Hello again and welcome to live coverage of today’s events following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
UPDATE #2 7 PM:
- Tomorrow’s Accession Council begins at 10 am local time, 5 am EDT. King Charles, Camilla, Queen Consort, and the Prince of Wales will attend.
- The meeting will be at the State Apartments of St. James’s Palace and will be televised for the time in history.
ITV reports, “After the Accession Council, the first public Proclamation of the new sovereign is read in the open air from the Friary Court balcony by the Garter King of Arms at St James’s Palace in the presence of the Earl Marshal and two of the sovereign’s Serjeants at Arms. Amid great ceremony, trumpeters usually play a fanfare from the balcony and gun salutes are fired in Hyde Park and at the Tower of London at the same time. The Proclamation will then be read at the Royal Exchange in the City of London.”
In London, crowds continue to gather at Buckingham Palace.
More about the massive piles of flowers from this Daily Mail piece.
Buckingham Palace today asked emotional well-wishers to redirect floral tributes to Green Park and Hyde Park instead, while local florists sold out of bouquets as tens of thousands flocked to pay their respects.
More from The Daily Mail article.
The Palace said this morning any more visitors who wish to leave floral tributes will be guided to lay them at dedicated sites in Green Park or Hyde Park.
Flowers left outside the Palace gates will be moved to the Green Park Floral Tribute Garden by The Royal Parks later today, a sign told visitors today.
The Mail also reports that “Bouquets are now being sold by charity staff in the park after several nearby shops sold out due to rocketing demand in the area.”
This is the scene at Balmoral Castle.
Now for some brief coverage of the day’s other events. We begin with the King’s meeting with the Prime Minister, Liz Truss.
More from The Telegraph’s coverage.
King Charles III said the first day on the throne was “the moment I’ve been dreading”, in his first audience with the Prime Minister.
The monarch welcomed Ms Truss and said: “It’s been so touching, this afternoon. All those people who came to give their condolences and leave flowers.”
The Prime Minister offered her “very, very sincere condolences”, to which King Charles responded: “You’re very kind. It’s the moment I’ve been dreading as I know a lot of people have, but we try to keep everything going.”
Next, the Service of Prayer and Reflection at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Below, crowds gathered outside the cathedral.
More than 2,000 gathered for the service, with many seats given to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. On the back of the Order of Service (viewable here), two notable quotes from HM.
From The Guardian’s coverage.
They listened in silence – some with babes in arms, some in black mourning dress, others in the T-shirts and jeans of daily life – as the voice of King Charles III echoed around St Paul’s Cathedral.
Most of us have not known life without the Queen,” the congregation of more than 2,000 people – including hundreds of members of the public – was told by the bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE.
The Bishop of London.
More of the Bishop’s remarks.
When she acceded to the throne, the world and the country were both very different places. For seven decades, Her Majesty remained a remarkable constant in the lives of millions: a symbol of unity, strength, forbearance and resilience.
All of us are grieving the loss of our head of state, head of the Commonwealth and supreme governor of the Church of England. But the royal family are grieving the loss of a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother. How we learn to live with the death of a loved one differs for each of us, but we must all find a way to grieve.”
Prime Minister Liz Truss read Romans 14: 7-12.
We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end, Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
A lone bagpiper.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, delivered a blessing.
A portion of that blessing.
With proud thanksgiving, we gather in this cathedral today to mourn the death of our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth the Second. We remember her long life spent in the service of this country and of her Commonwealth realms around the world. We give thanks for a life of devotion to God, her Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, and of devotion to all her people. We celebrate her love for her family, her commitment to duty, and her calling to create unity and concord at the heart of the Commonwealth.
The service closed with the national anthem. From The Mirror’s coverage.
The realisation this is history in the making dawns for the congregation with the first singing of God Save The King.
At the memorial service for the Queen at St Paul’s Cathedral, they sing “send him victorious”, words which have not rung out for more than 70 years, since the death of George VI.
God Save The King: For the first time in over 70 years, God Save The King is sung publicly.
We are in a new era. God Save The Queen will likely never be heard again in any of our lifetimes. pic.twitter.com/eHQRk5BQ4U
— Royal Central (@RoyalCentral) September 9, 2022
We’ll leave this portion of the post with the BBC’s graphic of an interesting statistic.
And a look at Tower Bridge.
UPDATE #1 5:20 PM: With apologies for leaving stray text up at the top of the initial post that said “Update #1,” this really is Update #1. We begin with some quick newsbytes.
- The funeral for the Queen is expected to take place on Monday, September 19, although that has not been officially confirmed. The service will be at Westminster Abbey and the date will be a National Day of Mourning, including a two-minute silence at noon.
- “The Queen’s coffin will depart Balmoral estate in the coming days for the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. From here it will be taken in procession to St Giles’ Cathedral, where the Queen will lie at rest, allowing the public to view her coffin.” This is per the BBC.
- The Accession Council meets tomorrow and Charles will officially be proclaimed King.
- At a service at St. Paul’s this evening, the country’s updated national anthem, God Save the King, was officially sung for the first time.
- Town and Country reports that “Three of Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughters – Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, and Zara Tindall – have arrived at Balmoral Castle in Scotland today to pay respects to their late grandmother.
We begin with the King’s address to the nation.
The King was seated in the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, a room used by the Queen for some of her Christmas broadcasts. On the desk, a photo of the late monarch, and a vase holding white sweet peas and rosemary. At the base of the vase, there were three Corgis. Below, a portion of the King’s remarks.
I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow. Throughout her life, Her Majesty the Queen – my beloved Mother – was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example.
In 1947, on her 21st birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples.“That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life.
“She made sacrifices for duty. Her dedication and devotion as sovereign never wavered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss.
In this image, you see customers at a pub in York watching the speech.
More from the speech.
The affection, admiration and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign. And, as every member of my family can testify, she combined these qualities with warmth, humour and an unerring ability always to see the best in people. I pay tribute to my Mother’s memory and I honour her life of service. I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share that sense of loss, beyond measure, with you all.
On behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your condolences and support. They mean more to me than I can ever possibly express. And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May “flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest”.
Below, mourners gathered at Buckingham Palace listen to the address.
The King surprised many with the announcement that his son and heir, Prince William, would be the new Prince of Wales, and his daughter-in-law the new Princess of Wales.
As my Heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me. He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have undertaken for more than five decades.
Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty. With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.
Below, the Prince and Princess with Prince George and Princess Charlotte during a Jubilee visit to Wales in June. The children’s titles also change to the following: Prince George of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, and Prince Louis of Wales.
More about the titles from Victoria Murphy’s story in Town and Country.
The Prince of Wales is not a title that William automatically inherited, unlike the Duke of Cornwall. Charles took the title Prince of Wales very seriously over the course of his tenure, including making a home in Wales, and advocating for Welsh issues. Queen Elizabeth announced her intention to make Charles Prince of Wales in 1958, and his investiture ceremony took place in 1969. He was the longest-serving Prince of Wales in history.
The last Princess of Wales was Princess Diana; though Camilla could use the title, she was styled as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Earlier this summer, when Kate and William visited Wales during Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, a well-wisher told Kate, “You’re going to make a brilliant Princess of Wales.” Kate replied, “That’s very kind. I’m in good hands,” gesturing to Prince William.
Below, Prince Charles at his 1969 investiture.
The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, shared his reaction on social media.
They will be the 22nd Prince of Wales and 11th Princess of Wales.
Many reporters quoted a “palace source” stating the “new Princess of Wales appreciates the history associated with this role but will understandably want to look to the future as she creates her own path.” The UK Press Association also reports:
…a royal source says ”the couple is focused on “deepening the trust and respect of the people of Wales over time.'”
“The Prince and Princess of Wales will approach their roles in the modest and humble way they’ve approached their work previously,” the source adds.
I will do one more update with details from the St. Paul’s service and coverage of the King’s meeting with Prime Minister Liz Truss.
You may read the address in full at this link. This video includes the entire speech.
Australia’s Sunrise on 7 put together a nice video that starts about 40 seconds into this clip.
After 70 years on the throne, the world bids a fond farewell to Queen Elizabeth ll. pic.twitter.com/p0QesRc5Oh
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) September 9, 2022
The tolling of Westminster Abbey’s bells.
Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the Abbey’s tenor bell is tolling once every minute for the next hour.
The tenor bell is the largest of the Abbey’s ten bells and is traditionally tolled upon the death of a member of the Royal Family. pic.twitter.com/utc9t7uICh
— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) September 9, 2022
Several quick bullet points to cover:
- In his first televised address, King Charles spoke of his mother, saying “Throughout her life, Her Majesty The Queen – my beloved Mother – was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother.”
- The King announced the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge are now the Prince and Princess of Wales, a very big change for the family.
- King Charles concluded his speech by saying, “To my darling ma’ma, as you begin your journey to meet our late pa’pa, I want to say thank you. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.” The latter part of that statement is from a line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
- A service at St. Paul’s is underway where Prime Minister Liz Truss and Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn will deliver remarks. 2000 members of the public are attending the service.
Social media graphics were updated to reflect the new titles for the Prince and Princess of Wales.
The Royal Family website still has to catch up to the news.
Next, updates on members of the Royal Family and a look at events around the United Kingdom. (The next update will be more information-driven with notes on specific events and activities.) First, King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort as they left Balmoral.
The Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex returned to Windsor. The Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge was seen leaving the Windsor Castle grounds.
Returning to coverage of An aerial view as they arrived at Buckingham Palace.
Britain’s King Charles arrived at Buckingham Palace to throngs of supporters, his first day as the new monarch following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth https://t.co/mfbFtUY9h0 pic.twitter.com/xslpVVMrZb
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 9, 2022
The duo looked at the floral tributes and greeted well-wishers.
— ITV News (@itvnews) September 9, 2022
The UK Press Association reports, “A well-wisher called out “We love you King Charles and we loved your mum”, and later Charles was overheard saying “thank-you so much” after another comment from a member of the public.
There were cheers for the King, with some of those at the palace singing God Save the King, the national anthem. The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English posted a video.
Such a sense of history as Charles and Camilla enter Buckingham Palace for the first time as King and Queen. pic.twitter.com/xSDN33bxsv
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) September 9, 2022
Now for a quick overview of scenes around the United Kingdom, starting at Balmoral, where the floral tributes continue to grow.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon signs a condolence book in Edinburgh.
Below, at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Lewis Yeoman, age 7, did a drawing for the Queen.
In Wales, the flag at Cardiff Castle.
And the 96-gun salute at the castle honoring the Queen.
Those attending ranged from people who had come from many miles to pay their respects to others who had paused shopping trips to be present an historic moment. Some frailer people were pushed into the castle grounds in wheelchairs; younger ones were held in parents’ arms as the shots rang out.
Jenna Mulheron, 38, from Cardiff, a security officer, laid flowers and carried a union flag. “I live in Cardiff but was born and bred Scottish,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for the Queen. I love the royals, I’ve been to all the castles. My favourite history in school was the Tudors. It’s a sentimental thing. I’ll try to go London to try to go to the funeral.”
After the salute, the crowd broke into a spontaneous round of applause.
A condolence book at Cardiff City Hall is signed.
In Northern Ireland, Belfast Mayor Christina Black (L) looks on as Vice President of Sinn Fein, Michelle O’Neill (R) signs a condolence book.
Members of the public watch the gun salute at Hillsborough Castle.
We now turn back to London, and the gun salute at the Tower of London.
The Death Gun Salute is taking place across the United Kingdom.
From Edinburgh to Plymouth, Belfast to Gibraltar, the 96 round salutes ring out across the nation.
— Royal Central (@RoyalCentral) September 9, 2022
Crowds on the Mall.
And at Buckingham Palace.
The floral tributes continue to pile up. The sense of loss is palpable.
A woman and child with their flowers.
Here is another look at the enormous crowds.
People arrived singly, in pairs, and in larger groups.
As mentioned at the start of this post, the next update will have more specifics on the mourning period, services, and official functions.