King Charles III addresses Accession Council members
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The UK’s last six Prime Ministers and leaders of the opposition were at the Accession Council at St James’s Palace earlier today to confirm Charles as the new King following the death of the Queen on Thursday. Former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson, Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major were seen standing in the front row of the ceremony. They were joined at the Council in London by former Labour Party leaders Ed Miliband and Neil Kinnock, as well as ex-Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.
Members of the Royal Family, as well as newly-appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss and current Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, were also in attendance.
But Jeremy Corbyn, who was sworn into the Privy Council in 2015,did not appear to be present at the ceremony. It is not clear why he wasn’t in attendance.
On Thursday evening Mr Corbyn, paid tribute to the Queen with a message on Twitter following her death at Balmoral hours earlier.
He wrote: “My thoughts are with the Queen’s family as they come to terms with their personal loss, as well as those here and around the world who will mourn her death.
“I enjoyed discussing our families, gardens and jam-making with her. May she rest in peace.”
During today’s proclamation ceremony, the former and current political leaders joined in chorus of God Save The King to show their support for the new monarch.
Boris Johnson, who resigned as Prime Minister earlier this week, and former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown, were seen chatting in the front row before the ceremony began.
Keir Starmer and Tony Blair were also seen in conversation ahead of the proclamation, while Theresa May was also seen speaking to her predecessor David Cameron.
Charles, who was next in line to the throne, automatically became Britain’s new monarch following the death of his mother the Queen aged 96 at her Balmoral residence on Thursday.
The Accession Council – a body of advisers – formally announced the new King’s role earlier today in a ceremony that was televised for the very first time.
The proclamation was signed by a number of people, including Camilla, Queen Consort, William, Prince of Wales, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell and the Prime Minister.
King Charles paid tribute to the reign of the late Queen, “unequalled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion”, as he was formally declared the nation’s new monarch.
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He began the historic day by discharging the “sorrowful duty” of announcing the death of his “beloved mother” in an address to the council.
The new monarch said: “I know how deeply you, the entire nation – and I think I may say the whole world – sympathise with me in the irreparable loss we have all suffered.
“It is the greatest consolation to me to know of the sympathy expressed by so many to my sister and brothers and that such overwhelming affection and support should be extended to our whole family in our loss.”
Charles also spoke of the Queen’s “selfless service”, adding: “My mother’s reign was unequalled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion. Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life.”
He went on to say: “I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of Sovereignty which have now passed to me.
“In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional Government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these islands and of the Commonwealth Realms and Territories throughout the world.”
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