Prince Charles now King Charles III – King of the United Kingdom.
At the moment the Queen died, the throne passed immediately and without ceremony to the heir, Charles, the former Prince of Wales.
But there are a number of practical – and traditional – steps which he must go through to be crowned King.
King Charles III Bio
Charles III (Charles Philip Arthur George; born 14 November 1948) is King of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms. He acceded to the throne on 8 September 2022 upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. As Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay from 1952 to his accession, he was the oldest and the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, and the longest-serving Prince of Wales, having held the title from 26 July 1958 until his accession. At 73, Charles is also the oldest person ever to assume the British throne. The record was previously held by William IV at age 64.
|King of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms|
|Reign||8 September 2022 – present|
|Heir apparent||Prince William, Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge|
|Born||Prince Charles of Edinburgh|
14 November 1948 (age 73)
Buckingham Palace, London, United Kingdom
|Spouses||Lady Diana Spencer(m.1981; div.1996)Camilla Parker Bowles(m.2005)|
|Prince William, Duke of Cornwall and CambridgePrince Harry, Duke of Sussex|
|NamesCharles Philip Arthur George|
|Father||Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh|
|Education||Gordonstoun University of Cambridge (BA)|
Royal Air Force
|Commands held||HMS Broningt|
Formal ceremonies of King Charles III
It is expected that Charles will be officially proclaimed King on Saturday. This will happen at St James’s Palace in London, in front of a ceremonial body known as the Accession Council.
This is made up of members of the Privy Council – a group of senior MPs, past and present, and peers – as well as some senior civil servants, Commonwealth high commissioners, and the Lord Mayor of London.
Head of the Commonwealth
Charles has become head of the Commonwealth, an association of 56 independent countries and 2.4 billion people. For 14 of these countries, as well as the UK, the King is head of state.
These countries, known as the Commonwealth realms, are: Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, St Christopher and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu.
The Coronation of King Charles III
The symbolic high point of the accession will be the coronation when Charles is formally crowned. Because of the preparation needed, the coronation is not likely to happen very soon after Charles’s accession – Queen Elizabeth succeeded to the throne in February 1952, but was not crowned until June 1953.
For the past 900 years, the coronation has been held in Westminster Abbey – William the Conqueror was the first monarch to be crowned there, and Charles will be the 40th.
It is an Anglican religious service, carried out by the Archbishop of Canterbury. At the climax of the ceremony, he will place St Edward’s Crown on Charles’s head – a solid gold crown, dating from 1661.
This is the centrepiece of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London and is only worn by the monarch at the moment of the coronation itself (not least because it weighs a hefty 2.23kg – almost 5lbs).
Unlike royal weddings, the coronation is a state occasion – the government pays for it and ultimately decides the guest list.