King Charles III Takes the Throne


At the moment of the Queen’s passing on Thursday, her eldest son acceded to the throne as King Charles III, head of state of the UK and 14 other Commonwealth countries.

The King, aged 73, is the oldest monarch to take the crown, as well as the longest-serving heir apparent in British history. Unlike his late mother, who became queen at just 25, King Charles’s life has been one of extended preparation for this moment.

The historic transition from one royal generation to another will be marked by a period of national mourning and what is expected to be a relatively low-key coronation, which will set the tone for King Charles’s reign.

Alongside the ceremonial formalities of succession, the moment of the King’s elevation will also be one of personal loss and grief; he has been beside the deathbed of both his parents in the past 18 months.

“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” he said in a statement on Thursday evening. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother.”

Known for his outspoken views and half a century of social activism as the Prince of Wales, the King has made clear he will adopt a different approach to public life once he takes the crown.

While as the Queen’s heir he sought to “make a difference” on long-cherished causes, from the environment and architecture to farming and homeopathy, as king he will not speak out on contentious topics. “I’m not that stupid,” he told the BBC in 2018.


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