Following Queen Elizabeth II’s death, eldest son King Charles III has officially taken over royal duties as England’s sovereign.
The king, 73, was photographed outside Buckingham Palace on Friday, September 9, where he viewed several tributes to the late queen’s legacy. Charles, who ascended the British throne upon Elizabeth’s death, was emotional as he saw piles of bouquets left in front of the famed front gate. During his outing, His Majesty even made contact with several well wishers.
The palace confirmed that the long-reigning sovereign, who had celebrated her Platinum Jubilee earlier in the year, had died at the tender age of 96.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” a statement read on Thursday, September 8, referring to her Scottish residence.
Elizabeth’s death comes hours after it was announced that she was under “medical supervision” following health concerns. Charles, Camilla Duchess, Prince WilliamPrince HarryAll made the final journey to Scotland.
Upon the late sovereign’s death, Charles broke his silence about her memory in an emotional statement.
“The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” a statement shared via the royal family’s Twitter page read. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
He continued: “During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
Charles and the Duchess Camilla’s Reading Room founder, 75, left Balmoral early on Friday before returning to London, where he has since assumed the throne. One of Charles’ first proclamations as king was to extend the country’s official mourning period.
“Following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, it is His Majesty The King’s wish that a period of Royal Mourning be observed from now until seven days after The Queen’s Funeral,” a Friday statement read, noting that a date for Elizabeth’s funeral has yet to be announced. “Royal Mourning will be observed by Members of the Royal Family, Royal Household staff and Representatives of the Royal Household on official duties, together with troops committed to Ceremonial Duties.”
Traditionally, after a monarch’s death, the country enters into a 12-day bereavement period when staff uniforms change, TV comedy programs are canceled and flags will be flown at half-mast. Charles will address the nation for the first time on Friday as king.
Scroll below to see photos from Charles’ first appearance as king: