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Prince Charles has immediately become King Charles and will address the UK tomorrow

Prince Charles has immediately become King Charles and will address the UK tomorrow

With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles' accession to the throne is already underway

With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles will be officially proclaimed as the King tomorrow, according to documents detailing ‘Operation London Bridge’.

Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at the age of 96 earlier today (8 September) at her estate in Balmoral, Scotland, and was surrounded by her family at the time of her death.

Operation London Bridge is a well-known code-name for the plan in place for the immediate aftermath of the Queen’s death.

The content of that plan been much discussed over the years, with some details seeming more fanciful than others, but we’re about to find out what the actual truth was.

Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96 on 8 September.
PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

In 2021, Politico obtained access to documents explaining exactly what the protocol would be in the event of Elizabeth’s death, including plans laid down for the now-King Charles.

Now, official Charles becomes the king at the moment of his mother’s death, thanks to an old common law rule that states ‘Rex nunquam moritur’, which translates as ‘the king never dies’.

What that means nowadays – outside of the fact that it’s a very strange old law to have kept around – is that whilst one sovereign might die, the monarchy and line of succession carries on regardless.

The so-called Demise of the Crown – according to a document written by University College London about the subject – is not just about the death of a monarch but the passing down of that title to their heir.

Prince Charles becomes King Charles.
newsphoto/Alamy Stock Photo

In fact, the word ‘demise’ itself has roots in the French word ‘demittere’ or ‘to hand down’.

So, Charles is the King at the moment of Queen Elizabeth’s death, but he will have to wait for a day to be proclaimed as the new King.

On the day after the monarch’s passing, the Accession Council will meet at 10:00am at St James’ Palace to take care of that detail.

The Accession Council consists of senior government figures, Lord Mayors and High Sheriffs of the City of London, Realm High Commissioners, Privy Counsellors, Great Officers of State, and some high-ranking civil servants.

A lot of people with a lot of incredibly official sounding titles, to say the least.

Charles will meet with the Accession Council tomorrow.
COP21/Alamy Stock Photo

That’s just part one of the process.

Then, the new monarch will meet with just the Privy Council at a meeting afterwards, though that doesn’t always happen straight away.

Then, the proclamation will be read outside St James’ Palace and at the Royal Exchange in the City of London as well.

Other plans include the suspension of Parliament for 10 days, as well as an audience with the new Prime Minister, in this case Liz Truss. That’s all on the first day.

There’s still a load of stuff left to be done before things can settle down for the new monarch and the rest of the country.

Featured Image Credit: Lucy North/Alamy Stock Photo/Abaca Press/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Royal Family, The Queen, UK News, World News