Charles has been appointed as the King of Britain and 14 Commonwealth nations following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, as per the centuries-old protocol.
The accession protocol states that the “new Sovereign succeeds to the throne as soon as his or her predecessor dies,” the royal family’s website states.
What will he be called?
The 73-year-old will be known as King Charles III. That was the first decision of the new king’s reign.
Following his ascension, King Charles’ older son Prince William will inherit his father’s other title, Duke of Cornwall. His wife Catherine will be known as the Duchess of Cornwall.
There will also be a new title for Charles’ wife, whose full title will be Queen Consort—a the term used for the spouse of the monarch.
His coronation will take place in the same historic surroundings, as it has for centuries, at St James’s Palace in London, in front of a ceremonial body known as the Accession Council, on a date that will be fixed sometime later.
The council is made up of members of the Privy Council —a group of senior MPs, past and present, and peers – as well as some senior civil servants, Commonwealth high commissioners, and the Lord Mayor of London.
It will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the Church of England, as it has been since 1066.
It is there that he will be “anointed, blessed and consecrated” while seated in King Edward’s chair — from 1300 — and finally crowned.
King Charles mourns mother’s demise
Meanwhile, King Charles released a heartbreaking statement following the death of his mother, the Queen.
“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,” Charles said in a statement on Thursday.
“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held,” he added.
King Charles was the heir apparent as well as Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay since 1952 and was both the oldest and the longest-serving heir apparent in British history.
The title of ‘heir apparent’ has been tagged with Charles, 73, since he was three years old. For more than seven decades, he has juggled duty, expectation and all the scrutiny that comes with his role.
Following the Queen’s death, Charles will face the twin challenges of personal bereavement and leading the nation in mourning in the immediate days.
“He will be focused on the personal and the family, but for the palaces it will be a question of [choosing] the right things to say and do that lead the nation in mourning but also establish the first steps of the new reign,” a former aide of Charles told The Guardian.
The former aide added that Charles had a “deep emotional facility” with bereaved people which they predicted would serve him and the country well in any period of mourning.
What next for King Charles?
With Charles declared the rightful heir to the throne and new king, the Act of Settlement from 1701 still gives the British government the responsibility of formally recognizing the change in leadership.