Penny Mordaunt leads the ceremony of the accession council of King Charles III | King Charles III

House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt was joined by prominent politicians past and present on Saturday as she presided over the accession council ceremony of King Charles III at St James’s Palace.

Her additional role as Lord President of the Privy Council, awarded to her in the cabinet reshuffle just four days ago, meant she played a pivotal role in the historic ceremony – the first held in 70 years and the first in the history that was broadcast.

After Charles made a formal “declaration” regarding the death of the Queen and read and signed an oath to maintain the security of the Church of Scotland, Mordaunt outlined the King’s new orders, replying “agree as she read them all.

The role of Lord President of the Privy Council is always an MP by convention, and in recent years it is typical for them to also serve as Leader of the House of Commons of Lords.

Previous people who have held the position include Neville Chamberlain and Clement Attlee – and, more recently, Michael Foot, Peter Mandelson, Andrea Leadsom and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Charles was joined at the Accession Council ceremony by Camilla, the new Queen Consort, and the new Prince of Wales, his son William.

Other attendees included former Prime Ministers John Major, Tony Blair and Boris Johnson, as well as archbishops, judges and several senior members of the House of Lords.

Following the Privy Council ceremony, a main proclamation was read in public by the Garter King of Arms from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James’s Palace.

By law, Charles became king the moment his mother died on Thursday afternoon. But on the basis of an age-old custom, the council has to meet and deal with certain matters.

Symbolizing the 1707 union between Scotland and England, the event was followed by trumpeters and a colorful array of heralds. The reformulated anthem got one of its first performances.

Penny Mordaunt was the breakout star from the early days of the Tory leadership contest, where she came second in every round of voting except the crucial last.

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