Following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Charles III on Friday began his official acts as the new British monarch. The king and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla of Cornwall, took off from Aberdeen airport in Scotland at around 12.30pm and by 2.15pm they arrived at Buckingham Palace, where crowds greeted them with cheers. The king shook hands with onlookers and exchanged remarks before entering the palace.
In Edinburgh, Princess Street, one of the city’s main avenues, was plastered with images of the late monarch. The capital of Scotland maintained its usual flow of tourists, but all the main monuments were closed to visitors as a sign of mourning, including the castle, St. Giles Cathedral and Holyrood Palace.
Earlier in the day, gun salutes of 96 rounds to mark each year of her life were fired in Hyde Park. Ten days of mourning and carefully orchestrated ceremony lie ahead.
Charles III is scheduled to meet with the new prime minister, Liz Truss, before addressing the nation in a televised speech at around 6pm in which he will remember the deceased queen.
Truss on Friday praised the monarch in the House of Commons, where a special session to pay tribute to Elizabeth II began at midday on Friday and was scheduled to end around 10pm. The new British MP called the late monarch “one of the greatest leaders the world has ever known.”
“We remember the pledge she gave on her 21st birthday to dedicate her life to service. “The whole House will agree, never has a promise been so completely fulfilled. She reinvented monarchy for the modern age, and she was a champion of freedom and democracy.”