Charles will be officially proclaimed king at an accession council at a century-old ceremony at St. James’s Palace on Saturday, which will be televised for the first time.
The accession council will be followed by the main proclamation, the new sovereign’s first public proclamation, to be held at 11 a.m. It is traditionally read by the Garter King of Arms in the open air on a brass band from the Friary Court balcony at St James’s, with gun salutes in Hyde Park and the Tower of London.
An hour later, at noon, a second proclamation is read at the Royal Exchange in the City of London. Individual proclamations will be read at noon on Sunday in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
During the ceremony, Charles will make a statement and take an oath and sign in the presence of secret advisers, including Camilla, the new Queen Consort, and William, now the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge.
In recognition of the new sovereign, the flags will be flown at full mast from the time of the first proclamation until one hour after the proclamations in the other nations, before being lowered again to half-mast.
Charles automatically became king upon the death of his mother, and traditionally an accession council is convened within 24 hours of a sovereign’s death. But due to the late announcement of the Queen’s death, there was not enough time to organize it before Friday.
Historically, the entire Privy Council – the oldest legislative assembly still functioning in the UK and dating back to Norman times – would be convened to oversee the formal proclamation of a new sovereign.
However, with the insiders number of more than 700 – mostly made up of former and current politicians – restrictions have been put in place. About 200 will be called up, with a vote for the few remaining seats.
The accession council must take place before the parliament meets, and the parliament must meet as soon as possible after the death of a sovereign.
The king will not be present at the first part of the ceremony, which is presided over by the lord president of the council, who has the ministerial responsibility for the office of the secret council.
Penny Mordaunt was appointed to that role by Liz Truss, though she has yet to be named president at a Secret Council meeting, as the event was postponed Wednesday when the Queen was advised by doctors to rest.
The elected counselors meet first without the king to declare him sovereign, along with major state officials, the mayor and civil party of the city, high commissioners of the realm, and some high officials, and it is expected that Camilla and William, who already known are advisors.
The sovereign’s death is announced and the text of the accession proclamation is read. This includes Charles’ title of King Charles III.
A platform party, comprising Camilla, William, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of York, the Prime Minister, the Lord Privy Seal, the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Earl Marshal and the Lord President then signs the proclamation.
Only then does Charles come in to hold his first secret council. He will make a personal statement on the Queen’s death and then read and sign an oath to preserve the Church of Scotland, necessary because there is a division of power in Scotland between church and state. Another oath, the Declaration of Accession, to maintain the Protestant succession, is normally taken several months later at the state opening of parliament.
Other issues are discussed, including the use of the stamps to “facilitate the continuity of government”. Privy counselors will sign the proclamation when they leave.
The official report will be published in a special supplement to the London Gazette.
On Friday, King Charles held his first audience with the Prime Minister, Liz Truss, and delivered his first televised speech.
He promised to serve the country “with loyalty, respect and love” and paid tribute to the Queen by saying that his mother’s life was a “life well lived”.
He also announced that his son William and William’s wife Catherine would now inherit the titles of Prince and Princess of Wales and said he wanted to “express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives abroad” .