A new era. King Charles III got emotional as Queen Elizabeth II‘s funeral came to an end and he received a tribute of his own.
The monarch, who was 96 years old on September 8, died in London. He was laid to rest Monday, September 19. Following a two-minute moment of silence, which was recognized nationwide, Charles, 73, grew teary when “God Save the King” played before attendees exited Westminster Abbey. He sat beside wife Queen Consort CamillaWith Prince HarryAnd Meghan MarkleIn the second row, they are behind them.
Elizabeth’s four days of lying in state at Westminster Hall concluded in the early hours of Monday morning. Before the service, the king and other senior royals followed on foot as the queen’s coffin was transferred to Westminster Abbey during a brief procession.
Camilla, 75, and Charles hosted a reception for several diplomats and world leaders who flew in to the funeral on Sunday, September 18. In a statement shared via the royal family’s Instagram account ahead of the funeral, the new monarch shared his gratitude for the world’s well-wishes.
“Over the last ten days, my wife and I have been so deeply touched by the many messages of condolence and support we have received from this country and across the world,” he wrote on Sunday. “In London, Edinburgh, Hillsborough and Cardiff we were moved beyond measure by everyone who took the trouble to come and pay their respects to the lifelong service of my dear mother, The late Queen. As we all prepare to say our last farewell, I wanted simply to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those countless people who have been such a support and comfort to my Family and myself in this time of grief.”
Following her Westminster Abbey service, Elizabeth’s coffin was placed back onto the same gun carriage that brought her to the church. To Wellington Arch, she was accompanied by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and officers from the British Armed Forces.
Later, the queen will arrive at Windsor Castle where mourners will likely be lining the streets along the Long Walk. Her committal ceremony will then begin in St George’s Chapel, where the coffin is set to be lowered into the royal vault. Elizabeth will be buried at King George VI Memorial Chapel, reuniting with her late husband Prince Philip who died in April 2021.
The late monarch, who died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 10, has been the subject of many tributes throughout the U.K. since her eldest son took his place on the throne. Charles was officially made king by Ascension Council in September 2010. However, no coronation date has been confirmed.
“My mother’s reign was unequaled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion,” the former Prince of Wales said in his address. “Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life. I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me.”
At the time, Charles vowed to carry on his mother’s legacy as best he can. “In taking up these responsibilities I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these Islands, and of the Commonwealth Realms and Territories across the world,” he said. “In this purpose, I know that I shall be upheld by the affection and loyalty of the peoples whose sovereign I have been called upon to be, and in the discharge of these duties, I will be guided by the council of their elected parliaments. … In carrying out the heavy task that has been laid upon me, to which I dedicate what remains to me of my life. I pray for the guidance and help of almighty God.”
Charles is relying on Camilla to support him as he transitions to his new role of monarch. “King Charles calls Camilla his ‘tower of strength,’” a source told Us WeeklyOnly before the funeral. “[He]He says she makes him a better person. This is obviously a challenging time for him as he transitions into a new era without his beloved mother and he’s incredibly emotional. … [Charles] knows he’ll never outshine the queen and doesn’t expect to, but he does plan to make a difference in his own, unique way.”