Queen’s death: What is the Accession Council and how does it proclaim a new monarch? | UK News

Charles became King at the time of his mother’s death following the old common law principle that ensured England was never without a monarch and that “The King never dies”.

Although it may take several months before he is crowned, the formal process of declaring him King – the Board of accessions – begins almost immediately.

Charles gears up for first nationwide address – follow live updates

Here Sky News takes a closer look at the Accession Council and the part it played in the transition to a new king.

The Sixth Court at St James' Palace
Friary Court at St James’ Palace

What is an Accession Council?

The Accession Council is a group of Privy Advisers, Representative Officials of State, the Lord Mayor of London, High Commissioners of the Kingdom and senior civil servants.

It only tells the story of the king’s death, which last occurred when King George VI died in 1952.

Members meet as soon as possible after the monarch’s death, usually within 24 hours, at St James’s Palace in London.

After the Queen’s death, it will take place a little later, at 10am on Saturday, September 10 and will be televised for the first time in history.

It oversees the official declaration of the heir to the throne as King or Queen, and is divided into two parts.

According to royal commentator Alastair Bruce of Sky News: “Council accession is a constitutional necessity.

“It dates back to Saxon times when all the great rulers of the land would meet and elect from the living descendants of King Woden.”

Prince William and Queen Consort are both Privy Counselors
Prince William and Queen Consort are both Privy Counselors

Who are its members?

The Accession Council is largely made up of Privy Advisers and is chaired by its leader, the Lord Council Chair – now MP Penny Mordaunt – who is also the Leader of the House of Commons.

The Privy Council has more than 700 members, but there is only room for about 150 in the State Apartments at St James’s Palace, only active members can attend.

However, summons are sent to all Privy Advisers, including past prime ministers, their ministers and leaders of the opposition.

The Queen’s consort and Prince William will both be there as Privy Counselors, as will Sir Angus Ogilvy, who is married to Alexandra, the Queen’s cousin.

The Mayor of London – currently Vincent Keaveny – will also be invited, along with High Commissioners or Executive High Commissioners from all 14 Commonwealth states.

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and Scotland’s foreign minister were also part of the Accession Council, along with the current Lords Chancellor and the President of the Session Court.

Commerce Secretary Penny Mordaunt speaks in the House of Commons, London, where she targeted her ministerial boss by joking that she was "amazing" back to the shipping box Commons gave her "work ethics report"
The Leader of the House, Penny Mordaunt, is the Speaker of the Assembly

Part One

The first meeting of the Accession Council took place without a new King or Queen to the former claiming them as the new sovereign.

It happens at St James’s Palace – formerly the monarch’s main London residence until it moved to Buckingham Palace in the 1800s.

King George VI died at “breakfast” on 6 February 1952, with the first council meeting 17 hours later. Present 191 council members.

The meeting began with the Lord Chairman announcing the death of the monarch and calling on the Secretary of the Council to read the Declaration of Accession.

Declaration of the Accession Council to Queen Elizabeth III in 1952
Declaration of the Accession Council to Queen Elizabeth III in 1952

The Queen’s written statement read: “Meanwhile, Almighty God has pleased to invoke His mercy, our late King George VI of the blessed and blessed anniversary and glory, for the crowning comes only to the great and mighty Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. .

“Therefore, we, the Lords of Spirit and Time of this Kingdom, are here assisting with this late Her Majesty’s Privy Council, with representatives of the other members of the Commonwealth. , to the other principal gentlemen, to the Mayor, Elders and Citizens of London, do now with one voice and consent of tongue and heart, proclaim and declare that the Princess The great and mighty Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, now, by the death of our late king in happy memory, becomes Queen Elizabeth II.

“By the grace of the Queen of God of this kingdom and of all her other kingdoms and territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, whose liars acknowledge all faith and continuous obedience with warm affection and humility, implore God by him The reigning Kings and Queens, to bless Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth II with Long years of happiness reign over us.”

The proclamation is usually the first time a new monarch’s official title is revealed, but on occasion it was announced by the House of Clarence that he would follow King Charles III.

After the proclamation is read, it is signed by members of the “foundation party”, including any royals who are Privy Counselors, prime minister, Chancellor, Lord Privy Seal, Earl Marshal, and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Chairman Lord asked for silence and then read any remaining entries of the business.

Part two

The second meeting of the Privy Council was attended by the new monarch and was indeed their first meeting of the Privy Council – as it was attended by only Privy Advisers.

Traditionally, the second part takes place immediately after the first, but since the Queen was overseas when her father died, it takes place two days after she returns to England.

This one will begin at 11am on Saturday with the King reading out a personal statement about his mother’s death.

The Queen read: “In light of the sudden death of my dear father, I am called upon to assume the duties and responsibilities of the sovereign.

“At this time of profound grief, it is a profound consolation for me to be assured of the sympathy you and all my fellow citizens feel for me, with my mother and sister. me and other members of my family.

“My father was our revered and beloved head of state just as he was a man of his family of subjects.

“My heart is too full for me to tell you more than today that I will always work as my father did during his reign to maintain constitutional government and promote happiness and prosperity. The prosperity of my peoples spread like them all over the world.

“I know that in my determination to follow your shining example of service and devotion, I will be inspired by the loyalty and affection of those to whom I have been called to be Queen, and by the advice of their elected congress. I pray that the Lord will help me to fulfill in a worthy way this heavy duty placed upon my head so early in life.”

Read more:
King Charles returns to London
The life of the new king so far in pictures

The monarch then recites the Scottish Oath, taken by every King and Queen of England since George I ascended the throne in 1714.

It dates back to when Catholic Europe was seen as an existential threat to England and protected
security of the Church of Scotland – unlike in England – church and state are separate there.

The Queen’s Oath of Scotland reads: “I, Queen Elizabeth II, by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of my other kingdoms and territories, King, Defender of the Faith , faithfully promise and swear that I will inviolable uphold and preserve the settlement of the true Protestant religion as established by the laws of Scotland in the prosecution of claims and especially by a action taken ‘An act in defense of the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Government’ and by acts passed by the parliaments of both Kingdoms for the Union of the Two Kingdoms, together with the government , adoration, discipline, rights and privileges of the Church of Scotland. So help me with God.”

Thousands gather to read the Queen's proclamation at the Royal Exchange in London in 1952
Thousands gather to read the Queen’s Proclamation at the Royal Exchange in London in 1952

The king then signed two documents documenting their signing of the oath, in the presence of royal members of the Privy Council, Scotland’s first minister who supported the lord of Scotland, Scotland’s foreign minister, pro-Scottish generals – if they are Privy Counselors – Prime Minister and Chairman of the Session Court.

One copy was sent to the Session Court to be recorded in the Book of Sederunt and the other in the Book of the Privy Council.

The Lord Council President then goes over any remaining business items before each advisor signs the statement and leaves.

Traditionally, the trumpeter from the Life Guard and the drummer from the Cold Line Guard would play after the meeting was over.

Arms King Garter, Earl Marshal, weapons officers and sergeants will then gather on the balcony above Friary Court at St James’s Palace and read the manifesto.

Read more:
How Commonwealth Leaders Heard The Queen’s Death
Milestones light up for Queens around the world

Soon after, it will be read at the Royal Exchange in the City of London – in the presence of the Mayor of London.

Follow-up readings will take place in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and locations across the Commonwealth at 12pm on Sunday.

The flags will again be flown on the pole from the reading of the manifesto itself until the following flags in the four countries.

They will then return to the first half mast as a sign of respect for the Queen.

The full record of the Accession Council’s proceedings is published in the London Gazette – the UK’s official public record.

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