Prince Andrew has stepped out in public as he joined the royal family for an emotional walkabout to inspect the many flowers and messages left for the Queen outside of Balmoral.
Earlier, the disgraced prince joined his daughters and other members of the royal family to attend a prayer service at the nearby Crathie Kirk church.
The Queen regularly visited the small church during her stays at the royal retreat.
Three of the Queen’s four children – the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and Earl of Wessex have all been at Balmoral since Thursday when the Queen died.
Also at the castle on Saturday local time were the Countess of Wessex, Anne’s husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and the Queen’s grandchildren Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Lady Louise Windsor.
Hundreds of members of the public have lined the route from the gates to pay their respects.
This afternoon Prince Andrew was spotted driving his family to Crathie Kirk church where he and his family attended a prayer service.
He waved to fans as he led a convoy of black Land Rover to the nearby chapel.
The Duke of York, Prince Edward, Princess Eugenie, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Sophie Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor all looked solemn as they arrived at the church.
The family then walked by well-wishers and thanked them for their support.
There they took time to look at flowers and tributes left for the late Queen.
Princess Eugenie laid her own flowers as Prince Andrew took out his glasses to read notes left for The Queen.
She then began to cry as her father comforted her.
‘INSPIRING’: CHARLES’ VOW AS HE TAKES THRONE
King Charles III has been officially proclaimed monarch with Prince William and Queen Consort Camilla at his side in a solemn and archaic Accession Council ceremony televised for the first time in history.
The Queen’s eldest son, 73, who has “dreaded” his mother’s death for years, automatically became King upon her death, assuming the title and its enormous responsibilities, but the Accession Council declared his official elevation into the role Saturday night.
The new Prince of Wales, Prince William, and the King’s wife Camilla and British Prime Minister Liz Truss signed the proclamation before Privy Counsellors in the Picture Room of the State Apartments of St James’s Palace.
Amid great fanfare, with trumpets to herald the dawn of the new king and reign from the balcony of St James’s Palace, the former official residence of the Queen where the constitutional formality was held, Charles was declared King.
Some 200 members of the 700-strong Privy Council were invited to St James’s Palace for the ceremony, including six former prime ministers: Boris Johnson, Tersa Mayv, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and John Major.
Camilla signed her name as “Camilla “R” for regina, a Latin term for queen. A throne was seen on the platform, which includes the Queen’s “ER” cypher.
A new one is being designed that will be “CR”, which stands for Charles Rex.
An emotional Charles set the tone for his reign having already promised to mirror his mother’s “unswerving devotion” during her record-breaking seven decades on the throne.
The King joined after he was proclaimed monarch, to make his declaration and hold his first Privy Council meeting.
With the Prince of Wales and Camilla at his side, the King, wearing a black suit and tie, confirmed his “willingness” to serve the country as head of state and head of nation.
Describing a “heavy task” laid upon him, he said he prayed for guidance of God to guide him in his reign, saying: ”It is my most sorrowful duty to announce to you the death of my beloved mother the queen.
“I know how deeply you, the entire nation, and I think I may say the whole world, sympathise with me in the irreparable loss we’ve all suffered.
“It is the greatest consolation to me to know the sympathy expressed by so many to my sister and brothers and such an overwhelming affection and support should be extended to our whole family, in our loss
“To all of us as a family, as to this kingdom, and the wider family of nations, of which is a part, my mother gave an example of lifelong love and of selfless service.
“My mother’s reign was unequalled in its duration, its dedication, and its devotion.
“I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty, which have now passed to me.
“In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example.”
Calling on the support of his wife, he went on: “I know that I shall be upheld by the affection and loyalty of the peoples whose Sovereign I have been called upon to be, and that in the discharge of these duties I will be guided by the counsel of their elected parliaments.
“In all this, I am profoundly encouraged by the constant support of my beloved wife.
“I take this opportunity to confirm my willingness and intention to continue the tradition of surrendering the hereditary revenues, including the Crown Estate, to My Government for the benefit of all, in return for the Sovereign Grant, which supports my official duties as Head of State and Head of Nation.
“And in carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me, and to which I now dedicate what remains to me of my life, I pray for the guidance and help of Almighty God.”
Opening the ceremony, MP Penny Mordaunt said: “My Lords, it is my sad duty to inform you that her most gracious Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has passed away on Thursday, the 8 of September 2022 at Balmoral castle.
“I propose that when certain necessary business has been transacted, the deputation consisting of Her Majesty His Royal Highness, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of York, the Prime Minister, the clerk of the council, and myself, shall wait on the king and inform him the council is assembled. I now call on the clerk of the Council, to read aloud the text of the proclamation.”
The clerk of the council said: “Whereas it has pleased almighty God to call to his mercy our late sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth the Second of blessed and glorious memory, by whose decease the crown of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is solely and rightfully come to Prince Charles, Philip Arthur George.
“We therefore, the Lords Spiritual and temporal of this realm, and members of the House of Commons together with other members of her late majesty’s Privy Council and representatives of the realms and territories, alderman, citizens of London and others, with one voice and consent of tongue and heart publish and proclaim that the Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, is now by our the death of our late sovereign of happy memory, become our only lawful and happy liege Lord.
“Charles III, by the grace of god of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of his other realms and territory, King, head of the commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, to whom we do acknowledge all faith and obedience with humble affection, beseeching god by whom kings and queens do reign to bless his majesty with long and happy years to reign over us.”
He said “God Save the King,” which members present returned in unison.
Flags lowered in mourning for the Queen will fly at full-mast again after the meeting.
Out in the open air there was plenty of pomp and pageantry.
State Trumpeters from the Household Division sounded their trumpets from the balcony above the Friary Court at the strike of 8pm AEST.
The Garter King of Arms, reading the first and Principal Proclamation from the balcony, proclaimed “God Save the King”.
The National Anthem was played.
One of the orders approved by King Charles III during the proclamation ceremony, was for the day of the Queen’s funeral to be a Bank Holiday. A date has not yet been confirmed.
Members of the public were admitted into the Friary Court to witness the proclamation of King Charles III.
They came, carrying their pets, deck chairs and children and the infirm on walking sticks and mobility scooters.
AUSSIES LINE UP TO SEE KING CHARLES III
Landing in London from Melbourne, Shelley Dour made Buckingham Palace her first port of call.
The Australian wanted to be part of history and managed the timing to be one of just 1000 to see King Charles III proclaimed monarch at St James.
“It is a bit odd, the whole concept of having a King and him being King but he has wanted this for a long time so hopefully it is everything that he hoped,” Dour told NewsCorp Australia. “The Queen had an amazing life. This is my first port of call.”
Standing in the queue to enter St James, Dour continued: “I didn’t know how it would be when I was here. It is going to be interesting to see how it unfolds over the next week. It is a pretty momentous occasion so I wanted to be here and possibly take a picture for my kids to tell them when I am old and grey that I was there when the king was proclaimed.”
A smattering of Australians wanting to be a part of the historical moment were among those making it into the special viewing area at St James. It was open to the public on a first come, first served basis.
Some waited for hours while others joined the queue while on their morning walk like Belinda Miles.
“This was a morning walk and also just to take in the occasion, which is pretty historic,” said Miles, who has lived in London for the past seven years and comes from Potts Point in Sydney. “It has been quite sombre. It is a day of history with some more to come during the week and it is really lovely to be a part of it.”
Kristy Longford from the Gold Coast happened to be in London on holidays with her partner, Mark, when the Queen died.
“It is a really special time. This is a part of our history so we wanted to be here today for the special occasion,” Longford said.
Asked what she thought of the new King Charles III, Longford was cautious with her words.
“It will be interesting. Certainly how he has been over the past couple of days, there definitely seems to be a different feeling in London as we give condolences to the Queen but also celebrate the changeover to the King.”
QUEEN’S FUNERAL DETAIL
It comes as Queen Elizabeth’s funeral will be an event unlike anything the world has ever seen.
While we have witnessed big royal funerals at Westminster Abbey before, no reigning monarch has been farewelled in that hallowed space in more than 250 years.
Before her death, the Queen played a role in the arrangements for her own funeral, the plans and protocols long discussed and even rehearsed by Buckingham Palace to meet any contingency.
According to “Operation London Bridge” – the code name for the massive logisitical and security arrangements behind the mourning period – the funeral is scheduled to take place 11 days after the Queen’s death. But as the news of her passing emerged late on Thursday, local time, it is now expected the funeral will take place 12 days later, on Monday September 19, starting at 11am.
The Covid-19 precautions which were in place for Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021 – leading to those moving images of the Queen left to mourn her husband of 73 years on her own – have thankfully been lifted, which means Westminster Abbey can accommodate its capacity crowd of 2000.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is expected to lead the hour-long service, with the Royal Families and heads of state of many nations expected to attend.
“Practically every nation on earth is going to want to send their king, queen, prime minister or president for the funeral,” former Metropolitan police commander Bob Broadhurst told PA Media.
Australia’s Governor-general David Hurley and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will both be in attendance, while our very own royal, Princess Mary, is likely to be there with husband Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. (All the European monarchies are expected to be well represented.)
US President Joe Biden has said he will be there, and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip said “If we find the opportunity we would like to be present at this ceremony”.
Somewhat less clear is the provision for any celebrity guests.
While celebrities have been an increasing presence at royal events over the years – George and Amal Clooney were at Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018 despite, reportedly, barely knowing the couple – the gravity of the occasion suggests it will be unlikely there will be too many Hollywood blow-ins.
That said, there can always be exceptions. Royal commentator Neil Sean has told British TV that he wouldn’t be surprised if Tom Cruise scored an invitation, after the Top Gun actor’s star turn at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations earlier this year.
The Royal Family’s faultlines and sensitivities are likely to be scrutinised on the day, especially any signs of tension between Prince William and Harry.
During the procession for Prince Philip last year, the two feuding brothers were separated by their cousin, Peter Phillips, leading to speculation a similar arrangement could be put into place for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
The Duchess of Sussex’s presence will also be a matter of intense interest, especially after she stayed in London and did not join the rest of the royal family in the dash to Balmoral on Thursday evening as the Queen’s condition deteriorated.
Fox News Digital quoted one royal expert who said the Duchess may opt to return to California to be with her children Archie and Lilibet. Expect copious column inches to be written on this subject, either way.
King Charles is expected to play a part in the ceremony, just as the newly-crowned Elizabeth did for the funeral of her father, George VI, in 1952. (The young queen placed the standard of the Grenadier Guards on his coffin at the end of the service.)
Two minutes of silence will be observed out of respect for the monarch.
Queen Elizabeth’s funeral will be the first of a royal monarch to be televised. In 1952, Buckingham Palace agreed to the televising of the procession for George VI, but not the funeral itself – but even this screening was said to have prompted a mini boom in the sale of TV sets. It’s expected the Queen funeral will very likely set new records for live streaming services.
At this stage it is unclear whether King Charles will deliver a eulogy for his mother, or whether that part of formalities will be covered by the Archbishop.
(The then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, delivered the eulogy for the Queen Mother in 2002.)
After the funeral, the Queen’s casket will be taken in a procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, where it will loaded into a hearse and driven to Windsor Castle.
That afternoon, starting at 4pm, the Queen will be laid to rest in a special vault at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in a ceremony to be attended by members of the family only. The Queen’s casket will be positioned near her parents and sister Princess Margaret, who died in 2002, while the remains of the Duke of Edinburgh will be moved to sit alongside her.
The actual burial of the casket will take place even later, at 7.30pm; again, this will be a family ceremony only.
Britain’s official mourning period will continue for seven days after the funeral.