On Friday, King Charles III made his way back to London, where he will deliver a speech to the country as the United Kingdom enters a new period without Queen Elizabeth II as its leader.
Global tributes have poured in for Elizabeth, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 96 after the longest reign in British history. During her seven-decade reign, she welcomed 15 prime ministers, oversaw the decline of the British empire, endured domestic scandal, and dramatically modernised the monarchy.
On Friday, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss paid tribute to the late monarch in Parliament and referred to Queen Elizabeth as “one of the finest leaders the world has ever known.”
Truss urged the populace to support the next monarch, claiming that as he leads Britain into a “new Carolean age,” he deserved “our allegiance and devotion.”
A schedule of events honouring Elizabeth’s life and assisting with the impending transition will be announced in the hours and days ahead as the UK enters a period of national mourning. However, her demise leaves a gap for the UK at a time when it faces significant difficulties, including a change in political leadership and an impending economic downturn.
The late Queen was a steadfast figure who was widely regarded by many over decades of considerable change that saw Britain shift from a war-weary declining imperial power into a contemporary multi-cultural state, even though Britons rarely looked to the monarchy for political leadership.
Global leaders paid tribute to Elizabeth with statements, highlighting the global effect she had over her 70-year reign. Elizabeth presided over the 54-member Commonwealth, the vast majority of which were once British Empire colonies, and was head of state not only in the UK but in 14 other Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and Canada.
Church bells rang out in the Queen’s honour across the nation on Friday as the UK started its first full day of grief, gun salutes were fired in royal gardens in her honour, and mourners gathered in front of Buckingham Palace in London.
Soccer matches in the Premier League have been rescheduled for this weekend, and several stores, like department store giant Selfridges, have chosen to close as a show of respect.
After meeting with Truss on Friday, King Charles III is anticipated to deliver a broadcast speech to the nation. In addition, a public memorial ceremony for the Queen will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on Saturday at 6 p.m. local time.
Details on the state burial, which will be publicly funded by the government because Queen Elizabeth is the monarch, will be made public in the upcoming days.
Plans will be prepared for her return from Scotland’s Balmoral Castle to London, where she will likely spend a few days lying in state before her funeral.
The Accession Council will gather in a historic ceremony in London’s 500-year-old St. James’s Palace on Saturday, among other upcoming ceremonies. A official announcement of the monarch’s passing and a ceremonial proclamation of King Charles III as the next monarch will both take place during that meeting.
The Garter King of Arms, who is in charge of overseeing royal ceremonial duties, will read the Proclamation from the palace balcony during this closed meeting, which is being attended by hundreds of dignitaries and members of the Privy Council, a group of royal advisers. Gun salutes will then be fired throughout the capital.
According to a statement released by Buckingham Palace on Friday, the King has called for a period of Royal Mourning to be observed from Friday until seven days following the Queen’s funeral.
“Members of the royal family, staff, and representatives of the royal household on official tasks, as well as military engaged to ceremonial obligations,” it was stated, observe Royal Mourning.
According to the palace, all royal apartments will be closed until after the Queen’s funeral.
Following the announcement of her passing on Thursday, large throngs of mourners defied torrential rain and were obviously moved by the news to assemble outside Buckingham Palace, Balmoral, and other royal palaces. On Friday, several came back and left floral arrangements outside the palace’s gates.
According to a CNN study of data from the 2021 census, more than eight out of ten citizens in England and Wales have never known a monarch other than Elizabeth.
When asked how they felt about the months ahead without the Queen to bring the kind of stability she offered the UK through periods of political turbulence, some mourners outside Buckingham Palace told CNN that they were scared. In a little more than six years, Britain has had four prime ministers, and the country is still figuring out its new identity.
James Cox, 22, from Bristol in southwest England remarked, “She’s always kept the country together in situations (of national difficulty).” It’s now quite uncertain.
50-year-old Kamaljit Singh Kundra of Coventry, central England, remarked of the “calm” the Queen brought to the country. She said of her seven decades as monarch, “It just felt like we had some type of grasp on the country.
Others discussed their conflicted emotions toward the monarchy itself. Om Shah, an 18-year-old student from London, told CNN that although she is Indian and that she was colonised by the British, “the monarchy is continuously changing, especially with the younger generation coming in.”
An expression of sympathy came from US President Joe Biden and first wife Jill Biden, who said the Queen “defined a period,” as well as from UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who called the monarch “a reassuring presence amid decades of enormous change.”
India proclaimed a day of mourning on September 11 across Asia. The Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, called Charles on Friday to offer his “deep condolences,” according to Chinese state media, and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, stated in a tweet on Friday morning that the Queen would be “remembered as a stalwart of our times.”
The Queen was hailed by French President Emmanuel Macron for her dedication to and love of France. He stated on Friday that Elizabeth II “mastered our language, adored our traditions, and touched our hearts.”
Macron continued, “To us, she was the Queen; to you, she was your Queen.” She would always be with us, to all of us.