeth was the first member of the royal family to join the armed services full time. As a monarch she was the head of the armed services, with members of the military serving in her name.

14d ago / 9:43 AM UTC

Guards on patrol at St James's Palace

Image: BRITAIN-ROYALS-KING
A member of the Coldstream Guards stands on duty in Friary Court outside of St James's Palace in London on Saturday.Daniel Leal / AFP - Getty Images
14d ago / 9:41 AM UTC

A mother and her children pay their respects at Windsor

A mother and her children pay their respects at Windsor.
The town of Windsor, about an hour outside of London, is the site of Windsor Castle and has been home to British monarch since the Norman Conquest in 11th century.Daniel Arkin / NBC News
14d ago / 9:41 AM UTC

What is the Accession Council?

The Accession Council is made up of a group of advisers to the monarch that includes the Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss, members of her cabinet, religious figures and representatives from the Commonwealth.

It's role is only ceremonial and its purpose is to officially announce the name of the new monarch.

The Accession Council was divided into two parts. First Queen Elizabeth II was declared dead and the name of the new king is read out from a balcony in London, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

The second part saw King Charles III make a personal declaration about the queen and then he made and signed an oath to serve the constitution and to protect the Church of Scotland.

14d ago / 9:39 AM UTC

How the news of the king's accession will be shared

When the meeting of Accession Council concludes, the College of Arms, a royal corporation dating from 1484, will be responsible for spreading word of the new king throughout the country. The first announcements at St. James’s Palace and the City of London will be accompanied by heralds and royal trumpeters. 

The proclamation will also be read out across England and Wales. The Foreign Office will distribute the text to British embassies, to British overseas territories and dependencies, and nations of the Commonwealth — a collection of mostly former colonies.

On Sunday, the proclamation will be read in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Hillsborough, and marked by the firing of 21-gun royal salute.

14d ago / 9:35 AM UTC

King Charles III makes personal declaration on the death of his mother

King Charles III made a personal declaration on the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.

"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," he told a the Accession Council where he was being formally declared as King.

"Her reign was unequalled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion. Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life," he added.

14d ago / 9:35 AM UTC

Lawmakers gather ahead of Charles' proclamation

Members of the privy council gather in the Throne Room for stage two of the Accession Council at St James's Palace in London/
Members of the privy council gather in the Throne Room for stage two of the Accession Council at St James's Palace in London/Jonathan Brady / AP
14d ago / 9:35 AM UTC

Crowds gather to witness Charles proclaimed king

Crowds are gathering outside St James Palace in London to witness Charles proclaimed king. Among the first to line up in the viewing area outside were Astrid Jacobs, Virginia Forbes and Penny McDermid.

“It’s a very traditional part of what happens next. A lot of people don’t actually know about it,” said Jacobs, a Cambridge resident who arrived in London shortly after the queen’s death. 

“It’s a mixed time I find, emotionally,” she added. “You’re trying to reconcile the future with the pain that you’re feeling at her loss. I wasn’t prepared.” 

Forbes, also a Cambridge resident, said she is inspired by the international outpouring of love and support for the queen. 

“It’s extraordinary in this age of cynicism and social media what’s come out,” she said.

14d ago / 9:20 AM UTC

Charles proclaimed King

Britain's new monarch Charles III has been formally proclaimed as King during a historic ceremony televised for the first time.

Charles’s role as King and the name he will use was confirmed during a meeting of the Accession Council at St James’s Palace in London.

Senior figures from national life including Camilla, Queen Consort, his son William, the new Prince of Wales and Prime Minister Liz Truss took part in the ceremony.

14d ago / 9:02 AM UTC

Accession Council meets to proclaim Charles king

Members of the privy council — a group of advisers to the crown including the London Lord Mayor, high ranking civil servants, politicians and members of Britain's House of Lords — are meeting in the State Apartments of St James's Palace to formally approve Charles as the U.K.'s new king.

It is an international gathering, with commonwealth commissioners also flying in to join. Yet, breaking from tradition, not every member of the privy council has been invited to participate in the ceremony. Election to the council is a life role, and there are more than 700 members. Only 200 members will be in attendance due to space restrictions.

The council will approve Charles as sovereign first without his presence, with the new king waiting in an adjoining room. Then, he will join them to make a declaration on the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and swear to uphold the church in Scotland.

The ceremony, which is traditionally conducted in private one hour prior to the Principal Proclamation — the first time a new monarch is announced public — is being broadcast live on national television for the first time.

14d ago / 8:45 AM UTC

Floral tributes mount up in London's Green Park


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People lay flowers for Queen Elizabeth II at Green Park, near Buckingham Palace in London on Saturday.Felipe Dana / AP
14d ago / 8:33 AM UTC

Saturday will be a day of mourning and of ascension

On Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II’s body will be moved to Holyrood, her residence in Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, as the solemn occasion will give way to the rites of ascension for King Charles III.

Under long-held custom, the king will say an oath and give a speech in London. Not customary: For the first time, the formality known as the Accession Council will be televised.

The king will be hailed by a 41-gun salute at Hyde Park fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, and by a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company. 

A Garter King of Arms, a heraldic position in the royal household since 1484, will proclaim Charles the new king from a balcony of St. James’s Palace.

The royal band will then play the first verse of “God Save the King,” and flags will be temporarily raised from half mast. At 73, King Charles III is the oldest person to assume the British throne.

The king was expected to arrive at Holyrood on Sunday.

14d ago / 8:33 AM UTC

London’s Tower Bridge illuminated for Queen Elizabeth II


Image: BESTPIX: The Nation Mourns The Death Of Queen Elizabeth II
London's Tower Bridge was illuminated in royal purple Friday night to pay respect at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Eamonn M. McCormack / Getty Images
14d ago / 8:33 AM UTC

14d ago / 8:33 AM UTC

Soccer legend Pelé reminisces about queen’s visit to Brazil

Soccer legend Pelé on Friday paid tribute to to Queen Elizabeth II by recalling fond memories of her visit to Brazil in 1968.

He said she made a lasting impression when she came to witness Brazil’s love for the sport known in both nations as football. Her deeds and legacy, he said, “will last forever.”

As the only player to win three World Cups, Pelé, 81, has been described as the “player of the century” and “the greatest” to play the sport.

On Friday, he described Elizabeth’s visit as the scene of a lifetime. “I have been a great admirer of Queen Elizabeth II since the first time I saw her in person, in 1968,” he tweeted, “when she came to Brazil to witness our love for football and experienced the magic of a packed Maracanã.”

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, smile as they give a cup to Pele, right, at a soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro, on Nov. 10, 1968.
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, smile as they give a cup to Pele, right, at a soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro, on Nov. 10, 1968.AP file