*Declares Bank Holiday as burial fixed for September 19
*Takes oath to secure the Church of Scotland
*Nigeria looks forward to strong relationship with King Charles III, says Buhari
Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Bayo Akinloye in Lagos with agency reports
King Charles III was yesterday formally proclaimed as Britain’s new monarch.
His emergence followed the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen, who was UK’s longest-reigning monarch, died peacefully at the Balmoral Castle in Scotland last Thursday afternoon at the age of 96. Her funeral has been fixed for September 19, 2022.
The formal proclamation of King Charles III was made by the Accession Council, an ancient body of advisers that dates back to the time of the Norman Conquest.
President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigeria was looking forward to a strong working relationship with the UK under King Charles III.
Also reacting to the proclamation, a former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general election, Atiku Abubakar, has prayed that the exercise would bring a new dawn in the lives of Britons and their allies.
In his new position, King Charles III is the Head of State and Head of the Commonwealth.
During the historic ceremonies in St. James’s Park and the Royal Exchange in London, King Charles III made a personal declaration on the death of his beloved mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and vowed to uphold “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.”
At 11 a.m. yesterday, trumpets then blared from the balcony of St James’s Palace as the Principal Proclamation announcing the King was read out. Crowds gathered outside the palace as the King was officially proclaimed Sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including Supreme Head of the Church of England and Commander-in-Chief of Britain’s Armed Forces, as well as Head of State of the Commonwealth and British territories around the world.
On a balcony above Friary Court in St James’s, David White – an official known as the Garter King of Arms – read the proclamation. He ended by saying: “Given at St James’s Palace this 10th day of September in the year of our Lord 2022.” In the moments after, “God save the King” was shouted out.
Paying tribute to the Queen at the throne room of St James’s before the assembled Accession Council, the King also approved an order that the day of the Queen’s funeral would be a bank holiday.
Making his declaration, Charles III said: “My lords, ladies and gentlemen, it is my most sorrowful duty to announce to you the death of my beloved mother the Queen. 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’ve all suffered.
“It is the greatest consolation to me to know 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.”
Continuing the declaration, the King said: “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 the Commonwealth realms and territories throughout the world.
“In this purpose, I know that I shall be upheld by the affection and loyalty of the peoples whose Sovereign I have been called upon to be and that in the discharge of these duties I will be guided by the counsel of their elected parliaments.
“In all this, I am profoundly encouraged by the constant support of my beloved wife. I take this opportunity to confirm my willingness and intention to continue the tradition of surrendering the hereditary revenues, including the Crown Estate, to my Government for the benefit of all, in return for the Sovereign Grant, which supports my official duties as Head of State and Head of Nation.
“And in carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me, and to which I now dedicate what remains to me of my life, I pray for the guidance and help of Almighty God.”
Prime Minister Liz Truss joined Camilla, Queen Consort, William, Prince of Wales and 250 other dignitaries, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby; the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell; the Prime Minister; the Lord Privy Seal; the Lord Great Chamberlain; the Earl Marshal and the Lord President to sign the proclamation.
Former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson, Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Sir Tony Blair and Sir John Major; Labour former Cabinet minister, Harriet Harman; the Mother of the House; Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer and the high commissioners of the 14 Commonwealth countries where Charles III is Head of State, are also on the body of the Accession Council.
During the event, the Lord President – Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt – announced the death of the sovereign and called upon the Clerk of the Council to read aloud the text of the Accession Proclamation before the body signed the document. It includes Charles’s chosen title as King, already known to be King Charles III.
Charles III then entered for the second part of the council at 10.20 am, attended only by privy counsellors, and where he made a personal declaration about the death of the Queen. He took an oath to preserve the Church of Scotland and signed two documents to record it, with his wife Camilla and his son Prince William among those witnessing his signature.
A wave of further proclamations will take place in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are to take place at midday today (Sunday).
Part II is the holding by The King of His Majesty’s first Privy Council. The king will make his declaration and read and sign an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland and approve Orders in Council which facilitate continuity of government.
In recognition of the new sovereign, flags were flown at full mast from the time of the principal proclamation at St James’s Palace until one hour after the proclamations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, after which flags will return to half-mast in mourning for the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Meanwhile, the British monarch has declared a national Bank Holiday for the queen’s funeral. The announcement was made after King Charles III was formally declared head of state. Queen Elizabeth II will be given a state burial.
Opening proceedings at the Accession Council, the Lord President, Rt. Hon. Penny Mordaunt MP said: “My lords, it is my sad duty to inform you that Her Most Gracious Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, has passed away on Thursday, the 8th of September, 2022, at Balmoral Castle. I propose that, when a certain necessary business has been transacted, a deputation consisting of Her Majesty, His Royal Highness, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of York, the Prime Minister, the clerk of the Council, and myself, shall wait on the King and inform him the Council is assembled.”
Reading the text of the proclamation, the Clerk of the council said: “Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to call to his mercy our late Sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth II of blessed and glorious memory, by whose decease the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is solely and rightfully come to the Prince Charles Philip Arthur George.
“We, therefore, the lords spiritual and temporal of this realm, and members of the House of Commons, together with other members of Her late Majesty’s Privy Council, and representatives of the realms and territories, aldermen, and citizens of London and others, do now hereby, with one voice and consent of tongue and heart, publish and proclaim that the 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 and Northern Ireland, and 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.”
He declared to the room ‘God Save the King’ and the packed room repeated the famous phrase.
The historic event came after Charles gave a landmark address to the nation on Friday and paid a poignant and moving tribute to his ‘darling Mama’ the Queen.
The King pledged his whole life to serve as the new sovereign just as the Queen did, saying: “That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.”
And he used his speech to announce that he had appointed his son William, the Prince of Wales, with Kate the Princess of Wales.
Meanwhile, the Royal Family has fixed the burial date for the late Queen Elizabeth II for September 19, 2022.
Announcing the date on its verified Twitter handle, The Royal Family said: “The State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday, 19th September.
“Prior to the State Funeral, The Queen will Lie-in-State in Westminster Hall for four days, to allow the public to pay their respects.”
Nigeria Looks Forward to Strong Relationship with King Charles III, Says Buhari
Meanwhile, President Buhari has yesterday said Nigeria was looking forward to a strong working relationship with the UK under King Charles III.
The president’s solemn commiseration was made yesterday on his behalf by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, who was accompanied by his wife, Olufumilayo, during a condolence visit to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing at his residence in Abuja.
The SGF also signed the condolence register on behalf of the federal government.
He said the government of Nigeria welcomes the Queen’s successor, King Charles III and is looking to a strong working relationship with the UK.
“Don’t forget that she was the Head of Commonwealth to which we belong, not only that, she was also the Head of State for three years at the time of independence in 1960 until 1st October 1963 when we became a Republic and she ceased to be our Head of States and the then Governor-General Nnamdi Azikiwe took over as our president,” Buhari said.
“For the purposes of remembrance the fact is that 90 per cent of Nigerians do not know any monarch in the UK than the Queen, who had unfortunately passed on.
“We welcome the new king and we look forward to a strong working relationship with the UK,” he added
In her response, Laing expressed optimism that the relationship between Nigeria and the UK will continue to grow and strengthen.
The British High Commissioner also noted that the late Queen had always spoken well of Nigeria and also followed development in the country with great interest.