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King Charles III arrives at Buckingham Palace ahead of address to British nation

The queen’s funeral is expected to take place on 19 September.

King Charles III and his wife Camila outside Buckingham Palace.
King Charles III and his wife Camila outside Buckingham Palace.
Image: PA

Updated Sep 9th 2022, 3:24 PM

QUEEN ELIZABETH II died yesterday evening and preparations have begun for King Charles III’s role as the new British monarch and the queen’s funeral as tributes pour in from world leaders.

Buckingham Palace has said that Prince Charles will be proclaimed king at 10.00am tomorrow, while proclamations will be read in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at midday on Sunday.

The new King, Charles III, arrived at Buckingham Palace for the first time as monarch this afternoon.

The 73-year-old King flew back to London with Camilla, the new Queen, and greeted well-wishers gathered outside the Palace.

He is expected to deliver a televised address later this evening.

Cheers rang out at the Palace as the couple arrived, along with shouts of “God save the King”.

Many people held their phones aloft to try to catch a glimpse of them as they greeted members of the crowd and look at the tributes left for the Queen.

Irish reaction

Taoiseach Michéal Martin has said that the queen’s 2011 visit to Ireland was “the crowning moment” of the peace process and the development of Anglo-Irish relations.

The Taoiseach said that the late monarch has been a constant in the world political order and expressed Ireland’s understanding of the “enormous change” her passing represents.

Speaking to reporters in Bray, Co Wicklow, Martin said that the queen’s most enduring legacy in an Irish context would “unquestionably” be her historic visit to Ireland in 2011, which he had been “very anxious that it would happen” in his years previous as minister for foreign affairs.

He said that her trip to Cork as part of that visit will be “a visit that will never be forgotten”.

Political leaders in Ireland have noted how the queen’s 2011 visit, the first by a British monarch to Ireland since it gained independence, set a new tone for Anglo-Irish relations in the following years.

“In the context of all that has gone on between Britain and Ireland over the centuries, it definitely closed one chapter and opened up a new chapter, and it was the culmination really of all the work that went into the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement,” the Taoiseach said. 

“The head of state of the UK coming to Ireland represented the crowning moment, if you like, for all that had gone before in terms of peacebuilding and in terms of creating a new political order on the island of Ireland.”

Her son the Prince of Wales, is now King Charles III having acceded to the throne immediately on the death of his mother.

Screenshot 2022-09-09 3.24.17 PM Charles III greeting well-wishers. Source: PA

Martin said: “I think King Charles is very familiar with Ireland, he has a keen interest in Irish affairs and I met him on a number of occasions during his visits to Ireland, with the Queen Consort, and I have no doubt that he will continue that interest in Ireland.

“Particularly he has an interest in climate change, biodiversity, wildlife, and I do foresee opportunities to dovetail with that interest that he has, with some of the initiatives we are taking in terms of preserving biodiversity into the future.

“He’s also obviously committed to doing what he can in the role that he now will have to underpin good relations between Ireland and Britain and between the different traditions on the island of Ireland.”

He said that inviting him to Ireland would be a matter for the President.

President Michael D Higgins has praised the queen’s “exceptional” ability to combine a sense of formality with “a great capacity for connection with the people”.

“There was that capacity to bridge the formal and the informal,” Higgins said on RTE’s Morning Ireland programme.

He said that the preparations for the 2011 visit to Ireland were “complex” and required “some subtlety and very good diplomacy”.

“To be able to cover all these different areas of human interaction and humanity, that’s a very very significant achievement.”

“I found during her four days here a great deal of warmth, with an exceptional regard that Ireland and Britain were in a new place.”

“She went to pains to point out how the contribution the Irish had made in relation to building Britain, the hundreds of thousands of families who worked in the health services and building the roads and so forth.”

President Higgins will be on the Late Late Show tonight to speak about the Queen’s relationship with Ireland, the importance of her state visit here, her legacy and his return visit to the UK.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar also expressed his condolences on RTÉ News this morning.

“It is the end of an era, the end of an extraordinary life. She is someone who touched millions across the generations, I think for us she touched us when she took that historic visit to Ireland back in 2011.”

“I was a new member of government at the time and I remember it well and I remember the impact it had. It really was a high point I think it British-Irish relations. If I was to sum her life up in one word it would be duty, someone who came from a generation who really believed in duty to her country, to her family,” he said.

Speaking to reporters today he added that “being a monarch must be a really tough life, never having any privacy and never being able to switch off or ever being able to give up.”

The UK ambassador to Ireland, Paul Johnston told Morning Ireland that people of all political persuasions have been brought together in grief.

“I think it’s a profound moment in the life of our nation of the United Kingdom. But I knew from talking to the new King of his deep personal commitment to the United Kingdom, but also to the profoundly important relationship between between Britain and Ireland.”

Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald, told RTÉ News this morning that the queen had been an advocate for peace who played a part in the development of ” a much-improved and warmer and healthier relationship between the two countries”.

“The queen saw and was part of very big changes. I acknowledge also her loss is a very difficult moment for the people of Britain, in particularly for unionists in Ireland. It is a very big loss,” she said.

Former president Mary Robinson said:

“Before her visit there was a lot of apprehension, there had been a bombscare on a railway. But she had personal knowledge of what to do. The way she bowed her head exactly the right way in the Garden of Rememberance, that was the moment that eased apprehension and from then on she was welcome.”

Here is the day-by-day account of what is expected to happen next, leading up to the queen’s funeral in around 11 days’ time.

Day of Death

Thursday would traditionally have been D-Day or D+0 in the plans for the aftermath of the queen’s death, codenamed London Bridge.

But the announcement came late in the day – at around 6.30pm yesterday – meaning plans have been shifted a day to allow the complex arrangements to be put in place, meaning D+0 will be today.

The new King had rushed to the queen’s bedside yesterday when her health began to fail.

Charles was joined by the monarch’s other children Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward with Prince William, now heir to the throne, and Harry also travelling there.

Also at Balmoral are Charles’ wife Camilla – the new queen – and the Countess of Wessex.

charles The new King will pay his respects to his mother Queen Elizabeth II Source: PA

The new King and Camilla – now the queen – remained at Balmoral overnight and will return to London today.

D+0 – Friday 9 September

– The king and queen return to London – Charles and Camilla stayed at Balmoral overnight on Thursday, but return to London on Friday.

– Audience with the PM – Despite his grief, duty calls for new sovereign Charles who will have his first audience as monarch with Prime Minister Liz Truss.

– Confirming funeral plans – Charles is likely to meet the Earl Marshal – the Duke of Norfolk – who is in charge of the accession and the queen’s funeral, to approve the carefully choreographed schedule for the coming days.

The London Bridge arrangements have long been planned in consultation with the Government.

They will incorporate Operation Unicorn, the contingency plans for the death of the queen in Scotland.

During the coronavirus pandemic,  the UK Government and the Royal Household prepared a “London minus” version of the London Bridge plans in case it was needed – which is now unlikely – with all the elements but with the involvement of fewer people.

– Court mourning – Charles will decide on the length of court or royal mourning for members of the royal family and royal households. It is expected to last a month.

– National mourning – The Government will confirm the length of national mourning, which is likely to be around 12 days, from now up to the day after the queen’s funeral.

They will also announce that the funeral day will be a public holiday in the form of a Day of National Mourning.

– Flags – British flags on royal buildings are flying at half-mast.

The Royal Standard never flies half-mast. It represents the Sovereign and the United Kingdom, and is a symbol of the continuation of the monarchy.

fleg The Royal Standard always flies full mast Source: PA

If the new King is in residence at a royal palace or castle, the Royal Standard will fly there full-mast as is the tradition.

The Union flag does not fly there at the same time.

The British Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is in charge of arrangements for lowering flags on government buildings.

Downing Street reportedly expressed concern in the past that the Government would face a wave of public anger if it did not lower its flags within 10 minutes of the announcement of the queen’s death.

– Bells and gun salutes – Bells will toll at Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and Windsor Castle.

Churches are being urged to toll their bells across England at noon.

Gun salutes – one round for every year of the queen’s life – will be fired in Hyde Park and at other stations.

The public has already begun to leave flowers as tributes from around the world pour in.

 – Charles’s televised address – The King will make a televised address to the UK, which he is due to pre-record, in the early evening.

He will pay tribute to the queen and pledge his duty to his service as the new sovereign.

– Service at St Paul’s Cathedral – The Prime Minister and senior ministers will attend a public service of remembrance at St Paul’s in central London.

D+1 – Saturday September 10

The Accession Council meets, traditionally at 10am, at St James’s Palace in London to formally proclaim Charles as the new sovereign.

First, the Privy Council gathers without the King to proclaim the new monarch and arrange business relating to the proclamation.

Then Charles holds his first Privy Council, accompanied by Camilla – the new queen – and William who are also Privy Counsellors, and makes his personal declaration and oath.

Union flags go back up to full-mast at 1pm and remain there for 24 hours to coincide with the proclamations before returning to half-mast.

Charles will also hold audiences with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

D+2 – Sunday September 11

The queen’s coffin is expected to be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Proclamations will be read in the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish devolved parliaments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

D+3 – Monday September 12

Procession is expected along Royal Mile to St Giles’ Cathedral. Service and the Vigil of the Princes by members of the royal family.

The public may get the chance to file past the queen’s coffin at a mini lying in state in St Giles’.

The House of Commons and the House of Lords are expected to come together in Westminster for a Motion of Condolence, which the King could attend.

lprds MPs will gather to pay tribute to the Queen Source: PA

After leaving England and visiting Scotland, Charles will at some stage travel to Wales and Northern Ireland – known as Operation Spring Tide.

D+4 – Tuesday September 13

Coffin expected to be flown to London. Expected to be at rest at Buckingham Palace.

A rehearsal for the procession of the coffin from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster takes place.

D+5 – Wednesday September 14

The queen’s lying in state is expected to begin in Westminster Hall – Operation Marquee – following a ceremonial procession through London. It will last four full days.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct a short service following the coffin’s arrival.

Hundreds of thousands of people will file past the coffin on its catafalque and pay their respects, just as they did for the queen mother’s lying in state in 2002.

The management of the queues outside is Operation Feather.

During the Covid-19 crisis, plans included the possibility of the introduction of timed ticketing for those wanting to attend.

Senior royals are also expected to pay their own moving tribute, standing guard at some stage around the coffin – the tradition known as the Vigil of the Princes.

D+6 – Thursday September 15 

Lying in state continues and a rehearsal is likely to take place for the state funeral procession.

D+7 – Friday September 16 – Sunday September 18

Lying in state continues, ending on D+9. Heads of state begin to arrive for the funeral.

D+10 – Monday September 19

The queen’s state funeral is expected take place at Westminster Abbey in central London.

The original plans are for the queen’s coffin to process on a gun carriage to the abbey, pulled by naval ratings – sailors – using ropes rather than horses.

Senior members of the family are expected to poignantly follow behind – just like they did for the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The military will line the streets and also join the procession.

Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, European royals and key figures from public life will be invited to gather in the abbey, which can hold a congregation of 2,000.

The service will be televised, and a national two minutes’ silence is expected to be held.

The same day as the funeral, the queen’s coffin will be taken to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for a televised committal service.

Later in the evening, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family.

stg The Queen’s committal service will take place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in Berkshire Source: PA

The queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel – where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.

Philip’s coffin will move from the Royal Vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.

With reporting by Garreth MacNamee

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