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Succession: King Charles III and Queen Camilla

(NewsNation) — Prince Charles automatically became the monarch, taking on the name of King Charles III after Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Thursday.

However, it may be months or even longer before Charles’ formal coronation. In Elizabeth’s case, her coronation took place June 2, 1953 — 16 months after her Feb. 6, 1952 accession upon the death of her father, King George VI.

“It could take up to a year. This hasn’t happened for a long time, 70 years now. So I think they’re working through the principles,” royal broadcaster Ian Pelham Turner said during an appearance Thursday night on NewsNation’s “Banfield.” “There’s a lot of protocol.”

NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” also brought on global business analyst and British Royals commentator, Hilary Fordwich, on Thursday to discuss the transfer of power.

She says what we’ll see is exactly what the queen wanted.

“It’s called London Bridge — those are the plans that have been in place for many, many, many years. The queen actually was very involved every single step of the way, so what we’ll see is what she wanted. We will see a service that will be everything that she wanted to have in it,” Fordwich said.

how the Ascension process works
  • Within 24 hours of a monarch’s death, a new sovereign is proclaimed formally as soon as possible at St. James’s Palace in London by the “Accession Council.” This is made up of officials from the Privy Council, which includes senior Cabinet ministers, judges and leaders of the Church of England, who are summoned to the palace for the meeting.
  • Parliament is then recalled for lawmakers to take their oaths of allegiance to the new monarch.
  • The new monarch will swear an oath before the Privy Council in St. James’s Palace to maintain the Church of Scotland, according to the Act of Union of 1707.
  • The proclamation of the new sovereign is then publicly read out at St. James’s Palace, as well as in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast – the capital cities of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom.
  • Charles must declare to Parliament on the first day of its session following the accession, or at the coronation, whichever is first, that he is a faithful Protestant. The oath is mandated by the Accession Declaration Act of 1910.
  • He must also take a coronation oath as prescribed by the Coronation Oath Act of 1689, the Act of Settlement of 1701 and the Accession Declaration Act.
  • He must be in communion with the Church of England, a flexible rule that allowed King George I and King George II to reign even though they were Lutherans.

As both the Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay since 1952 until his accession to the throne in 2022, Prince Charles was both the oldest and the longest-serving heir apparent in British history.

Following the death of his father, Prince Philip, on April 9, 2021, Charles also inherited the title of Duke of Edinburgh.

Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles divorced in 1995 and he remarried the following year. Charles and Princess Diana were divorced in August 1996 after years of acrimonious marital problems. Diana blamed Charles for his refusal to end his affair with his long-term lover, Camilla. Charles said he had remained faithful in the marriage “until it became irretrievably broken down.” On Aug. 31, 1997, Diana died in a car crash in Paris.

In 1999, Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were seen together for the first time at the Ritz Hotel in London after attending a party.

She moved into Charles’ residence, Clarence House, in 2003 and the couple announced their engagement in February 2005.

“I’m delighted for the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles. It’s very happy news and when the cabinet heard it this morning they sent congratulations and good wishes on behalf of the whole government. We all wish them every happiness for their future together. Thank you.”

Charles and Camilla were married on April 9, 2005, in a civil ceremony in Windsor. They were later joined by 800 guests for a service of prayer and dedication at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle before a reception hosted by the queen.

Once they married, Camilla became the Duchess of Cornwall and, in one of their first official royal duties as a married couple, Charles and Camilla visited hospital staff and those injured in the 2005 London bombings at St Mary’s Hospital.

Camilla’s daughter, Laura Parker Bowles, married accountant and former underwear model Harry Lopes in June 2006.

Charles visited the Vatican with Camilla on April 27, 2009, for his first meeting with a pope since his 1996 divorce from Princess Diana.

Philip, who was Elizabeth’s husband for more than seven decades and helped to modernize the British monarchy and steer the royal family through repeated crises, died on April 9, 2021, at age 99. His funeral was held on April 17, where members of the royal family were forced to sit socially distanced from one another due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter written to mark the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, Elizabeth said she wanted Camilla to be styled Queen Consort when Chares becomes king, cementing her place at the heart of the royal family after once being judged an outsider. The queen said the occasion had given her pause to reflect upon the loyalty and affection shown to her by the British public. She said she hoped Charles and Camilla would receive the same support.

Camilla joined the royal family to celebrate the queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


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