Long live the King.
Charles the Prince of Wales, 73, automatically became the King of the United Kingdom on Thursday after his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died at the age of 96.
But don’t expect to see a coronation ceremony for the new King Charles III happening anytime soon.
The new monarch addressed the world in his first speech as king on Friday, saying “that promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.” He has already announced his wishes for a “a period of Royal Mourning be observed from now until seven days after The Queen’s Funeral.” And it’s unlikely that any plans for the pomp and circumstance that would be part of his coronation would be done until well after the country — and the world — takes time to grieve the loss of his mother and the U.K.’s longest-reigning monarch, who sat on the throne for 70 years.
But there are plenty of royal protocols that will be happening over the next few days.
First, the Accession Council, which is made up of current and former senior members of Parliament, peers, senior civil servants, Commonwealth high commissioners and the Mayor of London, will meet at St. James’s Palace on Saturday morning to formally proclaim him the king. (Although it should be noted that he technically is already the king.)
“His Majesty The King will be proclaimed at the Accession Council at 10.00hrs tomorrow morning 10th September in the State Apartments of St James’s Palace, London,” according to the official Royal.uk website. The BBC says that some 700 people are entitled to attend, but far fewer are likely to attend, given the short notice. And for the first time ever, the accession ceremony will be broadcast live.
The press release notes that the king will also “make his Declaration and read and sign an oath to uphold the security of the Church in Scotland and approve Orders in Council which facilitate continuity of government.”
The Accession Council is just one early formality leading up to the official coronation for King Charles III, which will likely come much later. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II waited until 16 months after her accession to the throne to hold her own coronation ceremony.
“With the nation still grieving Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, it could be seen as inappropriate to hold the coronation too soon after her death,” noted Time. The publication also reported that while there’s no date set for King Charles’s III coronation just yet, it does already have an official code name: Operation Golden Orb.
So what could we possibly expect? For nearly 1,000 years, British coronations have been held in Westminster Abbey. Coronations are government events paid for by the U.K. government and taxpayers, as opposed to other royal occasions like royal weddings, which are not.
“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,” King Charles III said in a statement after the queen’s passing on Thursday. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother.”