Human Interest

King Charles III returns to Buckingham Palace following queen’s death

(Update 1: Adds details of return of King Charles III, quotes from prime minister Liz Truss, other politicians, changes headline, changes lead, adds further details throughout)

London, Sep 9 (EFE).- The United Kingdom’s King Charles III returned to Buckingham Palace on Friday, where he was greeted by a crowd of well-wishers the day after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The new king shook hands and chatted with members of the public who had gathered at the gates of the royal palace in London following his return trip from the Balmoral estate in Scotland, where Elizabeth died on Thursday afternoon at the age of 96.

Charles, 73, later took time with Camilla, the Queen Consort, to observe the wreaths of flowers laid at the gates of Buckingham Palace in tribute to the late monarch.

Charles and Camilla then entered the palace grounds.

An address from the king is due to be broadcast to the nation Friday afternoon, ahead of his official proclamation at St. James’s Palace on Saturday, as confirmed by Buckingham Palace in a statement.

“The Accession Council will be followed by the Principal Proclamation, which will be read at 11am from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James’s Palace,” the palace said.

Earlier in the day, gun salutes rang out across the UK as the nation mourned and paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

A 96-round gun salute, one for every year of the late monarch’s life, was held in various locations from London’s Hyde Park and the Tower of London to Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.

Meanwhile, members of parliament, clad in black, gathered in the House of Commons on Friday where tributes to the late queen were led by the new prime minister Liz Truss.

“Her Majesty was one of the greatest leaders the world had ever known, she was the rock on which modern Britain was built on,” Truss, who met Elizabeth on Tuesday during her official appointment as prime minister, told the solemn session at the Commons.

“We remember the pledge she gave on her 21st birthday to dedicate her life to service,” she added. “The whole House will agree — never has a promise been so completely fulfilled.”

Truss pledged her support for King Charles III adding that “even as he mourns his sense of duty and service is clear.”

Former PM Boris Johnson described the nation’s loss as “deep and personal.”

“Perhaps it’s partly that she’s always been there, a changeless human reference point in British life,” Johnson said.

Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said: “Our Queen was at the heart of this nation’s life.”

“She did not simply reign over us, she lived alongside us, she shared in our hopes and our fears, our joy, and our pain. Our good times and our bad.”

The UK’s royal family has entered a period of mourning that will last until seven days after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace announced Friday.

The period of mourning was decided by King Charles III, who automatically became the head of state following Elizabeth’s death.

The UK government is set to outline the details of a period of national mourning.

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