The wheels of tradition are firmly in motion as the nation starts to look toward King Charles III’s coronation.
On Thursday, September 8 2022, the UK’s longest-serving Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died aged 96. Her unwavering commitment to Great Britain and Northern Ireland lasted over 70 years.
King Charles III - who was at his mother’s bedside as she passed away peacefully at her home in Balmoral - expressed his sadness at the passing of Her Majesty.
He said: “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother.”
King Charles III has ascended the throne but the coronation of the new King may not take place for some time.
Here’s everything you need to know about the King’s coronation.
When did Prince Charles officially become King?
Following the death of the Queen, a “call cascade” is made informing the highest Government officials including the Prime Minster and the Cabinet secretary.
UK Government departments were instructed to have flags at half-mast within 10 minutes of being notified as a sign of “discretion”.
Prince Charles immediately became King as soon as Queen Elizabeth II passed.
On the day Queen Elizabeth II passed, otherwise known as ‘D-day’, the Prime Minister was the first to deliver the news to the public with Liz Truss announcing, “Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built”.
On Friday, September 9, the Prime Minister had a formal meeting with King Charles III. The King then delivered a televised speech to the nation at 6:00pm, about the symbolic ‘continuity’ of his mothers reign.
King Charles then made his way around the UK home nations including Northern Ireland and Wales.
On Saturday, September 10, Parliament reconvened and government officials approved a formal message of condolence to King Charles III. Charles is free to choose his own regal title but this must be decided before the first part of his accession to the throne.
When will King Charles III have his coronation?
A coronation does not typically take place until months after the Accession. When it does, King Charles III will swear an oath to the Church of England.
An official date for the coronation is yet to be announced but the Telegraph reported the ceremony may be in “spring or summer of next year after a period of mourning”.
According to sources, the coronation will take place in Westminster Abbey as a Church of England service and will reflect Britain as it is today. The ceremony is expected to be smaller and less expensive than that of Queen Elizabeth II.
The service will include representatives from the House of Parliament, Church and State. Prime Ministers and leading citizens from the Commonwealth will also be in attendance.
What is the Stone of Destiny?
The Stone of Destiny, officially known as Scotland’s Stone of Scone, is an ancient symbol that was used in the inauguration of Scottish Kings.
In 1296, King Edward I, took the stone and ordered for it to be built into the coronation chair of Westminster Abbey. It sat underneath the chair that hosted several monarchs, until one day it was taken back.
Four Scottish students hatched a plan to seize the stone on Christmas day, 1950. Masterminded by Ian Hamilton, the students successfully held onto the Stone of Destiny for three months before depositing it outside Arbroath Abbey - the place where the declaration of Scottish Independence was signed.
Almost 50 years later, the stone was officially returned to Scotland and is now displayed alongside Crown Jewels in the Royal Palace of Edinburgh Castle.
The symbolic stone may only be moved in aid of a coronation and will be making its way to Westminster Abbey to sit beneath King Charles III as he declares his ascension to the throne.
Can King Charles abdicate now he is King?
In the past, it has been reported that Charles may want to ‘pass the throne’ to his son Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.
Due to the Constitutional unit and the line of succession, King Charles was not able to abdicate before Her Majesty passed away. However, he can chose to step down and leave his post now that he is King.
If King Charles does chose to abdicate, he will require the assistance of Parliament and the legislature. Similar to Edward VIII who required the Declaration of Abdication Act 1936.
This is because the title to the Crown is dependent upon statute and any constitutional amendments must be given royal ascent by the lower and upper house.
Will King Charles III’s coronation be a national holiday?
A national bank holiday will be held for the coronation of Prince Charles and Camilla, as new Queen consort.
While, it is expected that the Kings coronation’s will be a national holiday - this will only be announced by the government once a date is confimed.